1 chicken (3-31/2 pounds)
1 pound beef or veal marrow and knuckle bones
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon dill seeds tied in a cheesecloth bag
1 medium onion
1 leek (white part only)
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 medium parsley root, peeled
1 2-inch cube celery root
1 bunch parsley leaves, tied with kitchen string
2-3 boiling potatoes (optional
11/2 teaspoons salt ( or more to taste)
1-2 whole cloves, or 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2-3 egg whites
fresh dill, or dill and parsley
Any 1 of the following: Cooked vegetables, sliced or grated: carrots, parsley root, celery root, cauliflower, new potatoes, green peas, string beans
PARBOILING THE MEAT AND BONES;
DEGREASING AND SKIMMING THE STOCK
In a 7- to 8-quart stockpot (a tall pot with a 7- to 8-inch diameter is preferable), place the meat and bones with 2 quarts of cold water. With a thin wooden stick, measure the level of water and make a mark on the stick, then add 1 quart more of cold water. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil, cook for 1 minute, remove the pot from the heat, and, with a fine-mesh skimmer or a large spoon, skim off the foam. Repeat the boiling and skimming two more times.
Lift the meat with a fork and, holding it over the pot, ladle stock over it to rinse it off. Place the meat in a large bowl. Rinse the bones the same way and add to the meat. Using a fine sieve or a colander lined with 3-4 layers of dampened cheesecloth, strain the broth over the meat. Wash and dry the stockpot to remove all residue for a clear stock.
ADDING THE VEGETABLES AND COOKING THE STOCK
Return the meat, bones, and stock to the pot. Add the vegetables, 1 l/2 teaspoons of salt, and the cloves, and bring to a boil. Carefully shift the pot so that three-quarters of the bottom surface is on the burner, lower the heat, and cook, partially covered. Remove the potatoes after 30 minutes and the remaining vegetables after 1 hour and discard. Cook the stock for a total of 1 l/2-2 hours, or until the meat is tender and the liquid has boiled down to the level marked on the stick. If the stock has not reduced enough but the meat is done, remove it and continue to simmer the stock until the liquid has reached the desired level.
ADDING COLOR TO STOCK (optional)
At this point, you may wish to add more color to the stock. Ladle about 1/2 cup of stock into a glass. If it is not dark enough, place the 1/2 cup stock and onion skins in a small saucepan, adding another l-l 1/2 cups of stock, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until deep golden in color. Strain back into the stock.
SKIMMING, DEGREASING, AND STRAINING THE STOCK
After the stock has finished cooking, and with one-quarter of the bottom surface of the pot still off the heat (the scum and fat will tend to collect on this side), skim off all the fat and foam with the skimmer or spoon. The best way to degrease stock that will be used for consomme is to cool and then refrigerate it; the congealed fat can then be removed easily.
Place a colander lined with 3-4 layers of dampened cheesecloth over a clean pot and strain the soup through it.
CLARIFYING THE STOCK (optional)
If the stock is not clear enough, it can be further clarified with egg whites. Place the pot with the strained stock over the heat and bring to a simmer. With a whisk, beat the egg whites until they are foamy and light in color and add them gradually to the stock, stirring constantly. Bring the stock to a boil, then lower the heat and allow the stock to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, scoop out the egg whites with a slotted spoon or a skimmer, and strain the stock again through a colander lined with 3-4 layers of dampened cheesecloth.
Bring the stock to a boil and taste for salt. Add the garnish and ladle into heated soup bowls. Serve with the accompaniment of your choice.
Before adding the vegetables, quarter them and brown in 2 table- spoons of butter for about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the chicken stock together with the dill seeds. Simmer for up to I hour, or until the chicken is tender; remove it and continue to let the stock simmer until the liquid reaches the desired level (with the vegetables removed but with the chicken returned temporarily to the pot). Serve and garnish as for other stocks.