The Best Recipe
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
4 pounds chicken backs and wing tips or whole legs, hacked with cleaver into 2-inch pieces
2 quarts boiling water
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion and saute until colored and softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer onion to a large bowl.
Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot, and saute until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer cooked chicken to bowl with onion. Saute remaining chicken pieces. Return onion and chicken pieces to pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.
Increase heat to high, and add boiling water, salt, and bay leaves. Reduce to simmer, then cover and barely simmer until stock is rich and flavorful, about 20 minutes*.
Strain stock and discard solids. Skim fat and reserve for use in later recipes (like croutons… yum). Stock may be refrigerated for 2 days or frozen for several months.
* After I cooled and defatted the stock, I decided that I wanted it stronger. I brought it up to a boil for probably 10 minutes. When I make this again, I will increase the simmer time to about an hour, probably.