Oh, Beautiful Stock!

"Stock to a cook is voice to a singer."
-Anonymous

That's the quote I found on the internet today, and I couldn't agree more. Cook with stock, and even the most mediocre dishes are elevated to the status of "delicious." Soups become fantastic, rice sings in your mouth, and spaghetti sauce develops a fullness and richness of flavour you never thought possible.

Generally, meat dishes are prepared with a stock made from similar meat (e.g. beef with beef stock, lamb with lamb stock, chicken with chicken stock, fish with fish stock.) Vegetable soups can be prepared with the stock of your choice, but most cooks prefer poultry stock (including me.) I have used beef stock for my Cream of Potato Soup in a pinch, but if I have poultry stock, I use it.

What is the difference between stock and broth? Broth is usually thinner, less robust, and made from whatever is kicking around the fridge when you finish off the roast after supper. Stock is usually boiled much longer, includes bones, and follows more of a set formulaic recipe. Properly-prepared stock from bones also has a meat-sparing effect, meaning you don't need to have as much meat in your meal when stock is included. The gelatin in the stock (which comes from the bones) is extremely healthy for you, and is the factor that "stretches" the other protein in the meal.

Pregnant women and children should try to consume meals prepared with stock almost daily. Everyone else should use it as often as possible.

Not to mention--if you cook with stock, everyone will think you are the best cook in the neighbourhood!

Homemade, healing bone broth from chicken or turkey. The fastest way to improve your cooking!

This is my recipe for poultry stock. It is loosely based on the recipe I got from Jordan Rubin's The Maker's Diet book (which was, in turn, loosely based on Sally Fallon's recipe from Nourishing Traditions.) I make it in large batches, using a 20-quart stockpot, so that I only have to make it once every couple of months. Just split the recipe down if your pot is smaller. But really--a cheap but large stock pot is probably one of the better investments you can make for your kitchen. A nice one is even better.

Chicken stock that's just been started. The house smells divine!

Chicken Stock

2-4 Chicken carcasses from roast, not picked too clean, including the giblets, skin, and any pan drippings not used in gravy (Alternatively, you could use 2 whole, uncooked chickens cut into pieces)
4-6 pounds chicken backs and necks (available quite cheaply from the meat counter)
1-2 pairs chicken feet, if you can get them--and if you can stomach it. (Feet are high in gelatin.)
filtered water
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. extra-virgin coconut oil
2 large onions, peeled and cut into wedges
6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
4-6 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
4-6 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4" piece ginger root, peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp. cardamom (whole)
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp. Celtic Sea Salt
1 bunch parsley

  1. Place chicken and pieces in pot and cover with water, adding apple cider vinegar. Water should be at least 2" below top of pot. Put on burner on medium.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley. When it comes to a boil, skim off any foam. Simmer for 12-24 hours--the longer you simmer it, the more gelatin will be released into the stock. 10 minutes before finishing, throw in the parsley (this will release more mineral ions into the broth.)
  3. Let cool slightly, then strain and put into containers for freezing. The bones will be very soft--a great treat for your dog.

Turkey Stock: Substitute one large or two small turkey carcasses and giblets, etc. for the chicken.

And now, I leave you with that famous ode to soup, sung by the griffin in Alice Through The Looking Glass:

Soup Of The Evening

Lewis Carroll

Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
Beau - ootiful Soo - oop!
Beau - ootiful Soo - oop!
Soo - oop of the e - e - evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for
two pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau - ootiful Soo - oop!
Beau - ootiful Soo - oop!
Soo - oop of the e - e - evening,
Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

Edit: Upon muddling this over for the day, and further investigation, this song was actually sung by the Mock Turtle, and it was in Alice In Wonderland. Thankfully, I caught myself before someone else did. As a side note, you can now read the entire complete volumes of Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass, complete with original illustrations, on the internet.