How to Make Homemade Stock

Making your own stock is a great way to use kitchen scraps otherwise headed for the waste bin.

| October 2011 Web

  • In "The Locavore's Kitchen," author Marilou K. Suszko shows you what to look for when buying locally grown foods, how to store fresh foods, and ways to prepare them to bring out fresh, genuine flavors and colors.

The following is an excerpt from "The Locavore's Kitchen" by Marilou K. Suszko. The excerpt is from Chapter 3: Fall. To find out more about the recipes in "The Locavore's Kitchen" and the importance of eating local, read this interview with author Marilou Suszko. 

Making Your Own Flavorful Stocks 

In the locavore’s kitchen, scraps, “throwaways,” humble vegetables, and lesser cuts of poultry and meat can be the beginning of something wonderful like chicken, vegetable, or meat stock, the gold standard of cooking. It is one of the most economical and versatile ingredients you can keep on hand in the refrigerator or freezer, and it has the power to make or break a soup, a sauce, or a stew—a pretty big responsibility for something that comes from such humble beginnings.

The secret to success is in coaxing as much flavor from the key ingredients as you can. It doesn’t always mean that those ingredients are the best, most expensive cuts of meat or the fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. They are actually the less desirable cuts, the bones and the vegetables that are not rotting, but have seen better days—prime choice for highly flavored stock. Carrot peelings, celery leaves, the tops of green onions, and leeks that look as if they will never amount to anything add plenty of flavor to stocks.

Wonderfully rich and flavorful, stocks can be made fresh with vegetables that define the season and will be reflected in the finished stock: chard leaves and spring onions sweeten a stock made in the spring; summer’s tomatoes add color and acid in summer soups; and you’ll love what the stringy interiors and seeds from squash will do for stocks simmered in the fall. Try adding any of these stocks to the cooking water for rice or beans and see what a difference they make. To brighter the flavor of chicken and vegetable stock, add a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon.

Rich Chicken Stock 



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