|Friday Night Stock Making|
Everyone who buys or grows a lot of vegetables, has a big pot and a few basic herbs and spices can make their own vegetable broth to use for soups or in sauces. If you have a left over chicken, turkey or some beef marrow bones, you can fortify your broth by simmering the bones and creating stock. The marrow in the bones will make your stock taste richer and will thicken the stock considerably. You’ll notice a layer of “gel” at the top of the stock once it has cooled or freezes. That’s the gelatin of the bones working it’s flavor goodness.
I recently saw a post from a reader that said they keep all their vegetable trimmings or vegetables that are past their prime and freeze them all in a bag. When the bag is full, they make broth. Brilliant! Now why didn’t I think of that? At the end of this week, I found I did indeed have a number of vegetables that I needed to use and no ambition to use them, so that with the bones from a store-bought roasted chicken and stock it was.
These “leftovers” made a large container (approximately 2 -3 quarts) that would have cost me at least $7.00 in the market. And will likely taste a whole lot better. Do that a couple of times a month and you save $168.00 a year. Nice…!
The basic vegetables to include would be carrots, onions, celery, but any other milder flavored vegetables should be fine to add. I, personally would stay away from strong flavored vegetables such as egg-plant, fennel, dill, etc., that would overpower the stock. You want flavors that play well with others so that you can use the broth an any number of soups, stews or sauces.
Chicken Stock (as above) – By Debra Crawford
Makes approximately 2 – 3 quarts
In a large 6 – quart pot
Chicken Bones and skin from roasted chicken
1 Large Yellow Onion
2 – 3 Stalks Celery
2 – 3 Medium Carrots
2 – Bay Leaves
2 – Sticks of Rosemary
4 – Sprigs of Thyme
4 – Cloves Garlic
2 – Small zucchini
1/4 – Small Cabbage
12 – Pepper Corns
1 – Tsp Salt
Roughly chopped the vegetables, place all ingredients in a large 6 – 8 quart stock pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil. Turn to low and simmer 3 – 4 hours, keeping the lid on. About 1/2 way through, taste test and add a little more salt if needed. Remember you are only making a base, you don’t need to have this taste like a finished product. You will be able to add additional flavoring when you incorporate it into a final recipe. Strain your stock into a large bowl and discard the bones, skin and vegetables. Let stock cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate or if not using within a couple days, freeze.