A good stock is the cornerstone of many great recipes. In this modern day we have somehow become convinced that we have to get our stock from the store, either in a can, cube or granules. The truth of the matter is that a good homemade stock is not only incredibly easy to make, it can be done for very little cost and geared exactly to your liking. Here is my base broth recipe using chicken, you can use the same base flavorings and quantities for any kind of kitchen scraps, let your imagination wander!
In a large pot, combine:
- 2 lbs chicken bones (think chicken backs, neck, ribs, thigh and drums from de-boning your own or just asking wherever you buy your chicken for extra bones) You can use either raw or the carcass from a cooked poultry (rotisserie chicken, Thanksgiving turkey maybe), the cooked remains will develop a deeper flavor than raw, and both are good.
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 medium onion quartered (No need to skin the onion here as long as the outside of the onion is clean - no dirt, the skin is only dried onion layers after all and have a lot of flavor)
- 1-2 carrots cut in half (same as the onion - no need to peel, just give them a scrub and cut them so they fit in the pot)
- 1 stalk of celery (you can leave the leaves on this one, just clean and toss the whole stalk in the pot)
- 1 clove garlic (You guessed it, just toss the whole thing in)
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh time (no fresh time, sub a tsp of dried)
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 3-4 peppercorns, whole
- 1 tsp salt
Bring the pot up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a light boil, heavy simmer for 2-3 hours. After about the first 30 minutes, you may see some foam on the top of the liquid. This is normal, especially when using raw bones. This won't hurt the stock, but you can use a slotted spoon to skim this off the top if you prefer. Once the liquid has reduced by about a quarter, the stock is ready. Pour the stock through a colander lined with cheese cloth or paper towels to separate the solids. Depending on the amount of skin and excess fat that was on the bones, you may have a layer of oil on the broth. If this is the case, you can place the broth in a refrigerator to make the fat easier to remove once it hardens. I like to separate the stock into pint sized containers and store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
The recipe is just a base, if you want a deeper flavored stock, add more bones. In the case of the vegetables, I keep a bag in the freezer for all of my onion and celery tops, leeks, chard stems etc. and will use them to make stock. This way, I waste very little in my kitchen and get some wonderful flavors to develop in homemade soups and stews.
Hope you enjoy!
Note from Rodrick: Barry is one of our loyal drop point customers from Cranberry Township drop point. Thanks for sharing, Barry.
P.S. This recipe works well for beef and pork stock also.