In every episode of Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, learn cooking fundamentals following Martha’s signature step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Be sure to check your local listings to see when this episode will be airing in your area.
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Making stock is an exercise in building flavors and, as such, is one of the first lessons in any culinary course. Having a steady supply of homemade stock in the freezer will elevate anyone’s home cooking. In this episode, Martha shares recipes and techniques for the three most common stocks — chicken (including a time-saving pressure-cooker version), beef and vegetable — as well as useful cooking and storage tips.
Watch This Week’s Cooking Lesson
Martha Stewart shares what vegetables to use to make a mild vegetable stock.
This Week’s Recipe
Basic Chicken Stock
Stocks are the foundation for soups and sauces, but can also add flavor as a substitute for plain water when cooking grains or braising meat.
- 5 pounds assorted chicken parts (backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-inch lengths
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2-inch lengths
- 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- Place chicken parts in a stockpot just large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by 1 inch (about 3 quarts). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, using a ladle to skim impurities and fat that rise to the top.
- Add vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns and reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). Cook, skimming frequently, for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 4 hours.
- Pass stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large heatproof measuring cup or another bowl or pot; do not press on solids. Discard solids.
- Skim off fat if using immediately, or let cool completely (in an ice-water bath, if desired) before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to allow the fat to accumulate at the top; lift off and discard fat before using or storing stock.
Stock can be refrigerated up to three days or frozen up to three months; thaw completely in the refrigerator before using.
Yield: 2.5 quarts