Sometimes doing things halfway is fine (Stock vs. Broth)

What’s the difference between stock & broth? Here’s some info I found here.

Stock: A strained liquid that results from simmering meats, fish, herbs, and vegetables in water. It is usually made by browning bones, vegetables and other ingredients before they’re cooked in the liquid for hours. Used as a basis for soups or sauces.

Broth: A flavorful, aromatic liquid made by simmering water or stock with meat or vegetables.

Generally speaking, stock has a heartier, richer flavor. This is mostly due to the bones used (broth is made with meat only and no bones). In most recipes the two can be interchanged with similar results. Fine chefs might tell you different, but for regular home cooking, the dish will be fine. However, note that broth may end up saltier than stock, so you may need to adjust your recipe accordingly

Looks wise, broth tends to be lighter in color (and flavor) and generally clear. Stock is darker & usually cloudy looking. Taste wise, Stock is richer & more flavorful. As noted above, there is a difference in the way each are made. In my opinion, you would never make your own broth. There are perfectly acceptable choices at any store. Stock on the other hand is a great thing to make. If you find yourself using broth often, it can be worth the time investment to make it occasionally to have on hand. It freezes well, so you can store it in several containers & defrost the amount you need. It isn’t hard to make, but it is definitely a time commitment. Lots of chopping & hours of simmering. Some day maybe I’ll do a post on making a “real” stock. But today is not the day.

I wanted to share my “halfway” stock with you today. It is really something in between the two. I made some tonight. I’ll give you a list of ingredients that I used, but you can fudge your way through with different measurements. As long as you have broth & a chicken (or Turkey) with bones & a little meat left on it, you can make this.

Halfway Stock
Roasted Chicken or Turkey Carcass with some meat remaining
Broth (Preferably Chicken, but Veggie broth will work in a pinch)
salt & pepper

As noted in yesterday’s post, I bought a rotisserie chicken from the Grocery store on Sunday to use for our pizza bar. We had used a little more than half the white meat, and most of the dark meat was untouched. I put the chicken in large pot & covered it with some broth (about 3-4 cups) & water, about 16 cups of liquid total. I added a couple cloves of garlic (just removed the skin & crushed with my knife to get the flavor going), a few bay leaves, a few tsps of poultry seasoning & a couple sprigs of thyme. I had all this stuff on hand, but really you could get away with just salt & pepper (which I added as well), but you would probably want to up the broth & use less water. I bring the whole thing to a boil & then down to a rolling simmer for about an hour. Once the meat has all fallen of the bones & the bones start to disconnect from each other, it’s time to drain. You can use a fine mesh strainer, but if you don’t have one, use a normal strainer to get the big “chunks” out & then pass it through again with a paper towel in the bottom of the strainer. Put the liquid back in the pot & let it simmer again for several hours. This sounds like a lot of work, but it is REALLY low maintenance. It doesn’t need stirring or fussing with. A great thing to make during a day at home cleaning or hanging with the kids.

Taste it occasionally & season with more salt & pepper as needed. Just remember, during the simmering process you are removing the water & concentrating the flavor, so it will be saltier in the end than it is in the beginning, even if you add no more salt. To be safe, you can wait until the end to adjust the seasoning. The last step is to let it cool a bit on the stove & wait for the “gunk” to come to the top. Mostly fat that you don’t need. Use a ladle or large spoon to skim the top layer & toss it out. Let it come to room temp before refrigerating or freezing. You can freeze it for about 3 months, and it will stay good in the fridge for about a week.

Tonight I used it in Risotto & it was DELISH!!!! Happy Stocking!

Bottom Line
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Make ahead: The whole recipe is make ahead! Make it when you have the time. Use it whenever you need it!

Cooking time: 2-3 hours

Servings: n/a


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