Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU
Foundation of Cooking
Whether it’s beef, fish, chicken or veggie, stocks are the base of most soups, sauces, stews and broths. A great stock will make or break a dish. The French call them “fond,” which actually means foundation of cuisine.
What goes into a stock? Food scraps you would normally throw away! Save your meat bones for stock preparation. And while this recipe uses fresh, whole vegetables, I like reducing the waste from my kitchen by saving veggie scraps for use in my stocks. Instead of composting your carrot peelings, scallion bases and mushroom stems, throw them in the stock pot!
Nothing makes a house smell like a home than a good stock simmering away in the kitchen. So take your time, buy — or grow — the best ingredients and enjoy!
Your Basic Chicken Stock
- 6 pounds bones (beef, game, chicken, fowl, fish heads and bones) or assorted veggie scraps
- 1 large onion
- 3 large carrots
- 1/2 cup water or wine (white for fish or chicken or red for beef or game)
- 2 stalks celery, including some leaves
- 1 large tomato
- 1/2 cup chopped parsnip
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 12 cups water
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rough chop the onion, scrubbed celery, tomato, parsnips and carrots into chunks. Roast bones and veggies uncovered in a large shallow roasting pan for about 30 minutes or until the bones and veggies are well browned, turning occasionally.
- Drain off fat. Place the browned bones and veggies in a large soup pot. Pour 1/2 cup wine into the roasting pan stir to remove caramelized bits. Pour this liquid into soup pot. Add peppercorns, parsley, bay leaf, salt, thyme, and garlic. Add the 10-12 cups water, just enough to cover.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer for 4-5 hours for beef, 2-3 hours for chicken, 1-2 hours for fish or veggies. Strain stock. Discard solids (unless you want to pick through them and use the veggies in another dish such as pureed veggies).
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze.