Last night, I made a beautiful burnished red stock with the leftover skin and bones from my paprika-cayenne roast chicken. Stock is one of the easiest and most useful things to make; and really incredibly satisfying, since you are using things you would otherwise throw away (plus maybe 50 cents of vegetables) to make something wonderful, that you can then use to enhance a future dish.
There is no hard and fast recipe for stock. Rather, it is is a clean-out-the-fridge opportunity. I had a bag of carrots that has been languishing in my vegetable drawer for maybe a month, as well as a couple yellow onions in my trusty veggie bowl that I was getting a little worried about. I plunked the chicken carcasses (whole, with all skin and little extra bits of meat) into my biggest pot, added the carrots (trimmed and cut into quarters), and the onions (peeled and quartered). I didn’t have any celery or fresh herbs, which are both recommended, but I did have some dried bay leaves, and threw in a couple of those.
After assembling your whole melange, whatever it may be, cover the whole thing with water, grind a little pepper in and sprinkle in some kosher salt (not too much of either, you can always season whatever dish it is you use the broth for). Then bring the pot to a boil and immediately bring it down to a low simmer. Let it sit, uncovered (that’s important to let the liquid reduce), for an hour or two, until there is noticeably less liquid in the pot and it tastes, well, chickeny when you try it.
It’s really up to you how concentrated you want it; the more concentrated, the longer cooking time. You may need to skim the fat off the surface with a wooden spoon as the broth simmers — it will look like a kind of froth. Be careful when you strain it (I removed all big parts into a large colander over a mixing bowl before straining the rest into a tupperware and then straining the broth that had collected in the bowl). Broth should freeze well for a really, really long time, and can be used in all manner of things. I am excited to see how the paprika-cayenne affects the flavor; the spice mix definitely made for an unexpectedly rich color that I think might be well-suited to a paella.