Keeping stock: my first experience making soup stock

Before I made this roasted cauliflower soup, I tried making stock for the first time! I was gonna use it to make the soup but made only 2 of the 4 required cups of stock :/

Brought it to lunch the next day, bought some bread from Bread & Hearth, with a super good Balsamic vinegar and olive oil dip courtesy of Gerry.

I regret not taking other photos! SORZ.

Fat coagulated after overnight refrigeration
For the amount of effort I put into preparing some homemade stock, I only got 2 cups of stock. I used:

  • 700g of chicken
  • 2.5 carrots (diced)
  • 2 ribs of celery (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves of smashed garlic.
  • 1.4 litres of water (the measurement is about 1:2, chicken : water)

It was immensely flavourful but I should have kept the flame smaller, so that so much water would not have evaporated. The dicing of the vegetables really helped to increase its surface area (yay, shorter time over the stove). I loved the sweetness of the vegetables and think it would have been great as a soup to accompany a veggie and meat dish, with rice. Like a typical asian meal.

One word of advice: Don’t start preparing stock just before you want to sleep. It takes time! Include time for chopping, simmering AND waiting for it to cool so you can pop it in the fridge or freezer. (Oops, that was more than one word!)

AAR(After Action Review):

  • Chopping up vegetables to make stock is a great avenue to practise your knife skills. There’s a lot of material to work with AND it doesn’t matter if it looks like sh*t cos it’s not going to be eaten any way. So I tried to julienne the carrots but with little success. Carrots are officially my least favourite vegetable to cut.
  • What a waste of chicken?! I’m Asian, so which by definition, means I don’t waste any part of the animal/fish. When I saw the mound of boiled chicken, I thought – HEY! Leftover chicken with mayo mustard sandwiches! It tasted kinda like tuna (aka not amaaazing) but yay for putting something to good use. :p
  • Dice vegetables to increase surface area and reduce time they spend over the stove.
  • Keep your flame low. And prepare a big enough pot so it doesn’t boil/simmer over.
  • There are many schools of thought – whole vs diced veggies, how long to simmer (ranging from 1 hr to 6- 7 hours, whutt!), how many ingredients to use, what cuts of meat…etc but I am happy as long as it is flavourful enough and has that gelatinous texture that websites talk about. :p Choose a recipe that you are comfortable using and gives you the flavour that is good enough for you.
  • I was really looking forward to putting chicken feet in. Because COLLAGEN!! But I couldn’t find it in the supermarket when I was shopping for meat. By God’s grace, I managed to find the last packet of chicken bones, HIDDEN on the top rack. I only found it by looking at the mirror that helps you see what’s right on top. That’s also another tip. HAHA.

Here’s a little something extra. Some tips for making good Chinese stock, courtesy of Chef Shih Erh of Palette Foundations.

How to make good Chinese stock:

  • 天上飞的 (chicken, birds)
  • 地上走的 (pork, beef, lamb)
  • 海里游的 (dry cuttlefish, seaweed, scallops)
  1. Boil meat for 15 min. Discard water. (it’s bloody water)
  2. Wash meat.
  3. Add seafood + new water
  4. Bring to boil
  5. Simmer for 3 hours

The components of a good stock are: FAT, SKIN, MEAT+BONE

Do share any stock tips ( not the SGX kind :p) or thoughts about making stock in the comments section. :]

 

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