Forget bouillon cubes! Making your own stock will save you money and help you achieve more delicious results at home--plus you know exactly what ingredients constitute your stock (hard to say for some of the store-bought varieties).
One quart of chicken stock goes for about $3 in the store. It may not seem like a lot but over time, it adds up. You can make your own for next to nothing.
There are two things I started doing to help utilize trim and not waste anything at home:
- Incorporate a roasted whole chicken into your two-week meal planning. Save the carcass, bones, and any juices left after cooking. This will be the basis for your stock.
- Save vegetable trimmings in a ziplock bag in your freezer, accumulating until you have enough to make stock. Good items to include are onion, carrot, and celery trimmings, herb stems, and other vegetable trimmings based on your flavor preferences (fennel stalks, bell pepper meat, etc.).
Now, the recipe below may not make you the most flavorful stock, but it is cheap, better to use in cooking than water, and can be incorporated into many of your dishes.
Basic Stock Recipe for 2.5 Quarts
- 1 Ea. Chicken Carcass with excess bones and juices
- 1 Qt Vegetable trimmings from freezer
- 1 Cup Onions, large chop
- 1/2 Cup Carrots, large chop
- 1/2 Cup Celery, large chop
- 6 Ea. Garlic cloves crushed
- 3 Ea. Bay Leaves
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 1 Sprig Thyme
- 6 Ea. Peppercorns
- 1 Gallon Water
- Add all ingredients to large Sauce Pot. Cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, on low heat for 4-6 hours, until reduced by 1 Quart. Taste for flavor content. If you think it could use more flavor, then continue reducing until your desired outcome.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a container, and chill until 40 degrees F within 6 hours.
- Store in refrigerator for daily use or freeze for later use.
Applications (use instead of water):
- Cooking grains
- Making sauces
- Making soups
- Poaching items
- Thinning out sauces or soups that may be too thick (especially effective in light pasta sauces)
Thanks for checking out this week's Chef Tip: Make Your Own Stock. Check back for the Chef Tip Applied: Homemade Stock to Vegetable Soup. Contact with questions. Happy Cooking.