Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Broth or Stock?

This past weekend it felt very fall-ish and just the thing for a good bowl of soup; this is especially holding true for the past couple days here the weather is rotten.  I enjoy making my own and it definitely beats anything from a can or deli.  It surprises me how many people just don't know how to make soup and it's one of the easiest things to make, delicious!
My gram told me a story one time of how she and her sister n law were trying to teach my cousin how to make soup.  They told her all the ingredients to put in the pot - how long to cook etc.  I'm guessing that as they were telling her she was actually putting it together.  As they were sharing my cousin blow them away by asking do I add water?  I've often laughed about that.
To me it all starts with a good broth or stock.  Broth or Stock?  There is a difference - broth is made with, from all the info I've been able to gather, more meat than bone ratio and if vegetable are used basic (onion, garlic, some carrots) salt and pepper to taste as well as maybe parsley cooking up to 3 hours.  I'm sure there's other ingredients out there you might like to use.   Stock is well - I like to describe it with this scene from Nanny McPhee - - When the kids were all pretending to be ill and Nanny McPhee went to the cook for her to make a soup - the cook was all excited to be able to use all the slop from the discard bucket - you know stuff that would go to compost!  LOL   Well the vegetables that you probably discard will help make some of the best stock.  Stock also uses the discard bones with a bit of meat left of more bone to meat ratio.  You also want to cook it low - med. simmer for several hours.  One of the best stock /soups I made was from a recipe I took from "The Great Physician's Rx For Arthritis by Jordan Rubin"   
The recipe had everything, however I left out the chicken feet! Well, they don't seem to come along  with the chickens you get! LOL  But this stock you cook for something like 18 -24 hours.  I managed it working out some kinks but it was awesome.  I would do it again. 
So I've made soup with using either broth or stock.  If I'm in a hurry and don't have my own on hand, I'll use a good broth I purchased.  I look for one that has the best ingredients listed - organic and no MSG (of any form, it can be under different names).  I prefer stock.  So below is stock I made - I have to say all the vege's were usable but wasn't going to last another week in the frig.  Also I did  purchase a natural free-bird chicken and I didn't use the back that I would normally use.  Sophie got that.  The other thing I had more meat to bone ratio - but it worked out I cooked it for a long time.

 Stock Recipe
In a large pot place all the vegetable's you can think of.  I used turnips, carrots, onions, garlic, celery with leaves, red bell peppers, green chili peppers, cabbage, (I think that's it).
 I cleaned and cut up the chicken and through it in as well.  Add water - about 2" over or more.  The more the more stock.  I also added to taste/ salt, peppercorns 1-3, cayenne pepper, chili power, some herbs, sage, rosemary, bayleaf, etc.  If you're not giving the back to your dog just through the bird in or use leftover meat on bones from a roaster or turkey carcass.


Get up to a boil - then simmer, stirring occasionally.  The smells alone that floats through your house are heavenly.  While it cooks you can throw in some bread :D


When its done remove everything and discard all the bones, vege's etc.  You can stain through a cheesecloth or gravy /oil separator. 


Once the liquid is cooled I put what I want be using right away in a freezable container and freeze.  I used the chicken in the soup I made and added to that leftover rice and a few of the carrots that were not mushy from the long cooking process.
The chicken or whatever meat you happen to be using can also be used for many other dishes.  The possibilities are endless.  Lastly if you have questions to any of this fill free to ask away.

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