Chicken or vegetable stock is the most useful of all stocks. Its neutral flavor can be used in red meat, poultry, fish, rice, grain and vegetable preparations. There are some basic guidelines for making stock but the recipe is meant to be flexible and take advantage of what is on hand in the kitchen.


2 quarts chicken bones, optional
1-2 quarts roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery and/or leeks
1-2 cups vegetable trimmings such as broccoli or asparagus stems, peppers, mushrooms or fennel
a handful of parsley stems
a handful of fresh thyme or teaspoon of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
garlic, optional

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a tall, narrow stock pot.  Add enough cold water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches.
  2. Quickly bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat.  Adjust the heat so the stock is at a very low boil or simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. For chicken stock, simmer for 2 hours.  For vegetable stock, simmer for 45 minutes.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Cool over an ice bath.
  4. Refrigerate it for up to one week, or freeze it for longer storage.
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