Homemade broth/stock

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Joined Mar 18, 2013
The most of the broth I use to cook is home made, chicken broth. Buy whole chicken, separate breasts, thighs and drumstick. The rest goes to stove-top pressure cooker. Sometimes I would buy beef bones. Couple days ago I found chicken legs on sale - never tried before.

All recipes, of course, include vegetables, like onions, celery, carrots... whatever I find in the fridge. The part I have hard time to follow is that all recipes would say cut the onions and garlic in halves and throw in the pot. With all layers and the root, no cleaning. The same with celery and carrots... Some chefs explain that the onion skin/layers give great color...

Do the "dirty" parts really give some special taste? Or it's only result of the laziness in the process?

Also, why vegetables at all? I can understand that it improves the taste for those who drink the broth, it's more nutritious. But if I'm making, e.g chicken noodle soup, I'm going to saute onion, celery, carrots, kale... anyway (again).

Obviously I'm missing something. Can you please point me to the right direction? :D

Thanks,
Afan
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
vegetables make for a wider spectrum and rounder flavor profile

as far as skins go, make a small quick stock with just the skin of an onion and nothing else, decide for yourself if it has any flavor

I just made a chicken, butternut squash, and black eyed pea stew for dinner, the stock for the stew was made with the skins of the butternut squash, onions skins, and garlic skins, the stock definitely had a good round flavor profile
 
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Joined Apr 25, 2017
You do want to wash the veg, sand is bad - it just doesn't have to be to serving standards. The vegetables give the broth flavor, if you cooked the soup enough to get the flavor from the new vegetables, they would be tastless and mushy.
 
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Joined Mar 1, 2017
Yes, wash the veggies first. They don't have to be service quality. Just rinse away any dirt and sand. Some chefs don't care about washing the veggies because they know a) the broth/stock will get hot enough to kill off any bacteria; and b) many chefs strain their stocks and broths very well thus removing any schmutz the veggies had on them.

For a darker, richer broth, you can roast the veggies and the meat to give them a little color before tossing them into the pot. You don't have to go nuts. Just brown the meat in a hot pan with some oil and do the same with the veggies. Don't forget to deglaze the pan with some water and add it to the pot. I like to brown the veggies and protein if the broth/stock is going to be used in a sauce or gravy. I generally like a lighter broth for soups, except when it comes to beef broth/stock. I like to roast the beef, bones and veggies so they will create a richly flavored broth.

Good luck. :)
 
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I remember see all kinds of stuff floating in stock pots in the past. I think the old Chefs of yesteryear threw in onion skins and all kinds of scraps, peels and root vegetables. I also think back in the bay people didn't throw anything away. Broth and stock could have been viewed as more of a staple because of the lack of food and serving the poor. I remember my Mom boiling a chicken 1/2 way and then putting it in the oven to roast for the main entree. The simple very hot broth was served in bowls. We had a bowl of cold egg noodles in the middle of the table to help cool the broth. This was a way to fill our stomachs so the Roast Chicken could feed a family of five.. I wash all my vegetables....ChefBillyB
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
I agree with the above posters, but in my case a lot of the time keeping skins/peels on things is out of pure laziness because I know for multiple batches that it won't negatively effect my end product.
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
I remember asking myself the same question back when I first started making stocks. If I'm going to use it to cook something with veggies, do I need to bother flavoring the stock with veggies.

In my experience the answer is yes. When you make stock you carefully build layers of flavors to create a complex flavor. You put everything cold in a cold pot with cold water and slowly slowly bring it to temp, infusing the liquid with the flavor of everything that's steeping in it.

When you make a soup, you may for example sweat some onions, maybe other veggies first, then add your liquid in a hot pot with hot sweated veggies... you're not building the same flavor.

So yes, a chicken stock that has onion carrots celery leeks garlic bay leaf thyme parsley etc... will have a much more complex and interesting flavor than a pure chicken stock.

And that's even more true if you're going to use the stock for something else that may not contain any of those veggies anyway, say a risotto, or to cook some beans, or to make a pan sauce, or a curry, use as a braising liquid, etc...
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
I remember asking myself the same question back when I first started making stocks. If I'm going to use it to cook something with veggies, do I need to bother flavoring the stock with veggies.

In my experience the answer is yes. When you make stock you carefully build layers of flavors to create a complex flavor. You put everything cold in a cold pot with cold water and slowly slowly bring it to temp, infusing the liquid with the flavor of everything that's steeping in it.

When you make a soup, you may for example sweat some onions, maybe other veggies first, then add your liquid in a hot pot with hot sweated veggies... you're not building the same flavor.

So yes, a chicken stock that has onion carrots celery leeks garlic bay leaf thyme parsley etc... will have a much more complex and interesting flavor than a pure chicken stock.

And that's even more true if you're going to use the stock for something else that may not contain any of those veggies anyway, say a risotto, or to cook some beans, or to make a pan sauce, or a curry, use as a braising liquid, etc...
Plus this time of year it makes your home smell awesome.
 
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