What’s the difference between stock and broth?

There are subtle differences between stock and broth and you can interchange them when cooking. Stock technically is made with bones and other parts of the animal that you might not otherwise eat, while broth comes from boiling and simmering the meat.

You can make stock literally by boiling meat bones in a pot with water and a few veggies, such as onions, carrots and celery, for flavor.  Allow it to simmer for a few hours to extract as much flavor as possible.

Here’s how you can make broth, which is more flavorful:

How to make chicken broth the long way:

Add one whole chicken to a large soup pot. Cover with water. Add 2 bay leaves, one onion, quartered, two peeled and chopped carrots and two stalks of celery, chopped. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for 2-3 hours. Strain the liquid through a sieve and allow it to cool before storing it in the freezer or fridge.  Obviously the chicken in this recipe is also good to eat!

It should be noted that any chance you have to make a stock and freeze the liquids (we do it in plastic storage bags so they flatten out and fit in the freezer better) you should take it! This stuff is like “liquid gold!”

How to make chicken broth the quick way:

Add 2-4 boneless chicken breasts or thighs to a deep and wide sauce or saute pan (don’t over-crowd the pan) and cover with water or a combo water and beer or white wine (2/3 water, 1/3 wine or beer). Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes, then turn breasts or thighs over for another 5-6 minutes. Take breasts or thighs out and use in salads or any recipe that calls for them. You can use the broth to make a sauce for the chicken.

What about the boxed stuff?

Boxed broth is a life saver and can be used instead of making your own broth or to enhance your stock recipes. For instance, you could make the stock recipe above but use boxed broth instead of water.

Again, they are interchangeable so you can use boxed broth in recipes that call for stock.  Just check the ingredients to make sure the brand you choose doesn’t have too much sodium.
What about vegetable broth or stock?

You can easily make this at home and it will allow you to get a little extra mileage out of some veggie parts that you may normally discard. When you chop an onion, a carrot, beets, celery, for example, the ends and skins that you would normally throw away can go into a pot with a little water. Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for about an hour then strain when cool and you’ve got a flavorful broth. You can also do this with just mushroom stems to make a rich mushroom-only broth which is great for risotto.

Here are some ways Rachael uses broth:

Mini Meat Dumplings and Cheese Tortellini in Broth

Pumpkin Barley with Turkey

Wild Mushroom Risotto

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Rachael Ray