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Brodo "Broth and Stock"

The "secret" foundation from which excellent flavor is built into various sumptuous meals is a flavorful broth or hardy stock.

 

Chicken along with beef, veal and fish stock are frequently used in recipes. These full-bodied bases are frequently the secret ingredient that adds extra flavor to a number of dishes.

BROTH: To put it simply, broth is prepared with vegetables and more meat than bones by gently simmering in water to extract all the flavors. The result of cooking this way produces a light flavorful liquid that is used instead of water to bring another level of flavor to a selected dish or can be the dish of “chicken soup”. Broth adds flavor and is the base for a variety of light soups, gravies or sauces. When you want the flavor of a dish to be more prominent than the body of the dish, you might consider using a broth.

STOCK: Simmering vegetables and meaty bones gently in water will extract all the flavors. If the mixture was not made with more bones than meat, it is not a stock. Slowly cooking  vegetables and meaty bones in very hot water extracts a lot of gelatin. If you have ever made a stock with a high proportion of bones, you will notice that the stock has a jelly-like consistency when chilled. This happens when the gelatin sets up in the refrigerator. In order to have a full-bodied, meaty stock, you really need to use a combination of meat and bones. My preference is to use a combination of chicken and beef to make a “brodo” which means broth in Italian but really is a fantastic stock.

Stock brings body and strength to any finished dish. Chicken or beef stock takes center stage when added to a braising liquid or pot roast, or to make a pan sauce. It adds flavor to rice pilaf, quinoa and enhances gravy. When you want the flavor of a dish to have a distinctively robust flavor, you might consider using stock.

Brodo – “Broth” or "Stock"

"Stuffer" roasters no doubt make the best soup so when they are on sale; I always buy one to store in the freezer.

In a recent recipe blog, I had the butcher butterfly the roasters for me for a butterflied chicken recipe returning the backs, necks and giblets which I placed in a plastic bag and froze. I use these parts for stock or "brodo" and make it the way my mother did with beef and chicken parts. Customarily, this is done in the cooler months such as fall in preparation for creating this fantastic “brodo” (stock). Doing this ahead of time and having the final result on hand will give instant gratification when called on to make a robust gravy at any given moment during the holiday season. When I had enough fixings, I knew it was time to make the stock.

I know brodo translates to broth, but this is a stock that is so gelatinous and rich you can heat with just the addition of a little bit of fresh vegetables such as sliced broccoli and carrots with or without some leftover chicken for a very pleasing meal; like a sweater on a cold day. The stock is full bodied and rich and very healthy as the fat is removed and only a pinch of salt need be added. Stock is especially helpful to have handy for making additonal holiday gravy for any large roast such as turkey or prime rib by adding it to the roasting pan juices. You will be delighted, grateful and so proud that you have this little secret weapon right in your home freezer. Any 

"BRODO" 

 6 roaster chicken backs and necks, rinsed

6 sets of giblets, rinsed well

2 beef shanks with marrow bone

6 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled, cut into 3 sections

4-inch top of a whole stalk of celery with leaves

6 large whole cloves garlic, unpeeled, lightly smashed

2 medium-sized onions, unpeeled, cut into 4 sections

1 large fresh tomato, cut into 4 sections

1/2 a head of fresh Italian parsley, stems and leaves

2 bay leaves

Canola oil

Lightly coat the bottom of a large deep stock pot with canola oil. Add the defrosted and prepared chicken backs, necks, giblets and beef shanks and with the heat on high, begin to sear the bones stirring until the liquid dissipates and they begin to brown, stirring now and then.

Add 16 cups of cold water to stock pot or to cover contents plus 2 inches more. While preparing the vegetables, cover pot and bring water to a boil then lower to a simmer. Add all the vegetables, parsley and bay leaves; half cover the pot and simmer with a light bubble for 3 to 4 hours skimming off the foam impurities as they rise to the top. Remove the cover completely after 1 hour.

Cool slightly and with a slotted spoon begin to remove the thrashed solids from the stock and discard. Strain stock through a fine strainer into another clean pot or 2 smaller pots and place uncovered in an ice bath to cool. (Fill sink with water and ice cubes). Stock should be cooled down as quickly as possible and not refrigerated until it is.

To store cooled stock, ladle into 16-ounce freezer containers or pint size mason jars. Refrigerate it overnight and you will notice the fat has solidified to the top. You can freeze it this way as an extra protection from freezer burn. Remove fat before using the stock. To have on hand smaller portions for tossing into sauces and adding flavorful liquid to a dish, try freezing stock in ice cube trays. When frozen place in a freezer bag. Stock will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or will keep frozen properly wrapped for several months. Makes 10 16-ounce containers 

Cook’s Note: For the next time you make a roasted chicken or beef roast and you don’t use the dripping for gravy, add some water to the pan to scrape up the goodness, strain and pour "jus" into a covered container. Refrigerate; remove fat solids, label and freeze in a small freezer bag. I use these dripping to enhance the flavor of my stock and help cool it down without diluting it.

 

Buon Appetito! from Amelia's Kitchen

 

 

 

 

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