This rich, smoky stock made from the carcass of a smoked chicken (or two) might be my favorite recipe in my latest cookbook, “Thank You For Smoking.” The deeply flavored results are so satisfying and elevate countless meals, including gumbo, tortilla soup, chicken and dumplings, and need I mention gravy?
When I smoke chickens with the intention of making stock, I put the drip pan to work. Since it catches the delicious seasoned drippings and heats for about an hour, I infuse that liquid with additional aromatics, just as I would when simmering stock. (Whenever I ask a butcher to spatchcock or split chickens for me, I save and freeze the backbones for these occasions.) I also take extra care to keep the drip pan mixture free of ash. I clean the grates before I place the drip pan on the grate, and use a light hand when moving hot embers or adding more fuel, so I don’t kick up a flurry of ashes.