Chicken stock

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Chicken stock (otherwise known as chicken broth), is one of the staple ingredients in period cooking.

Many recipes will call for the use of Freyssche brothe, and by this they usually mean chicken or beef stock. One of the most common ways of preparing meat in the 15th century was by boiling it in stock (eg: Pies of parys (recipe)).

I usually have scads of this handy -- keep aside (in bags in the freezer) any left over bones from any time you eat chicken, and boil them up in water whenever you have enough to half-fill a pot. Add some cloves, cinnamon, laurel or whatever other herbs and spices you fancy and keep it simmering for a few hours at least. Store whatever you are not using in the freezer until required, either in left-over containers or chop it into small blocks once frozen for adding to brussels sprouts while steaming.

To make a clear stock or consomme, skim off any fat and other bits that rise to the top while cooking, and filter the cooked broth through muslin. Return the cooked stock to the pot, bring it back to the boil, crush up a few raw eggs (including the shells), add it to the stock, stir it around, and filter again. The eggs will cook in the broth and catch many of the impurities, leaving a much clearer stock once it is finished filtering.