I have a confession to make: when it comes to stocks I’m happy to use stock cubes, pots, pouches or powder. It saves a lot of time and before you know it you have your vegetable, chicken or beef stock ready to use. However, as I am writing about soups, 52 recipes in 52 weeks, it is time to start making my own stock, fresh from scratch. Stocks are a base for soups but are also used for sauces, stews, pastas and risotto. Fortunately, one of my dear friends Esther from Sugar and Salt is a true chef and was happy to demonstrate how to make a delicious stock step-by-step.
2L cold water
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ leek rinsed and roughly chopped
½ fennel roughly chopped
½ tsp white peppercorns
½ tsp fennel seeds
3 fresh parsley stems
2 twigs chervil
2 twigs dill
2 twigs tarragon
Pour 2L of cold water into the stockpot. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, leek, fennel, white peppercorns and fennel seeds and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the stock cool down for a few minutes. Transfer the stock to a bowl or container and add the parsley, chervil, dill and tarragon. Chill overnight and strain the next day. Your stock is ready to use. You can keep the stock in your fridge for a week and in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you freeze it you can use an ice tray and once the stock is frozen transfer the cubes to a plastic bag or pour small quantities in Ziploc plastic bags so you will have ‘sheets’ of frozen stock which will defrost quickly as well.
White Chicken Stock
3L cold water
1½ kg chicken wings
1½ onion, peeled and quartered
1½ celery stalks roughly chopped
½ leek roughly chopped
2 dried bay leaves
4 twigs fresh thyme
10 twigs fresh parsley stalks
Place all ingredients into a large pan/stockpot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. Continue to simmer gently for one and a half hour and keep skimming if necessary. Then pass the stock through a fine sieve and allow to cool for about half an hour, then refrigerate. You can keep the stock in your fridge for about 3 days and in the freezer up to 3 months.