Stock makes the foundation of any good soup and curry and here is a recipe and tips to make the best Chicken Stock.
Today we are talking about Chicken Stock. I thought there could not be any better thing to start the soup series with.
Stock or broth is nothing but flavoured water. You can find a pot of veg/chicken stock (usually) simmering away in any given kitchen. It is the foundation to most of your soups, curries, pastas etc. It is literally used in place of water, so that it gives the dish a little more flavour and body.
Most commercial kitchens have dish specific or cuisine specific stocks in the kitchen. But when made at home I think it’s best to keep it neutral. You want bold flavours but not something that will overpower the actual dish you are making. There is a set of ingredients that are very important to make a stock.
Aromatics are ingredients vegetables that deliver deep, rounded flavour and aroma when heated or crushed. Vegetables like onion, carrot, leek, celery, garlic, ginger, coriander or parsley stems are very handy aromatics.
Herbs & Spices
The second thing one must think about is the herbs and spices. This will give that punch to your stock. Herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander leaves, bay leaves etc work very well. Also, the scraps of these herbs that we don’t normally use in cooking work so stock could be a great way to use them. Then come the spices and the most basic ones being black peppercorn and salt.
Then last but not the least the protein of your choice. Can be chicken, mutton, fish, beef and sometimes even dried mushrooms are used. Intresentigly the kind of cut of protein you use can have a deep impact on how your stock looks and tastes.
Chicken breast & thigh make the stock with the most intense chicken flavour but it also makes a very thin stock. I guess the lack of collagen from the bones makes a difference here.
Chicken wings make the stock with the most body, again I think a direct correlation to joints and cartilage. But at the same time, the stock made with wings is not very chicken-y.
Bones which are most popular to make a stock, since they are cheaper, have sufficient collagen and are often leftovers from other cooking, make a decently chicken-y stock with a medium body. This is what I personally prefer the most, though sometimes I like to add in a wing or two extra along with bones.
There are two ways of making a stock. You either roast the vegetables and meat bones and then boil it down with water. This gives you a deeper brown colour and flavour. In order to keep it totally neutral, you just sear the bones a little, add the aromatics and then boil or in this case pressure cook it on low for about 30-45 mins. Strain and use in any dish you want. This is one of the best ways to use up any vegetables that is slowly going bad in the pantry.
Another thing that is often spoken about while making a stock is “skimming”. Skimming is the removing of all the froth that develops on top while the stock is simmering. There are people who say that this is the most critical step in making of a stock. Honestly, I am not sure it makes so much of a difference. Skimming does lead to a clear stock but the flavour doesn’t change too much. Besides I often end up making my stock in a pressure cooker or insta pot rather than open pot and there is no point of skimming in that case.
Hope these tips help you with making of a delicious stock. Like I said in the start this is the start of the Soup & Stew series I am planning. So do stay tuned.
Coming up Next – Insta Pot Veg Stock
Chicken Stock 101
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Onion
- 2 tbsp Coriander stem chopped
- 3 inch Ginger 3 slices
- 6 Garlic
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp Black peppercorn
- 1 tsp Salt
- 250 gm Chicken bones
- 1 ltr Water
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- Do not peel any of the vegetables. Just wash it well and chop into big chunks.
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and sear off the chicken bones for about 5-6 mins.
- Then add the vegetables, herbs and spice and mix well
- After a minute add water and salt and mix well. (when adding salt keep in mind that it is not to be served directly but to flavour another dish. So salt it accordingly)
- Cover and let it pressure cook for 30-45 mins in low.
- Let it cool completely, strain it and store in containers, preferably in a freezer so that it can be used for a longer duration.
You can use the stock in the following recipes 🙂