Making homemade stock is a great use of leftover chicken carcasses and can save you money from not having to buy chicken stock. Plus, it’s a lot healthier than pre-packaged stock and tastes better.
Differences Between Broth and Stock
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t sure what the difference was between stock and broth. Basically, broth is made from meat and stock is made from the bones with a little meat left on. Broth has a weaker flavor while stock has a rich, complex flavor that works well in many recipes from soup to sauces.
Making Chicken Stock
With chicken stock, all you need arethe bones and carcass of a chicken, some onions, celery, carrots and some fresh herbs. If you’ve decided to grow your own herbs, then making stock got even easier by adding some fresh thyme, garlic, dill and parsley.
Bones and carcass of chicken
2 onions, chopped
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped (plus add some of the celery leaves if you have them in – celery leaves are amazing for flavor)
2 carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
6-8 sprigs of parsley
Other options include:
Whole pepper corns
- Cut up your carcass into pieces (if not done already).
- Stick the carcass in a stock pot (oh, that’s why it’s called that :D) and cover with water.Add in vegetables and herbs.Bring it to a boil over high heat and then reduce to maintain a simmer. Skim off any foam.
- Simmer for 4 hours.
- Strain the stock by placing a colander over a large bowl. To get out as much liquid as possible, push down on the solids. Let the stock cool and refrigerate up to a week. After refrigerating overnight, you can remove the layer of fat that rises to the surface of the stock. You can freeze stock if you don’t plan on using all of it within a week.
Note that it’s best not to salt and pepper stock as you make it, so that you don’t have to worry about adding it to a recipe that already has salt in it. If needed, salt can be added when you use the stock.
I love to freeze my stock in freezer safe bags so I can make delicious recipes with it later.
How to make Beef Stock
Fresh, homemade beef broth is tasty and so flavorful compared to canned/packaged stock. Stock up on beef bones when they go on sale and then freeze them so you always have some on hand when you need to make beef broth.
4 lbs meaty beef bones (shank or short ribs)
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped (also add in celery leaves if possible)
2 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of fresh parsley
- Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F and placing the beef bones in a roasting pan. Once preheated, cook the bones uncovered for one hour. Then add the onions, celery and carrots to the roasting pan and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Transfer the bones and vegetables to a stock pot. Skim the fat out of the roasting pan and then add 2 cups of water to the pan. Using a spoon, scrape off the brown bits stuck to the bottom (they add a lot of flavor to the stock).
- Put the liquids into the stock pot and then add the herbs and remaining water (4 cups). Slowly bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 5 hours. If any foam rises to the top, skim it off.
- Strain the stock using a colander and/or cheesecloth and let cool. Refrigerate overnight and then skim off the layer of fat that rises to the surface.
Use within 3 days or divide up into individual portions and freeze. This recipe yields approximately 2.5 quarts.
Have you made homemade stock? Was it better than store bought? If you haven’t, do you plan to try? Tell me all about it in the comments.