Don't throw out those bones! Savory, flavorful homemade stock is the base for all kinds of recipes. Soups are the most obvious, but it's also useful for adding delicious flavor to vegetable and rice dishes, for braising and poaching. This is my basic method, feel free to substitute other herbs and vegetables.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3-4 hours
Yield: 8-12 cups stock, depending on the size of your chicken
1 chicken carcass, with bones and skin
1 onion, quartered
1-2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, scrubbed and chopped (with leaves)
2 TB peppercorns, crushed
1 bay leaf
Add all the ingredients to a big stock pot and fill with clean cold water to just cover the bones. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer for a few hours. Let cool, drain through a colander. Now you can discard those bones! Chill the stock overnight, and skim off the fat. That ambrosia can be used right away, or frozen in small containers for the benefit of future generations.