Stock is something integral to so many dishes. Soups, stews, sauces,….it is neverending!!! Of course you can buy canned stock which, in most cases, will work fine for what you need it for. But homemade stock is something special…the flavor, the depth, the organics, the love that goes into it..it’s something you can’t find in a can. So what I want to tell you is how EASY it is to make homemade stock!
You can make stock from almost anything..beef bones, veal bones, fish bones, shrimp shells, mushroom stems, vegetables, even scallop bits…these are only the beginning!! But chicken stock is the easiest and most versatile stock there is. If you have any leftover bones from roasting a chicken..Save them! You can use those to make a stock for more flavor! If you butcher your own chicken, save the bones to make a stock. (You can buy chicken pieces to make stock if you don’t have any on hand). You can also freeze chicken bones to make stock when you need it…wings, legs, backs…these are great for making stock!! The great flavor of stock comes from the connective tissue and cartilage of the bones (this creates gelatin which makes for a thicker stock).
Mirepoix is also integral to stock…carrots, onions, celery….these are classic. The addition of garlic, bay leaves, parsley /thyme/ other herb stems….is very common to add to a stock. You can also add things such as leek tops or other parts of the vegetable that you otherwise wouldn’t eat…it all depends on the flavor you want to impart into your stock.
If you haven’t made a stock before….this is your chance..you can freeze it for use at a later date or use it right away….You will never use store bought stock again !!!
You will need:
Chicken carcasses/bones/legs/wings…any bones..(chicken feet are a great source of gelatin and are CHEAP)
3-4 carrots rough chopped
3-4 onions rough chopped
1/2 bunch celery rough chopped
1 head of garlic cut in half
1 tsp. black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
(The amount of these ingredients will depend on how many bones you have and how big a pot you have to make it in. Fill your pot with bones then add your mirepoix after..)
Put all ingredients into a large stock pot. Add COLD water to cover and bring to a boil (cold water brings out the maximum flavor of the ingredients and prevents the stock from turning cloudy. It also doesn’t immediately cook the proteins. It allows them to float to the top where you can then skim them off later). Reduce to a simmer and skim any of the “foam” that rises to the surface. Leave simmering overnight.
Take as much fat as possible off the top of the stock. Strain and store in small containers to freeze for future use or use right away!!!
Beijos e Tchau!!