Food Topic: Soups and stocks
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There is a huge difference in flavor and the salt level in canned stocks vs. homemade stocks.  Making stock can be time consuming, but the recipe below is as simple as any other crock pot meal.

Allow the stock to chill over night so that the fat will solidify and be easily removed the next day for a no-fat stock.

Don't add salt to the stock until you are using it in a soup or a sauce, allowing the great flavors to be accented or brought out by salt, not just simply being salty.

Homemade stocks will be slightly gelatinous.  This is a sign of a great stock with rich, full flavor

To make a quick sauce with stock, sauté lightly floured and seasoned chicken breast in a little olive oil, remove chicken breasts and add a cup of chicken stock to the pan and simmer until reduced by half and a light sauce is formed.  Taste before seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken breasts back to the pan and finish cooking.  Serve with the sauce poured over the chicken and some brown rice and a fresh salad.

To reduce your fat intake, stocks can be used in place of oil or butter to sauté onions, garlic and other vegetables

Leftover stock can be frozen in ice cube trays and then the cubes kept in a freezer bag until needed

*Note 1- bone preparation for making stocks:

   -chicken- save trimmings, bones and carcasses in the freezer until enough have been accumulated (I save the leftover carcasses that  
     have been roasted or grilled whole, as well)

   -beef- roast bones at 350° F with a small can of tomato paste before proceeding with making stock (this makes for a darker richer stock)

*Note 2- vegetable preparation for making stocks:

   -vegetables don't need to be peeled, just scrubbed well

   -save bits and pieces of vegetable scraps in the freezer until needed for stock making (a great way to use peels and leftover veggies, or
     all unwanted parts of the punch of celery)

   -veggies that can be added to stock: carrots, celery, onion, tomato, lettuce, peppers (this will change the flavor, though), cabbage,
    scallions, spinach


Crock Pot Beef or Chicken Stock

Any quantity roasted beef bones or leftover chicken carcasses/bones to fill crock pot (see Note 1 above)

3 carrots, scrubbed, coarsely chopped (see Note 2 above)
1 onion, quartered
3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
8 whole peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh parsley (opt)

Simmer the ingredients at least 8 hours on low.  Remove and discard the bones and veggies.  Strain the stock into a container and chill overnight.  Remove the solidified fat before using.


I have a great recipe for Tortellini Sausage Gumbo that uses homemade beef or chicken stock and is out of this world! For a copy of the recipe, contact me at







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