How to Make Basic Stock
FOR VEGETABLE STOCK:
Keep a bag or other container in the freezer. While cooking, throw any vegetable scraps – stalks, tough skins of onions, the ends of carrots, etc. – in the bag. When the bag is full, it’s time to make broth.
Put the vegetable scraps plus 1 to 2 chopped onions, a few smashed garlic cloves, a tablespoon or so of herbs (we like herbs de Provence for an easy pre-mixed combination) and a little salt or soy sauce (for a bit more umami) in a large stock pot.
FOR CHICKEN STOCK:
Buying whole chickens is cheaper than pre-butchered cuts, plus, you can use the carcass and any leftovers to make stock. Alternatively, buy chicken parts such as necks and backs (these aren’t typically on display, so ask your butcher).
As with the vegetable stock, just throw the chicken carcasses in a bag in the freezer. Once you have a couple, sauté a carrot, two stalks of celery and an onion, all diced, and a few smashed cloves of garlic in a little olive oil in a large pot (this makes a richer stock; you can also just cook these in the water for a lighter broth). Drop in the chicken carcasses and fill the pot with water to cover (about 4 quarts). Add a couple of thyme sprigs, and a few sprigs of parsley with stems.
Add enough water to completely cover your ingredients (about 4 quarts). Bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower to a gentle simmer and let cook for 2 to 3 hours (longer = more flavor). Turn off the heat, let it cool, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids, and then discarding. Transfer to jars or other storage containers to freeze for later use in recipes that call for stock or broth, or to make soup (try the acorn squash recipe on page 29).