Submitted by Rockzilla
A good stock is the foundation of any good recipe. Commercial stocks are thin and obscenely salty, the polar opposite of what makes a good stock. Here's how you can make your own.
- 3 Chicken Carcasses (about 2 pounds, or 1kg)
- 2 1/2 Quarts of cold water (preferably filtered)
- 1/2 pound Vegetable Scraps (The classic method uses onion, carrot and celery, but you can use just about anything)
- Herbs & Spices (Parsley, Thyme and Bay leaf are traditional, but I'm using Garlic, Ginger, Peppercorns and Cumin
- A large stockpot
- Rinse the carcasses thoroughly in cold water.
- Chop the aromatics roughly. They don't need to be pretty, you'll be throwing them away at the end.
- Add the carcasses, aromatics and water to the pot and set over low heat. Cold water and low heat are crucial because the gelatine from the bones is extracted easier with cold water and vigorous heat will disturb all of the impurities in the carcasses, resulting in a cloudy stock.
- Eventually, a sort of scum will form on the top of the stock
- These are the impurities from the chicken bones. We don't want them in our stock, so we should skim them off.
- Leave the stock to simmer for about 4-5 hours, topping up the water level when needed. Eventually you'll wind up with a rich, amber stock.
- Allow the stock to cool to room temperature (Hooray for Canadian Winters!)
- There will be a layer of fat on the top of the stock. The easiest way to get rid of this is to cool the stock completely, wait for the fat to solidify and pick it off by hand.
- Once the stock has cooled, carefully remove the chicken carcasses and strain out the rest of the aromatics.
- Portion the stock out into smaller containers and freeze. I used margarine containers, but ice cube trays or Ziploc bags work just as well.
- Once fully cooled, your stock should have some thickness and body to it. This comes from the gelatin extracted from the bones. This texture will make a huge difference in the flavour of anything you use it in.
- Chicken stock can be used interchangably with water when you want to make soup, rice, or sauces. It can also be reduced into a glaze.
- You can even use stock in place of water when making a fresh batch of stock for an even deeper flavour.
- Stock can also be made with Beef/Veal bones, but the cooking time should be increased to 6-8 hours. When using Fish bones for a fish stock, or just pure vegetable scraps for a Vegetable Stock, the cooking time should only be 45 minutes-1 hour.