Stocks

One of the first lessons you learn as a beginner chef is how to make stocks. Stocks are mainly used as the base for soups and sauces. They can also be used for braising, cooking rice, or even adding some moisture to a dish. The definition of a stock is extracting the flavour from meat, poultry, fish and their bones, vegetables, herbs and spices in a clear or dark thin liquid. The process can take 45 min to 24 hours, depending on the type of stock you are making. The idea is that the longer you take making a stock the more flavour you will extract from your ingredients. Modern day chefs are resorting to using the pressure cooker in making their stock. This approach reduces the amount of time needed to extract the same amount of flavour as a 24 hour approach, but don’t tell that to any old school chefs.

There mainly is four parts to stocks. The bones, water, mirepoix (which is referred to carrots, onions and celery but can be up to interpretation of the cook) and herbs/spices.

Ingredients for your chicken stocks

Types of Stocks

  • Chicken Stock-Made from chicken or the bones or both. You can roast the chicken/bones for a darker coloured stock or just use the blanching approach without draining the liquid.

Recipe for your Chicken Stocks
 
To make 1 Gallon/4 Litres of chicken stock follow this recipe.
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Ib or 2.5-3 kg Chicken bones
  • 1 lb or 500g Mirepoix
  • 5-6 qt or 5-6 L Water
  • 1 Sachet(herbs and spices tied in a cheesecloth)
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for a minimum of 45 minutes to 4 hours.
  2. Strain all the ingredients from the liquid and use your stock accordingly. You can freeze your stock for 3 months or keep in the fridge for 1 week.

 

  • White Stock-Is mainly made from beef and veal bones. Small quantity of chicken bones or pork bones can be added at times. To make a white stock, the bones are blanched and drained in order to get rid of any impurities that exist on the bones. These impurities make the stock cloudy thus preventing you from making a white stock.

Recipe for your White Stocks
 
A white stock is the process of blanching the bones in preparation for placing them in the stock pot. The purpose is to rid of any impurities on the bones in which cause cloudiness in your stock. To make 1 Gallon/4 Litres of white stock follow this recipe.
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Ib or 2.5-3 kg Bones
  • 1 lb or 500g Mirepoix
  • 5-6 qt or 5-6 L Water
  • 1 Sachet(herbs and spices tied in a cheesecloth)
Instructions
  1. Rinse bones in cold water. Place bones in stock pot and cover with cold water and bring water to boil.
  2. The impurities dissolve more readily in cold water and when the water comes to a boil they rise to the top.
  3. Drain the bones and rinse them well. The bones are ready for the stock pot.
  4. Place all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for a minimum of 45 minutes to 4 hours.
  5. Strain all the ingredients from the liquid and use your stock accordingly. You can freeze your stock for 3 months or keep in the fridge for 1 week.

 

  • Brown Stock-Is made from beef and veal bones that have been browned in the oven. The roasting of these bones helps extract more flavour and colour out. The vegetables are also browned along with some acid such as tomato paste. The acid helps break down the connective tissue on the bones thus resulting in forming gelatine in the stock. The gelatine help create more body within the stock.

Recipe for your Brown Stocks
 
Roasting the bones and mirepoix give this brown stock its depth and colour. To make 1 Gallon/4 Litres of brown stock follow this recipe.
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Ib or 2.5-3 kg Chicken bones
  • 1 lb or 500g Mirepoix
  • 8 oz or 250 g Tomato product
  • 5-6 qt or 5-6 L Water
  • 1 Sachet(herbs and spices tied in a cheesecloth)
Instructions
  1. Place the bones in a roasting pan, lightly coat with oil and salt and roast for 1 hour at 375F/190C.
  2. After an hour add your mirepoix to the roasting pan with your tomato product. I use tomato paste. Roast another 15 minutes.
  3. Once all the ingredients are browned nicely, add them to the stock pot with the water and your sachet. Deglaze the pan with some water as you don't want to leave anything behind in the pan.
  4. Bring to a boil and then a simmer for at least 4 hours. Skim any fat or impurities that rise to the top.
  5. Once you are done cooking, strain the ingredients from your stock. You can store the stock in the fridge for a week or freeze for several months.

 

  • Fish Stock-Is mainly made from fish trimmings or bones. Bones from lean white fish are often the best choice for making fish stock as they add great flavour.

Recipe for your Fish Stocks
 
To make 1 Gallon/4 Litres of fish stock follow this recipe.
Ingredients
  • 5-6 Ib or 2.5-3 kg Fish bones
  • 8 oz or 250g Mirepoix
  • 1 gal or 4 L Water
  • 8 fl oz or 250 ml White wine
  • 1 Sachet(herbs and spices tied in a cheesecloth)
Instructions
  1. Add your bones, mirepoix and water in a stock pot. Cook for 5 min on medium heat until liquid comes to a simmer.
  2. Add your white wine and sachet, bring back to a simmer for 30 to 45 minutes and skim the top for any impurities.
  3. Once done cooking strain the ingredients from the liquid. You can store this in the refrigerator 3-4 days.

 

  • Other Stocks-Lamb, game, turkey, ham and other stocks have other uses.

In a restaurant stocks make sense but why use it in your home. Flavour, flavour and more flavour. If you like cooking and making good food than stocks should be part of your game plan. Stocks in your home seem like a lot of work but are definitely worth it and if you really think about it, most stocks can be made within 45 minutes. Almost as long as it takes you to eat dinner and clean up after. You can also take a different approach and cook a bunch of stocks on one of your days off. Its therapeutic and the stocks can be stored in your freezer in bags or in an ice cube tray for further use on another day. If you are a busy person try experimenting with a crock pot. Its no different than doing it on your stove and you don’t have to monitor it.

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