Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to do something new with stock this month. It’s a Back to Basics for January, advanced level.
Level of Commitment: Baby Steps
We’ve often talked about making homemade stocks and bone broths (I’m using those terms interchangeably here, but they do have slightly different meanings usually):
- How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock/Broth
- Homemade Stock Updates and Tips
- Incorporate Stock Regularly into your Meal Plan
- How to Make Bone Broth with Serious Gel
If you still don’t make your own stock (gasp!), do grab some chicken with bones – whole or parts – and give it a try. You’ll wonder why you haven’t taken the plunge before.
Please? Do it for me.
I’ve always had problems in the past keeping up on my stock. I would end up with 3 two-cup bags of shredded chicken in the freezer from a whole chicken, but I’d be already out of homemade stock.
My new upgrade has literally reversed the problem, and I’m now wondering, “Where’s the chicken?” and using broth in everything because I have so much.
(Top photo is Sausage, Bean and Greens Soup from The Everything Beans Book)
Some Ideas for Your “Something New”
- Beef broth: Maybe you, like I was for years, prefer the simplicity of chicken stock and have yet to make beef broth. You’ll love the GNOWFGLINS eCourse Fundamentals II, where Wardeh will teach you (and me, too!) how to make a deep, rich brown broth. I’ve made beef broth two or three times, and this recipe from Kellyguided me.I generally use mine for Kelly’s equally awesome French Onion Soup or a simple beef vegetable soup with whatever I have on hand.
- Fish stock: You could try fish stock, which is definitely something in the “later, maybe” category for me. I’m still working on getting my husband to eat fish, period. I’ve always also used the excuse in my head that by golly, I don’t know where to get fish bones!
However, I just realized that I live in a state of 10,000 lakes (give or take) and a family of fishermen. Why have I never asked for carcasses when folks fish in the summer? Sorry, honey…we might just have fish soup in a few months!
- Smash the bones: I took a meat tenderizer and cracked all the bones this last time I made stock. Holy cow is that a potentially messy endeavor, but kind of gratifying at the same time. Too stubborn to create extra dishes, I simply placed the bone on the stainless steel between the two kitchen sinks and banged away.
- Use the tips in How to Make Bone Broth with Serious Gel and make a goal to get stock like the one pictured below from Lauren:
- Use chicken feet: Talk to your butcher, your farmer, or your friendly neighbor who has chickens running around. If they’ll give you the feet, use them for superbly gelatinous broth. Be sure to ask whether they’re skinned or if you have to do it yourself… (more here)
- Try seaweed: When I remember, I add a strip of “kombu” to the stock at the end with the veggies or parsley. This imparts additional minerals and salt (and doesn’t taste fishy at all).
- A new place: If you always make stock on the stovetop, try a slow cooker. If you always use your slow cooker, try a stockpot.
- Roast vs. boil: Do you boil a raw chicken or roast it first? Try the opposite and compare.
- Change up the timing: You can make chicken stock in anywhere from 4-24 hours. Do something different this time…
- Same bones, multiple batches: My big change that has me swimming in stock and looking for chicken is reusing the bones two or three times for multiple batches of stock! It’s awesome.
- Keep some in your fridge: It was a new idea for me that I could reboil stock every 5 days, and it would somehow “reset” its life expectancy. This method could allow you to keep stock thawed so that you could use it more often, even if you haven’t planned ahead. (Thanks for that tip, Kimi!) Broth boosts immunities, so especially in wintertime, it’s great to use often. We also take fermented cod liver oil on a daily basis to keep up our stores of Vitamin D when the sunshine is elusive.
- You can can homemade stock too!
- Use it in things that aren’t soup: Maybe your stock has always been just for soup. Try chicken rice-a-roni (homemade) with chicken stock, or include any stock in a recipe in place of the water called for.
- A new recipe: Maybe you already do everything above or just don’t want to try something new. Check out this list of recipes with homemade stock from real food bloggers or my soup recipes and find a new love.
- Check out this vegetable bouillon that you can make homemade and keep in the fridge! I might make some for Lent…
What else? Can you think of another good challenge/upgrade that we who are already stock makers could tackle?
Disclosure: Green Pasture is a KS sponsor this month, and I always mention my advertisers in one post. Thanks for visiting them, since they support what I do here! I also partner with GNOWFGILNS. See my full disclosure statement here.