If I am just making good old-fashioned stock, I add in about three cloves of minced garlic that we grow here on the farm, a couple of parsnips (also home grown) scrubbed clean and chunked, a few fresh sage leaves finely chopped, and a sprig or two from the rosemary bush that lives in the master soaker bathtub during the winter and kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Don’t worry; we use the shower exclusively!
I let the garlic simmer over medium heat along with the other veggies for two to three minutes. Be careful not to burn it! Next add in a cup of dry white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape of the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Let that simmer for a few minutes, and then I throw in one or two chicken carcasses, add about eight cups of water, and bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for one to two hours.
Now, remove the pot from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before pouring through a colander into another stock pot. Let the leavings – chicken carcass and veggies – cool, and when cool, pick the meat from the carcasses, discarding bones and skin, and any bits of cartilage that have turned up. You can either set the chicken meat aside to go into chicken soup later, or freeze it as I do. What you have left is lovely chicken stock, by half cheaper and quite possibly better for you, than what you can buy in the grocery.
Today, however, some of the stock is going for partridge stew, so we proceed a bit differently. Kate Krukowski Gooding (http://dancingspoon.typepad.com/dancing_spoon/2010/01/maine-partridge-stew.html) has about the best recipe I’ve found for this local delicacy, and does a great job of explaining just what partridge is. Our partridge comes from the spruce stands near our farm, and my recipe varies a little.