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Jan 14, 2009 05:54 AM

A Question About Stocks

I'm about to let my naiveté show (again). When a recipe calls for beef or veal stock, I truly understand the importance of using a slow-simmered, homemade stock, and I'm well aware of the distinction in the end result between using a canned or packaged product and the "real thing.". However, when the recipe calls for chicken stock, I turn to canned chicken broth, and omit the salt usually required otherwise. I cook chicken SOUP all the time, and would never consider using canned broth in its place; but when it comes to chicken stock, I've never even made an effort to make my own. I was just going to ask if the effort is worth it. Now I'm wondering if I've already answered my own question.

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  1. It's so easy to make, that yes, it's worth it. My crock pot runs 1-2 times per week making chicken stock from the bones and the bottom shelf of the refrigerator is buckling a bit, but it's so good (I'm reducing it more to a thick glace these days because I'm running out of space).

    No MSG either, unlike most canned broth.

    1. If you do it in an easy way (like crock pot) I would say it's worth it. There's not a lot of effort. If you do it in the manner of Thomas Keller...not worth it.

      1. Absolutely. It drives me crazy to have to resort to canned because I've run out of homemade. The flavor is much better, and it freezes really well.

        1. Agree with the others. Think about the cost: leftover chicken bones that you would throw away anyway, water, and a few vegetables and spices that would probably end up costing less than a $1. Worst case you make it, use half and toss the rest out if you don't use it soon enough (or freeze it). It's worth the couple minutes to dump it all in a pot fill with water and turn on the burner.

          With that said, if you don't already have any on hand, the canned product is just fine too, in smaller amount (like you said, it's not for use in chicken soup).

          1. I make my own stock as well, especially chicken stock because i use it 2 or 3 times a week. I roast the carcass in the oven until golden, this makes a wonderfully rich stock.