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May 31, 2006 at 1:03 pm #6625
By Amy Taylor (with permission to post)
It is the flavoring of stock that indicates real skill in soup making. This is an extremely important part of the work. In fact, the large number of ingredients found in soup recipes are, as a rule, the various flavorings which give the distinctive flavor and individuality to a soup. Very often certain spices or certain flavoring materials may be omitted without any appreciable difference, or something that is on hand may be substituted for an ingredient that is lacking.
The flavorings used most for soup include cloves, peppercorns, red, black and white pepper, paprika, bay leaf, sage, marjoram, thyme, summer savory, tarragon, celery seed, fennel, mint and rosemary. While all of these are not absolutely necessary, the majority of them may well be kept on the pantry shelf. A small amount of lemon peel often improves soup, so
some of this should be kept in store. Another group of vegetables that lend themselves admirably to soup flavoring includes leeks, shallots, chives, garlic and onions, all of which belong to the same family. They must be used judiciously, as a strong flavor of any of them is offensive to most persons.
In the use of any of the flavorings mentioned or the strongly flavored vegetables, care should be taken not to allow any one particular flavor to predominate. Each should be used in such quantity that it would blend well with the others. A very good way in which to fix spices and herbs that are to flavor soup is to tie them in a small piece of cheesecloth and drop the bag thus made into the soup pot. When prepared in this way, they will remain together, so that, while the flavor can be cooked out, they can be more readily removed from the liquid than if they are allowed to spread through the contents of the pot. Salt should be added in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful to each quart of liquid.March 3, 2007 at 1:31 pm #36773
BASIC CHICKEN STOCK
Makes about 8 cups
young chickens will not provide as rich a flavor as the
older birds but the taste will still be good.
1 roaster (5-7 pounds)
chicken giblets, except liver
1 large bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
4 quarts water or enough to cover chicken generously
1 cup dry white wine, optional
2 medium onions, quartered
2 large carrots, sliced
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced, optional
1 bunch fresh parsley, stems only
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Remove giblets from roaster and discard bird-watcher thermometer, if it has one.
Place roaster along with giblets in a large stockpot (8 to 10 quarts)
or other large sauce pot. Wrap bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and thyme in cheesecloth as bouquet garni; tie closed with string. Add to stockpot along with remaining ingredients. Cover pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 2-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Carefully skim stock from time to time with a ladle or spoon to remove fat particles and foam.
To check roaster for doneness, pull back a leg or cut into meat close to
bone; it is cooked when no pink color remains in meat. Remove pieces with a slotted spoon. Cut away meat from bones and return bones to stock; simmer 30 minutes longer. (See Chapter 10: Cooking with Leftovers for uses for the cooked meat.)
Strain stock through a fine sieve. If you want, prepare in advance to this
point and refrigerate or freeze. Skim off top fat before using.
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