What is the difference between stocks and broths? Let’s lay out the facts right up front:
— A stock is made from bones and whatever connective tissue and joint material is connected to them at the time they go in the pot.
— A broth is a liquid in which meat has been cooked. A broth may be flavorful, but without bones there will never be substantial body.
In the home kitchen producing a pure “stock” is difficult because getting bones spotless is a tough proposition. And so we usually make chicken or turkey stocks, which, since they usually have a fair amount of meat still clinging to them, are really hybrids with characteristics of broths and stocks, which is fine but not quite as flavor-neutral as what restaurants generally use.
Four important components of stock:
1. Whenever I cook any form of birdage, I save the neck, wings, backs, ribs and any other part I can salvage and freeze them until I have enough to fill my big stockpot. If you need to make a quick stock, however, buy a big pack of chicken wings. They’re loaded with collagen.
2. The second ingredient is water. Without it there is no solvent, and no solutes will be extracted.
3. Next you’ll need a mirepoix: carrots, celery, onions (and leeks if you’ve got ’em) in good shape. The stock pot is not a garbage can.
4. Finally, herbs and spices. Although they’re strictly optional, I generally throw in peppercorns and a bundle of fresh parsley stems and thyme.
Now go make some.
Recipe: Chicken Stock