Stock cubes are up there with one of the worst inventions in the cookery world.
Yes they’re convenient, but they’re loaded with salt, the ones that aren’t still are and the flavour of stock cubes overpowers your meals making everything from pasta to casseroles taste like *insert brand name here*.
With the trend of ‘bone broth’ (or stock), I was hoping people might pick up this ever decreasing art for several reasons.
- Gives you back control and enhances the final flavour of your meal
- Utilises vegetable scraps and meat bones
- Saves you money
Making Stock Is A Chef’s Secret Weapon
And it’s so simple to do!
Below I’m going to give you a recipe for oven to hob chicken stock plus a couple of variations in the hints and tips section.
Start here and work up. And what I mean by that is this stock recipe is a foundation recipe. Once you’re happy with making it, start experimenting with different flavours to suit the meals you’re going to use it for.
For example, you might be making a Chinese Chicken and Noodle soup, so on top of this recipe, add star anise, cloves, turmeric, ginger and additional garlic.
Sourcing Your Bones For Free
A money saving tip, butchers will often give you bones for free!
Every week, I head to my local butchers and ask for whatever bones I need. And if I ring them in advance, they’ll keep a couple of days worth.
Done. Free stock bones and normally a sausage roll for the way home.
This compared to supermarkets that normally charge for bones is a bonus!
Let’s Get Cooking!
You’ll notice there’s no salt in this recipe and that’s for a very good reason – you don’t need it!
Always season your food at the end, not at the beginning. Things reduce down and once everything is reduced do you begin adjusting the season if needed.
- 1 chicken carcass
- 1 leek roughly chopped
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 1 onion roughly chopped and skin left on if you like
- 1 garlic bulb halved
- A handful of herbs that include rosemary, thyme, a bay leaf and parsley
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- A large stock pot or oven to hob casserole dish. It needs to be big enough for all of the above plus everything to be fully covered in water.
- Oven preheated to 220°C/200°Fan
- Put your chicken carcass in your pot and roast until golden. This can take anywhere from 30 to 45mins. When you take it out, you can either pour away the fat or keep it. I keep it for flavour but also because when you come to putting it in the fridge, the fat solidifies at the top of the jar and you can scrap it away then or use it for cooking.
- Add all of your vegetables and herbs. Cover with enough cold tap water so everything is submerged.
- Simmer for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
- Drain and strain all of the bones, vegetables and herbs away from the stock liquid (I simply put a colander over a bowl) then pour your stock in to jars. Cool and put in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to 6 months.
Hints & Tips
- You can simmer the stock for up to 24 hours if you’d like. It just means the flavours with have longer to infuse. Also double check your water doesn’t evaporate. Scrapping burnt stock ingredients off a pan is not fun haha!
- Some people say you can use a slow cooker and to a point this is true but with caution. Using a slow cooker will result in a watery stock using the timings above. However, if you use the low setting for 24 hours, I’ve found that to be relatively successful.
- Vegetable stock doesn’t need anywhere near the amount of times and can be done simply by adding your vegetables, to water and simmering on low for around an hour.
Along with the daily journal posts here, each Wednesday at 12pm BST I’ll be going live on my instagram @therebalancechef to recap on the week’s progress and show you around my kitchen. Depending on the weather you might even meet my rescue hens!
The main point of this challenge is to have fun with it, learn new skills and refresh old ones.
I want to see your creations so don’t forget to tag me and show off what you’ve been doing!
I’m taking part in the Rebalance May Cookery Challenge! Check it out here http://www.therebalancechef.co.ukTweet
Day 11 Preview
Your Top 5 Cooking Oils and How To Use Them