1 6 pound stewing hen
4 quarts cool water
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 leek, white only, halved and rinsed clean
3 carrots, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 bouquet garni: 1 dried bay leaf, 5 stems fresh parsley, 1 stem fresh
thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried); 5 white peppercorns
Rinse the chicken under cool water. Place in an 10 quart heavy pot and cover by 1” with cool water. Bring water to a simmer over high heat. Skim off the foam.
Place the bouquet garni ingredients between the halves of the leek and tie it closed with kitchen twine. Add the leek with the other vegetables to the simmering liquid. Keep at a slow simmer for 2 hours skimming regularly.
Carefully remove the chicken and reserve for the ragout. Strain the broth and discard the vegetables. Skim off any remaining fat and reduce the broth to 2 quarts, continuing to clean the surface.
Refrigerate this stock and use within 5 days or freeze. The stock can also be reduced to glace de viande, about 1/2 cup.