Every now and then, you’ll encounter a recipe that lists stock in its ingredients. Chicken stock or vegetable stock — you can substitute bouillon cubes or granules or even simply water when the recipe calls for it, but the resulting dish won’t be as flavorful as you want it to be.
But making stock isn’t as hard as it looks because you’re basically boiling ingredients for a long time. Plus, you can simply store the stock in the freezer for future use. No need to waste time making stock whenever a recipe calls for it, because stock can last for months when stored properly in the freezer.
So how does one make basic stock? Here are the basics you need to know to cook up chicken stock and vegetable stock
Chicken stock is one of the most versatile ingredients out there. It can be used for sauces, soups, and many other dishes. To make, you need chicken bones. You can either start from scratch and them cook the bones in the oven first, or you can use leftover chicken bones from an already cooked chicken you had for a meal. Combine the bones in a large pot and then add cut up vegetables like onion, parsley, or carrots for more flavor.
Cover the bones and the vegetables with water and then add salt and pepper before bringing to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and then simmer for 3-4 hours. Once you’re done, simply strain the stock.
The steps to make stock is basically the same throughout, you just change the ingredients depending on the type of stock you need to make. If you’re a vegetarian or simply want to make use your leftover vegetables, you can easily make vegetable stock.
As much as its tempting to put every kind of vegetables out there, it’s better to stick to the basics because some vegetables can make the stock too starchy or bitter. Onion, carrots, parsley, tomatoes, and mushrooms are good starting points for vegetable stock. Make sure to have an equal portion of each vegetable to create a balanced flavor.
Combine all of your chopped vegetables in a pot and then cover with water. Bring to a simmer for an hour and then strain.
If you’re using your stock on a future day, store your stock in the freezer properly. Once your stock has cooled, put them in a freezer-safe zip up bag or a storage container. You can also freeze the stock on an ice cube tray first before transferring to your container of choice to make life easier for you when you use them in recipes.
Will you make your own stock when a recipe calls for it?