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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cooking Mini Skill: Making Stock and Broth

Several friends have asked me how to make broth or stock.  They seem to expect it to be difficult.

The truth is, making broth or stock is about as simple as cooking gets!

First, a mini rant:  Paleo people.  I think that your diet plan is pretty good. Any diet that encourages people to eat real food, avoids chemical additives, encourages people to buy local products, and to shop the perimeter of their grocery store is fine by me!  But really, it is NOT "bone broth."  It is "STOCK."  You didn't just invent it.  It's delicious and you don't need to re-market it!  Rant complete.

To make stock, you boil bones. (e.g. a chicken carcass left over from roast chicken, a beef soup bone,  fish bones, etc. )

To make broth, you boil meat and or vegetables. (e.g. chicken, beef, fish, a combination of celery, onion, carrot and garlic, etc.)

You add salt to taste for both.  It is that simple.

Don't believe me?  Ok... let's make chicken stock.

 I was lazy last night, so I bought a small roast chicken from the local grocery.  My husband and I ate most of the meat off of it for dinner.  I refrigerated its remains over night.

This morning, I put the chicken in a pot, added about a tablespoon of salt (to taste!), covered the chicken with water and brought it to a boil.  Most recipes will tell you to boil it for 20 minutes or so.   
Really, you can boil it for as long as you want to make the flavor as intense as you want it to beJust taste it periodically to see.

(Caution: Do not forget that you have it on the stove and allow the water to evaporate completely, or
you will wind up with a burnt mess.)

I put a colander in a bowl and poured the chicken into it.  The water, of course, stayed in the bowl and the chicken stayed in the colander.

The water is now stock!

Homemade stock or broth may appear cloudier than broth that you buy from a can.  This is normal!  The broth in a can is highly processed. It is filtered. It contains additives to it to preserve it.  The
broth that you make at home is much more basic, and much healthier.

You can now refrigerate the broth for a week or freeze it for up to a couple months for use later to make soup. Or you can use immediately to make soup or other dishes. (You can pick the remaining meat off of the strained chicken bones, add veggies and spices, boil together and voila! Chicken soup!)

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