Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Broth and Stock

Today my house is filled with the enticing aroma of chicken, onion, carrot, and spices, but I've spent only about 2 minutes in the kitchen. "A stock is the liquid obtained from simmering together of meat, bones--or fish trimmings--with vegetables, seasonings, and water," writes Julia Child in Volume One of Mastering the art of French Cooking. Homemade broths and stocks increase the flavor and produce a silky mouth feel in many recipes. Stocks usually refer to liquids made with bones and a broth refers to those without bones. Put together anything that you like and have on hand to make a broth or stock. In my recipes, broths and stocks can be used interchangeably. Here is one that I'm cooking right now from leftover bits in my refrigerator. I've also given you my tomato soup recipe (what I had for lunch) that uses the chicken broth.

Chicken Broth
Chicken carcass (mine is what's left the organic chicken that I cooked in the slow cooker)
1 celery stalk
1 carrot, cut into pieces
1 bunch fresh chives (these are just coming up in the beds around my house)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cup spinach
Put all the ingredients together in a large pot and add enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the ingredients are thoroughly cooked and look spent and limp, usually for several hours. Train the liquid, and allow it to cool in the refrigerator. Scrape off the fat that solidifies on the cooled broth or stock and discard. Keep broths and stocks in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a year.

Tomato Soup
1 cup stock
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and bring to a boil. Note, if your stock is very rich (it congeals solid in the fridge) you may want to dilute it and use1/2 cup stock and 1/2 cup water.

Update: I have to make this without the chives because they are high in sulfur.

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