1 Whole Chicken, approx. 3 lbs.
1 whole onion, unpeeled, cut into quarters
1 carrot, washed, cut into 1” lengths
2 stalks celery, washed, cut into 1” lengths OR the leafy tops of an entire bunch
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled but smashed a bit
Remove giblets and neck from chicken; use giblets for something else and save neck. Wash chicken thoroughly under running water. Place in a pot large enough to hold the chicken flat, and at least 3 times as high as the chicken. Add enough water to cover chicken half-way and the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, turning chicken over twice (kitchen tongs work well for this). Remove chicken from broth and let cool. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and pull meat from bones.
To make a good chicken broth: Return skin and bones to broth. Add neck and cook at a simmer for another hour, adding more water if too much evaporates. Turn off heat and let stand for about half an hour. Pour broth through a fine strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth, and discard solids (well wrapped if your garbage can is not secured against dogs). Refrigerate loosely covered until chilled (about four hours) then cover securely. Leave fat on top until ready to use to help preserve it. Keeps for about three days. If you aren’t going to use it before then, remove fat and boil broth for 5 minutes Let cool a bit, then pour into freezer containers. It will keep well for about 6 months frozen.
Smaller chickens, 3 – 4 lbs, are best for poaching, mostly because they’re easy to handle in a pot of hot water.