Please don't shoot, I just don't have the time. Mommy of three babies you know. Anyway, I don't know what to substitute for stock. Should I use (yes Im gonna say it) that canned chicken/beef/veggie broth from the supermarket, or is there an alternative??
Yes Shawty that will work fine . Another way is to purchase bases and mix with water to make your stock . Remember though that when you boil or roast that you allready have some good flavors in your juices to work with . Good luck .
Nothing wrong with the canned varieties. Just watch for extremely high sodium content as well as the MSG factor, if you are cautious about that ingredient. Another option you may want to explore is purchasing base. Generally, not available in supermarkets, but it is in warehouse-style shops (like BJs, Costco). It is generally sold in a 1# jar (about $ and will last for quite some time. It is a paste generally comprised of chicken (or beef), fat, salt and other fun additives. But, it does do the trick.
One note of caution. Stay far, far away from boullion cubes (stuff like HerbOx, etc.) Nothing but salt, salt and more salt.
I usually cook my rice the way we do in Barbados. Salt the water, add some pepper, a spoonful of butter and a thyme sprig. Ive heard of using stock and wondered about alternatives. I have seen this Chicken Base at the restaurant but never used it because I thought it added alot more salt for the chicken taste. But Im glad it is okay to use the canned chicken broth. The low sodium brand.
If you have a "Wild Oats", or some type of whole foods market, you can find some good clean tasting chicken, beef, & vegetable broths in the packaged boxes.
You may be able to find them in a regular supermarket.....but, I am not sure, I have never looked for them there.......
Another possibility is to buy a good quality base.
Minors makes some good ones, that also does not contain any MSG (if that is an issue to you).......They have more beef, or chicken, etc...in them than salt, and other ingredients.......
Some of the cheaper ones have so much salt that your stock will taste like "salted tea".......BLAH!!!
Where to get the good bases?
Some supermarkets carry them.....but, not many.
Places like BJ's, Cosco, etc..... are better possibilities.......BJ"S does for sure..... at least the chicken, & the beef.
Another place to buy good quality bases is "More than Gourmet"....they are somewhere in Ohio. You can find them on line. They have bases, and a really good "Demi-glace", for those who do not have time to make their own. They will ship product.
May not be widely available, but a product we've found to be an acceptable substitute for home-made stock is called Better than Boullion. It's a jarred concentrate and comes in chicken and beef. What we like about this is it's easy to use, you can use as much or as little as you like, and it's not overly salty like some hard-cubed products or some canned "stocks".
I second that. I've used chicken and beef "Better than Boullion" and find them acceptable when I need small amounts of broth or a stock substitute. Swanson's vegetable broth isn't bad, but as Jim and others have said, the prepared ones are SALTY. Use with caution.
I went to the supermarket today and found the "better than boullion" and those boxed broths. I bought the low sodium canned chicken, beef and vegetable broth. It definately improved my meat sauce. I once tried the boullion cubes but stopped after having to smash it with a hammer the first time. Ugh! Thanks for all the input. Maybe one day when there are no kids in my house Ill make some REAL stock.
It really isn't that hard or time-consuming to make your own stock at home. In fact, it's a great thing to do if you're stuck at home all day doing something else. Your stove does most of the work.
For now, here is a basic, simple way to make a white stock (meat or chicken). It does require some attention at the beginning, but then you can pretty much just leave it alone. Sorry, I'm not putting in measurements, just technique. I'll check up and enter that infor later.
Rinse your bones/meat to remove any loose gunk.
Put them in a tall pot and cover with COLD water.
Put on the stove and bring almost to a boil. Turn down the flame IMMEDIATELY so that it just simmers very gently.
This is where you have to take some time with it. Skim off and discard the gunk and foam that collect on top. You'll have to do this over a period of time, but can go away and come back.
Add your vegetables and aromatics -- carrots, celery, onion, leek, parsley, peppercorns, etc. cut depending on whether it's beef/veal (cut in large chunks) or chicken (smaller).
Let the pot simmer very, very gently, 3-4 hours for chicken, 6-8 for beef. Top up with cold water if the solids are not covered. NEVER LET IT BOIL!!!!! (It will be cloudy and greasy if it does.) You can check it from time to time, but really can pretty much leave it on its own.
When it's done, strain into a clean container (let all the liquid drip through) and put away in the fridge.
Next morning, remove the fat that has collected on top.[/list=1]
See, you really don't have to spend a lot of personal time on it, unless you want to keep skimming the fat off. But that isn't completely necessary.
One more hint: I collect bones, giblets, chicken skin, and meat trimmings in the freezer. When I've got enough to make up a couple of pounds, it's INTO THE STOCK POT with them! The finished stock takes up about the same amount of room in the freezer, anyway.
Finally: if you can get a copy of Is there a nutmeg in the house?, a collection of pieces by Elizabeth David that just came out, there's a few pieces about cubes/concentrate and stock-making -- very interesting.
When I was at home with babies it was easy to throw a huge pot of stock on a back burner and then cool, and package in ziplocs for the freezer..... chicken especially. LARGE quantities that way you could make enough for a month....stock needs little tending once it's cooking, it does need alittle effort to strain and package.
I use Swanson's low sodium beef...I've tried the ones at Whole food and they don't do it for me....I actually returned theunused ones for my money back....
Veg stock takes nominal time to cook, but to have a great one requires alot of different veg.
I picked up Starrs porcini bullion cubes in NYC, have not tried them yet, but my dear friend I shared with took a bite of one thinking it was chocolate and it blew his taste buds out!!!
Canned chicken broth is OK to use and some, like Swansons make a low salt variety. Canned beef broth I find almost inedible. Trader Joe's beef broth is pretty good though. I look at the ingredients list and I don't see anything I wouldn't put in my own.
You can reduce the salt in a store bought broth by adding a peeled potato and simmering for 10 - 15 minutes. The potato will absorb a lot of the salt.
Actually, my problem with trying to make stock at home is that my son thinks he's the cook. He's 17 months old and I've tried everything from giving him empty pots and pans to letting him stir a little bit of water in a pot. He, on the other hand, wants to cook. I just can't get him out of the kitchen if I'm cooking. He won't stay in the high chair (almost tipped the thing over) or play with his older sister. Do you have any tips on keeping him busy while I start the stock? I make homemade pasta and was thinking of teaching him when he's 2 1/2 - 3 years old. He's not old enough yet and doesn't even know how to talk all that well.
my babies were cooking early, by 2 my youngest could get down the ingrediants for chocolate chip cookies, by 4 he was making apple strudel with fillo, by 6 he was chopping onions, peppers filling a pepper half separating eggs beating the whites til they were stiff, running the pepper through flour, then the whites getting out a skillet and asking me to cook his pepper....
WE spent an enormous amount of time in the kitchen. They had their own sets of equipment early on....
Stock is fairly easy to throw together....carrots, onion, celery, black pepper corns, bay leaf, garlic pod, hens, chicken backs and water, I put parsley in later, crank up the heat skim then simmer...
Thanks shroomgirl. It's nice to hear this from another mom. Im happy to know that I shouldn't be that worried about the babies in the kitchen. (They already know not to touch the stove right now). I guess I should focus on building a respect for the kitchen and all the equipment instead of saying "sit here and try not to move too much". I was taking advice from my mom who thinks that kids that young shouldn't be in the kitchen and that we were not letting them be kids. You've lifted a lot of worry from my shoulders. I'm not a bad mommy for letting my 1 yr and 4 yr old help cook. They actually like it.