I figured that so long as I was trying to make chicken stock, and so long as I had some scraps and spare vegetables from other recipes, and a fridge drawer full of some veggies I wouldn’t necessarily be using quickly (the place where my boyfriend works trades goods with a local farmer, so he bought me what they got in trade), I may as well try my hand at making some vegetable stock. 

(I still have a drawer with a large bag of beets and some patty pan squashes and a zucchini that I could probably use as an assault weapon. Seeking suggestions.)

Some tips for making veggie stock that I got from both this recipe and a good friend: 

  • don’t use carrot tops (they make it bitter)
  • beets will give it a weird color
  • don’t salt your stock (since you don’t know the salt levels of what recipes you’re using it in might call for)
  • only simmer your stock for 120 mins (2 hours) tops, as the stock doesn’t have collagen in it that needs to develop like a meat stock

And generally, your recipe for this is gonna vary heavily, depending on whatever you have available. I used leeks and leftover leek ends, some spare carrots, shallots, parmesan rinds, peppercorns, garlic, kale, and a patty pan squash.  Honestly, just save your veggie scraps from whatever you might’ve been making, and use those. 

Also? This is gonna make a lot. I used half of that big container (six cups) in an upcoming recipe. I’m gonna have enough for a damn long time. 

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients

  • whatever vegetable scraps/leftover vegetables from other recipes you might have on hand (see above for what all I used this time, and for what not to use)
  • parmesan rinds (seriously, these add a great flavor)
  • bay leaf
  • small handful of peppercorns
  • peeled garlic cloves, maybe a shallot
  • water
  • (original recipe recommends herbs of choice and sea salt, honestly, you don’t need much more than the above)

In a large pot, take your vegetables/vegetable scraps, parmesan rinds, bay leaf, peppercorns, peeled garlic cloves and shallot, and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer, and simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, until the stock looks similar to picture 3. Take a slotted spoon, scoop the boiled veggies out, and then run the soup through a strainer, to catch whatever may have been missed by the slotted spoon. 

Put the stock in a storage container, and depending on what you’re going to do with it, either use immediately, toss in the fridge for a few days, or store in the freezer for long term use. 

So, I’ve been meaning to try my hand at making chicken stock for a while, I’ve just been lacking a chicken carcass to do it with. As it happened, the gentleman whose apartment I’m taking care of was kind enough to leave me one in his freezer from right before he left for Paris, so with a pretty lazy Sunday in front of me, yesterday afternoon seemed like a good time to try my hand at it. And with a recipe of tithenai‘s that seananmcguire posted that’s been lurking in the back of my head a good long while, well, let’s just say I’m set for a meat soup base for a good long while. Also? This makes the apartment smell fantastic when you’re cooking it.

Tithenai’s Chicken Stock

Ingredients

  • chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium to large (or 2 smaller) carrot, chopped
  • 1 leek, white to pale green bits chopped (save the tough green bits for vegetable stock)
  • peeled garlic cloves to personal taste
  • water
  • 1 large stick cinnamon (or 2 small)
  • 1 stalk rosemary

Take your chicken carcass, and chopped onion, carrot, and leek, and put them in a pot. Add your peeled garlic cloves, to personal taste. (I added in like five, because of my love of garlic) Add water until the chicken carcass is covered. Then, add in a stalk of rosemary, and your cinnamon stick. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat, cover, and let cook for six to eight hours. I went with six. Stir at least twice an hour, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting around hour two. Pictures four and five are after about one hour, and three hours, respectively. Picture six is what your stock will look like after about six hours, and with the heat turned off. 

Take a metal strainer, put a bowl underneath it, and slowly pour the contents of the pot through the strainer. (I ended up working in batches. Pic seven shows my strained stock, pot contents in the strainer on the left, and the already strained stock on the right. Be sure you have paper towel down around your work area to catch any stock that might jump out of the bowl as you pour.)

Then, take your stock, and use either immediately, put it in the fridge for a few days, or put in containers and store in the freezer until needed.