Stocks and broths are very similar and many use the words interchangeably. Broths can typically be eaten plain or with a little garnish whereas stocks form the base of a dish. Whatever subtle difference there may be, they are a flavorful liquid used as the base of soups and risotti. They flavor braises and stews, grains and greens. . . . Here’s a basic/classic vegetable stock recipe.
You will see reference to homemade veggie bouillon base in some recipes on this site. It’s a genial item–fresh, raw vegetables and herbs processed with salt into a paste–used instead of bouillon cubes or long-cooked or purchased stock. You mix 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of the base with 1 cup of water to make a delicious, light broth suitable to most anything that calls for vegetable or meat stock/broth. 30-minutes worth of work and $10-$15 worth of product makes a quart of veggie bouillon base which lasts for about three- five months in my house and forms the base of 50+ meals. It is a very economical and delicious form of “stock”.
I’m not sure which I prefer; eating a roast chicken or making/using the chicken stock I make with the carcass. And I’m shameless in asking others for their carcasses if they don’t have plans to make stock. You can use just the raw backbone, neck and wings from a whole chicken you’ve cut up or purchased at the butcher, when using the other pieces for your meal. Or you can use the carcass (any remaining bones and bits) from an already cooked/roasted chicken.
The typical ingredients for chicken (or vegetable) stock are carrots, celery and onions. I add parsley stems or sprigs, bay leaves, pepper corns, sometimes 1 star anise and a few slices of fresh ginger (for a bit of an Asian-inspired flavor), garlic cloves, thyme, sometimes coriander seeds, green onion tops, leek tops, chard stems, etc.
Simply put the carcass, or just the raw backbone, wings and neck in a large pot. Add any of the above ingredients and then fill the pot with cold water. Bring to a simmer and skim off any foam and then gently simmer, uncovered or partially covered for as many hours as you want. The longer the more concentrated and richer the stock will be. I simmer it anywhere from 2 – 6 hours. Strain out all the solids and salt to taste. Refrigerate or freeze for future use in risotti, soups, sauces, braises, etc.
And if you’d rather poach a chicken, thereby cooking the meat and creating delicious stock in one, fairly quick step, you’ll get equally delicious results.