See my slow-cooker version of chicken broth HERE!
If you’re like me, you’ve been secretly perplexed by the difference between broths and stocks for a very long time. Personally, I’d always just cooked with whatever I had around and never paid much attention to technical labels. Recently though, I took the time to learn the specific differences between the two. Turns out, while we often use them interchangeably, there really is a difference.
In short, broths are cooked with meat and maybe a few bones for just a short while- an hour or so. Stocks, on the other hand, are made with almost all bones, and are cooked for several hours. While both are typically made with aromatics such as onions, carrots, herbs, etc, stocks have more depth since the bones are cooked down, releasing a gelatinous and nutrient-dense delicious flavor. You can use either or when cooking, but let’s face it, the longer something brothy cooks, the better it usually is.
But wait, our comparisons aren’t over! Then we have bone broth. It sounds like it might just be normal broth, but nope. Bone broth is different. Think stock on steroids. It’s cooked for an even longer time, usually around 24 hours, so that goodness hiding in the bones really gets in there. It’s like a super-stock! In an ideal world, we would all be cooking with this all of the time- it’s extremely healthy and amps up the flavors big time. And better yet, it’s not hard to make at home. Like at all. I know I know, opening a can is easier, but just wait till you see the simplicity here.
I just roasted a whole chicken last week, so thought it was the perfect time to demonstrate just what to do. 🙂
Since I’d just roasted a chicken, I used the bones from that… I love making whole chickens for that very reason- you get a great dinner one eve, then broth to last for a few afterwards too. (Peep my roast chicken recipe HERE.) You can use any bones you want- either some leftovers from something you cooked, or you can just ask a butcher for some (the better quality the bone, the better quality the broth). I like buying a whole chicken personally because I love whole roast chicken dinners. If you’re not using pre-cooked bones, I’d roast them in the oven for a bit first… enhances flavor.
Then it all goes in a pot with some chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and herbs and boom, your stock or bone broth or whatever you’re making is ready to go!
After my stock is done, I usually use what I want for some tasty soup right then and there, and then jar and freeze the rest for later use. If you have ice cube trays lying around (I like the silicon ones) or some popsicle molds, you can add some broth in those and freeze them… then you have stock on hand for future use whenever you need it! Here’s a soup I just made with this batch of stock… it’s a Thai-style chicken soup with lemongrass and ginger. I was told by those who ate it that it was “the best soup ever!!” I’m convinced it’s the stock. 😉
makes approx 8 cups stock
bones from a 4-5 lb chicken (see my roast chicken recipe HERE)
2 celery stalks
3 garlic cloves
1 onion (I use white or yellow often, but red works too)
1 small bunch parsley
1 large bay leaf
few sprigs fresh thyme
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
12-14 cups water
* see my slow-cooker version HERE– gets extra gelatinous and tasty 🙂
Optional- roast bones at 450 for approx 15 minutes first- enhances flavor
Roughly chop the vegetables and parsley
Add the bones, chopped onion, carrots, celery, parsley, garlic, and bay leaf
Add the water, vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme sprigs
That’s it for the ingredients… cover that bad boy and start cooking away
Bring it to a boil- then lower heat and simmer for a couple of hours, up to 24 hours
The longer it cooks, the more flavorful and nutritious it’ll be
When done, taste and adjust seasonings as desired- it’ll need salt and pepper love 😉
When it cools, a thick gelatinous layer will form over the top… that’s good stuff, keep it 🙂
Strain the liquid through a colander or cheesecloth
(I used a mesh strainer after catching the large chunks in this strainer first)
Discard the remains
That’s it! Pour into mason jars, use immediately, or freeze to use another time!!
The gelatinous stuff will harden as the broth cools 😉