This recipe is versital, economic and simple. I have never found a prepared stock to compare. I save all of my trimmings from veggies like carrot,garlic, shallot and onion, (peel and all), leeks, parsley, squash. Spinich adds nice flavor but a strong color. I personally love using outer leaves, core and a any other part of the cabbage but it does leave a definite taste of cabbage. I save the trimmings of my veggies in freezer bags and when I get three or so gallon bags full I get to cooking. Be creative and make it your own. Specific spices can be added for a specific flavor if you want
1Just a few notes: (RIIIIIIGHT!)
THIS MAY BE THE LONGEST RECIPE EVER WRITTEN, BUT I HAVE INCLUDED MANY OPTIONS. DONT LET THE LENGTH FOOL YOU!! iTS AS EASY AS BOILING WATER!
**Cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli will add a distinct flavor to your stock. If you like these veggies and are using the stock for soup it will be great. If you want a more neutral flavor for other recipes, leave them out.
**You can leave out the garlic if you want a very neutral stock. I can't eat without garlic so it's always in.
**If you don't have veggie trimmings on hand...buy them and put them in whole or chopped to fit the pot.
**When sorting trimmings to freeze or use now...cut off brown spots and other distateful things but use the roots, the cores, the leaves and peelings they add flavor. No need to do more than wash drain and toss in a bag.
**Potatoes will make the stock thicken.
**If you use bullion cubes, be sure to add any salt or other seasonings AFTER adding the cubes to prevent too much saltiness. (If you do get it too salty...just add a couple of halved peeled potatoes and they will absorb a lot of it.
2If using chicken or turkey I use any that have been cooked and deboned, the thanksgiving turkey after its been denuded, the remains of a store bought rotisserie chicken or just grab three or four thighs or leg quarters from the freezer. Leave the skin on and use skin from already cooked.
3Throw all veggies into a stock pot. If using chicken or turkey toss those in first. Don't fill pot more than 3/4 full. Cover with water to about 1" above level of veggies. Add extra onions, quartered with peel if you want a stronger flavor. Add bullion cubes, parsley, garlic powder to taste and wait to add salt until the cubes have dissolved.
4Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer two to six hours depending on size of pot and how intense you want the flavor.
*If using poultry, remove meat from bones as soon as it is done and set aside. Put the skin and bones back in.
5Let simmer as long as you can, stirring and tasting occasionally. After a couple of hours, I can't resist and will sit down with a cup of the stock and sip it.
6After stock has cooled, skim off fat from the top, if desired. Then strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth. For storage you can pour into ice trays and make cubes to store in freezer bags. Put into containers (smaller is better with these, you have more freedom to select amounts). My favorite way is to fill good quality freezer bags with zipper closings, (I like the kind with the tab you pull across) I measure a cup at a time and place in appropriately sized bags. I lay them flat on a towel to check for leakage and then freeze laying flat in the freezer. jelly roll pan is great to place on top of other food but I dont like to stack the bags, they will freeze misshappen. These are great to use and the bag can be cut away allowing you to use the stock while still frozen. If I only want a portion of whats in the bag, I hit in on the edge of a counter and break off a piece or pieces in approx the right size.
7Now get creative and use this stock knowing that you will make any recipe better by using this full flavored stock instead of the canned stuff.