Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chicken, Beef, and Vegetable Stock

Stock is called for in various recipes for cooking chicken or gravy, as a base for soups and Heidi Gunderson's "soy sauce" coming soon (check website, too:, and can be substituted for water when cooking rice or quinoa.  We started buying whole cut-up chickens for grilling, and the backbone and neck come included for cooking stock.  When we roast a whole chicken, we save the carcass for stock.  For for making beef stock, cut-up bone can often be bought in the butcher section at the grocery store.  For vegetable stock, the base is chopped tomatoes.  I made some vegetable stock, but never use it.  Of course it would be great for vegetarians.  I use a couple of 8-cup glass measuring cups for cooling the meat stocks.  The method shown here is based on Delia Smith's Cookery Course (see references).

Chicken Stock
1 broken-up bird carcass
5 c cold water or enough to cover carcass
1 carrot, cut in chunks (more if not using parsnip)
1 bunch (~5) green onions or 3 shallots, cut in chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into large chunks
1 leek, cleaned & cut into chunks (or more onions instead)
1 parsnip, cut into chunks, optional
8 whole black peppercorns 
a few parsley stalks
a pinch of thyme
1/2 heaping t salt

1.  Put everything in a large pot (tall and skinny is better than short and wide); bring to a boil; skim scum off top.
2.  Reduce heat, simmer with lid slightly off for 2 hr.
3.  Strain through a sieve into glass bowl or measuring cup.  Discard everything in the sieve.  Cool in fridge over night, uncovered.
4.  Skim fat off top and discard.  Don't worry about whether the chicken stock came out gelatinous or not.  It's great if it does. 
5.  Freeze leftovers.   I like to use 1 and 2-c size containers.

Beef Stock
3 lb beef marrowbones, in pieces
Same vegetables, herbs, and seasoning as chicken stock above, plus
2 additional stalks of celery (3 total)
1 bay leaf
5 c cold water

1.  Optional, for dark stock:  Roast bones with vegetables in a roasting pan on top shelf of oven for 45 min at 450 deg; baste occasionally.  Bone and vegetables will be brown on edges when done.
2.  Place everything from roasting pan into stock pot.  Add water, herbs, and seasoning.
3.  Simmer with lid slightly off for 2 hr.
4.  Follow chicken directions 3-5 for cooling, skimming fat, and storing.  Beef fat will not be gelatinous.  Beef stock is the base for Heidi's Gunderson's "soy sauce".
Vegetable Stock
5 c cold water
Same vegetables, herbs, and seasoning as chicken or beef stock above
1. Put everything in a large pot and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, simmer with lid slightly off for 2 hr.
3. Strain into glass bowl or measuring cup. Cool to room temperature.
5. Freeze leftovers.

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