I do realize that both stocks and broths are not very economical to prepare at home, and the art of doing so is long gone I am afraid. But I am adding this post for those of you who happened to want to make it, as well as the aspiring chef or cook who would like to make it for their restaurant.
My father, the second Yankee Chef, always(and I do mean always) used homemade stocks and broths in every one of his recipes. Certainly he could have taken the easy route, even at home, but there wasn't any way you would ever catch him with a can of broth. And his Chicken Noodle soup proved it. Once you make your own Chicken Stock and use it in any preparation, you immediately notice the difference. Thats why most restaurants have a stock pot simmering on the back of the stove all day long. Especially Asian restaurants, where you will always see stock being ladled into a hot wok to be worked into whatever preparation they are creating.
The difference between stock and broth? Stock is made with bones while broth is not. Look below to find the main types of stocks used universally, with the method of clarifying them for consomme's and soups. Feel free to cut the recipes in half or double up, whatever you need to do.
Of course what can you say about chicken stock and broth? It is a perfect base for rice dishes, basting, pot pies, French "Mother Sauces", gravies, soups or even reheating leftover skillet dishes.
Makes about 8 cups
4-5 pounds chicken carcasses
2 unpeeled onions, quartered
3 carrots, washed and roughly chopped
2 celery ribs with leaves, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and lightly crushed
A large bouquet garni of your choice*, optional
Put everything in a large stock pot, cover with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, add the bouquet garni if desired and let simmer for 4-7 hours, depending how concentrated you want the flavor. As it is simmering, gently ladle off the foam that appears on top of the stock. When ready, and using a ladle, transfer the liquid through a fine sieve line with either a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a pot. Cool in refrigerator until ready to use or freeze, which will last for many weeks. I pour a very concentrated stock into an ice cube tray and use 1 or two whenever I need to. If you prefer the fat to be absent in your stock, once the stock is chilled, you will notice the fat has coagulated on top. You can almost lift if off with your hands alone to dispose of.
*I like a mixture of thyme, marjoram, peppercorns, bay leaf and savory tied up in a piece of cheesecloth for my garni. About 1/4 cup total total.
Makes about 6 cups
Fish stocks are great for classic aspics, consomme, paellas, fish stews, steaming vegetables, chowders and bouillabaisse.
1 tablespoon butter
2 pounds fish bones, heads, fins and any trimmings you can get
1 onion, sliced thickly
1 peeled and thinly sliced carrot
5 cups water
8 peppercorns, your choice of color
Met the butter in a large pot you will be using for a stock pot over medium heat. Add the fish trimmings, vegetables, water and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Follow directions for Chicken Stock for the remainder of the preparation.
Gravies, salad dressings, cooking pasta in half water and half vegetable stock, stews, soups, stuffings and stir-fry's benefit from true vegetable stock.
Makes about 6 cups
1 unpeeled onion, thickly sliced
1 turnip, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 pound fresh green beans
1/4 pound cabbage, dark green leaves removed and remainder shredded
2 ribs celery, chopped roughly
4 ounces mushrooms, rinsed
1 large bouquet garnis(refer to Chicken Stock recipe)
2 bay leaves
Add all ingredients to a large stock pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Follow directions for Chicken Stock preparation.
This fragrant, rich stock belongs as the beginning of bisques, ciopppino, newburgs, paella, risotto, creoles and some chowders.
1 pound shrimp, crab or lobster shells, including legs
1 onion, unpeeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, washed and roughly chopped
1 rib celery with leaves, roughly chopped
6 cups water
1 small bouquet garni, about 2 tablespoons total)
Combine all ingredients ion a large pot and follow directions for Chicken Stock preparation.
I can't think of one Japanese soup that doesn't use some type of Dashi, especially those made with noodles. All the items can be found in a health food store.
5-inch piece of dried kelp, wiped clean and sliced into strips
6 cups water
6 cups Bonito flakes
Place the kelp and water over medium heat until boiling. When it begins to boil, remove kelp with a slotted spoon to a bowl and add the bonito flakes. Turn off the heat and let the flakes sink to the bottom of the pot Strain through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a pot, saving the flakes and kelp for making Standard Dashi.
Bonito Flake picture, courtesy of Sakurai Midori from Wikipedia.
Makes about 6 cups
6 cups water
Used bonito flakes(from above) and kelp from Imperial Dashi
Put all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over low heat. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Strain as per Imperial Dashi recipe.
Soba noodles are an important match for Miso Broth. Steaming fish and shellfish as well, take a coveted role on the dinner table when steamed in this rich broth.
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1/2 small onion, peeled and minced
1/4 cup saki or rice wine
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup red miso paste
1 tablespoon chili oil
6 cups chicken stock
In a large pot, add sesame oil over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil Remove and follow straining instructions as in Chicken Stock.
Classic Beef Stock
A variety of ingredients can be used in make beef stock. Remember a couple of things though. Veal bones are much more intense than beef bones, adding beef only if there is no meat on the bones. I add chicken carcasses every time I make beef stock because of the gelatin it infuses into my stock. Just don't mix lamb bones when making beef stock, but you can add beef bones to lamb stock. Add whatever vegetables you prefer, such as carrots, cabbage, green beans, celery, onions, leeks, parsley and garlic. .and always cover your stock ingredients with at least 2-inches of water. As soon as your stock is boiling, always reduce the heat to low and simmer 4-6 hours, depending on the intensity you prefer. Wait until you reduce heat to low when adding spices or a bouquet garni.
To make a great Brown Stock, take all of your ingredients, except the bouquet garni, and roast them in the oven at 450-degrees F for at least 30 minutes. Then transfer to your stock pot to simmer as directed for Beef Broth. This produces and intense roasted 'fond', thereby giving your stock much more depth of flavor.
Here is how to clarify stocks for a great presentation. This method is perfect for any type of stock.
To clarify 2 quarts of stock
Remove the chilled stock from the refrigerator. Use a large spoon to lift off the fat that has congealed on top. Pour the stock into a large pot and place on the stove but do not turn on the heat.
Whip the egg whites from 8 eggs in a large bowl until the whites are foamy. Pour the whites into the chilled stock and stir to combine. Turn on the heat to medium. Wipe the mixing bowl clean and reserve for later use.
Allow the stock to come to a gentle simmer. Stir constantly. As they are stirred, the egg whites cook in the stock and begin to rise to the surface, forming a cloud-like mass.
Watch the simmering liquid for any signs that the liquid is about to boil. Cease stirring and lower the temperature to the barest heat possible if it begins to boil. Allow the stock to cook at this temperature for 30 minutes. Do not stir it and immediately remove the stock from the heat if it begins to boil.
Lay cheesecloth or coffee filter inside a strainer. Place the strainer over the large mixing bowl. Transfer the stockpot from the stove to a heat resistant work surface, such as a wooden board. Gently spoon off the cloud-like mass formed by the egg whites and place in the middle of the strainer.
Pour the hot stock into the strainer through the egg whites. Discard the egg whites once all the liquid has dripped into the bowl. The clarified stock is now ready for whatever preparation you need