Updated: Oct 29, 2021
What is the difference between stock and broth?
The difference between stock and broth, is stock is made from bones and veggies and broth is made just from bones- or wait. Is it the other way around? WHO CARES!
Seriously though! Just from a few google searches sources like The Food Network, the Free Dictionary, Wiki, Health line, all the terms contradict themselves..
After much debate, Brian being a chef and me being a know-it-all, we have settled on this ideal:
"broth" is a finished product that can be served as is, and you will notice my recipe in the crock-pot is striving for this outcome since it includes whole veggies, herbs and spices along with the bones and scraps.
"stock" is a component of a dish and is never served on its own. Brian's recipe shown first below is a prime example of this. He makes the stock with the intention of making soup soon afterward.
In these recipes we will show you 2 alternative ideas to use up your bones, roots and veggie scraps! This process is a traditional way to extract every last bit out of our food.
Once you have your stock or broth, freeze it or store it in the fridge for up to a week. You are minutes away from delicious and nutritious home-cooked meals, mouth-waters like soups, gravies, dressings, stir-fries, pho, stews, etc. the type of home-cooking that warm the soul!!
Our recipes below can be made from raw OR cooked bones. We like to gather our bones in the freezer, store them in paper bags and label them 'raw' ... 'cooked' and divided based off of type of meat. In another bag we keep our favourite veggie scraps.
Raw bones are leftover from when we break-down meat ahead of roasting it, perhaps portioning off meals for separate long-term storage. Brian has made a video on how to break-down a raw chicken (coming soon). These raw leftover bones, perhaps the less favorable option to roast and eat (neck, spine, tail, wing tips, feet, etc.) are delicious and produce a lot of collagen when made into a broth or stock. Most of the time we keep these separate from our cooked bones because raw bones require a preliminary step, called 'blanching', this step kills harmful bacteria and cleans them up a bit to produce a clearer liquid. We have also made stock/broth without blanching and we are still here- so as long as you boil the raw bones on high heat long enough to sterilize them you will be okay! Raw bones extract way more collagen and create a delicious gelatinous broth, I I LOVE IT.
To blanch: place bones in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil on the stove, allow to rapidly boil for 5-10 minutes. Drain this water and refill.
I am sure you have had leftover cooked bones, say after a roast or wing night? Instead of tossing these bones, keep them in the freezer until you are ready to make some stock or broth. If you have/had company over and want to sterilize the bones, put them in a pot and blanch them, otherwise they are ready when you are!
We tend to make chicken broth or stock after a roast. It's just the next step, finish the meat and then pop the shell into a pot or the crock-pot with some veggie scraps from our side dish and then we are in the running towards making another delicious meal.
Below are 2 methods we use to make chicken stock and chicken broth.
The first way is using a stove top method and the second is via a 'low & slow' method using a crock pot. These same procedures can be applied to making any form of animal stock/broth. Thicker bones require a longer cooking time. Be sure to blanch raw bones!
Stove-top Chicken Stock
Bones from 1-2, 4 pound chickens
Onion scraps - 4-5
Other veggie scraps, like stems, bottoms of herbs and unfavourable ends of your favourite veggies
Apple cider vinegar, we make our own!
Water, cover the bones with at least double-triple the water
2 Large pots, or a big enough bowl to strain into
Jars for storage
Blanch raw bones first and then continue..
Place your bones into the pot and add vegetable scraps on top.
Fill the pot with water and add a dollop of apple cider vinegar. The acid helps to bring out more nutrients from the bones.
Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to below a simmer promptly upon reaching the boil.
You'll let the liquid cook down for a minimum of four hours, if it is left uncovered it will reduce so mind to this. Reducing uncovered is nice to enhance the flavour and viscosity level, however if you leave it uncovered too long it can reduce down in size and you will be left with nothing!
ABOUT SCUM: As the stock cooks down, foamy scum will appear on the surface. No worries just skim off the surface and discard. The scum is harmless and mostly flavourless, but it is unappealing. Eventually if left unattended it will break up and disperse into the stock leaving it cloudy and a little grey. We like to have a clear stock so we remove it.
After about four hours, remove from heat and allow it to cool, for an easier strain.
Using a strainer or slotted spoon, scoop out the bones and vegetables. Place aside until they cool before composting them. Using another large pot or wide mouthed bowl, strain the remaining stock and then transfer into a jar for storage.
You can either let the stock cool for storage or put it back on the stove to simmer, this will enhance flavour and remove impurities. Totally optional though!
Once it is cooled, refrigerate it. A gelatinous film will form at the top.
It'll last up to two weeks in the fridge or a few months frozen. Let it cool completely before freezing.
2 of our favourite cookbooks shown above: The Escoffier by Auguste Escoffier & Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon both with great foundational knowledge about health & food- we recommend!
Slow-cooker Chicken Broth
The slow-cooker method is Sam's favourite.
I like to load everything up into the cooker after dinner and then forget about it until morning!
In the morning I turn off the heat and forget about it again until after work!
During the day it cools, so there's no hassle to strain right into a pot on the stove after work. Perhaps heating it up as a cup of bone-broth tea or adding some miso, bok choy and onions for quick soup- delicious and quick!