The secret to this stock is unattended steeping: I put a whole chicken in a pot with water, bring it to a boil, and then let it cook off the heat, tightly covered. It is a very gentle, simple method, yet remarkably quick: the stock is finished in just over an hour. In addition, you reap the bonus of a perfectly poached chicken—silky, tender, and flavorful.
2. Carefully remove the chicken to a platter, and discard the celery and onion. Strain the resulting stock through a fine sieve, and carefully skim the fat from the surface. If you don't need the stock immediately, you can cool it at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight, and the fat will solidify and be easier to remove.
Edna Lewis was a chef and author who specialized in Southern cuisine. She wrote In Pursuit of Flavor, The Taste of Country Cooking, The Edna Lewis Cookbook and co-wrote The Gift of Southern Cooking.