From chicken stock and mushroom broth to master stock and dashi, we've got every recipe you'll need to add layers of flavor.
If we had our way, learning how to make stock would be as much a part of the standard middle school curriculum as reading, writing, and arithmetic. The skill is that essential to cooking great meals at home, for soups, sauces, braises, and stews. A basic Vegetable Stock, Fish Stock, Slow Cooker Beef Broth, or Lemongrass and Chicken Stock is something you might use just as often as your multiplication tables, while Vegetable Bouillabaisse Broth, Nasturtium Broth, or Parmesan Broth might be more like a quadratic equation. But once you have the method down pat (and know the difference between stock and broth and how you use them), you've got the formula for multiplying flavor in sauces, soups, stews, hot pots, braises, and beyond. Here are some of our favorite recipes for this kitchen workhorse.
Classic Chicken Stock
"If you use enough bones, it will be a little thick when cold, which means you have a good stock," says legendary chef André Soltner of this stock. It's perfect for bringing supple body to sauces, gravies, braises, and soups.
Really Good Turkey Jus and Homemade Turkey Stock
F&W editor in chief Hunter Lewis says you should put this recipe at the top of your holiday to-do list, because it'll make every dish even more luxurious. "It yields a rich sauce to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey, as well as stock and richly seasoned turkey fat for upgrading your side dishes (not to mention a killer next-day sandwich)."
Leftover Turkey Broth
Got turkey? This clever recipe from F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple provides a simple method to making broth from scratch using your leftover roasted turkey carcass.
Former Chez Panisse creative director Sylvan Mishima Brackett shaves his own bonito from a block of dried Japanese tuna for dashi, but notes that the rest of us should buy the best quality bonito we can find.
A gentle steep is the best way to coax the sweet umami — without any bitter notes — from kombu and shiitakes in this all-purpose dashi from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen. It makes an ideal base for Miso-Tofu Hot Pot with Ramen.
Crayfish and lobster provide a one-two punch of crustacean magic in chef Jamie Malone's rich seafood broth. After such a long simmer, you'll be tempted to sip it straight, but save some to use in her Pike Quenelles in Crayfish Sauce.
Rich Mushroom Stock
Chef Michael White's herb and Marsala-amped mushroom stock is an excellent element anywhere you'd use vegetable stock, but it's a must in his vegetarian-friendly Individual Mushroom Potpies with Parker House Crust.
"There’s stock, and then there’s master stock. Unlike common broths and liquid bases, master stock — a braising liquid found in Cantonese and Fujian cuisines — isn’t meant to be consumed by itself or used as a soup base," explains chef Jon Kung. "Instead, it is meant mostly for cooking other things." Treated with care, a good master stock can last for years,
Hot Pot Broth
"Infusing chicken stock with fresh herbs and aromatics, as well as classic condiments like hot chile-sesame oil and chile bean sauce, quickly adds layers of flavor," says chef Nick Wong of his Steak and Shrimp Hot Pot. "Keep the additional salt light — the broth will become saltier as you cook ingredients in it."
Herbal Chicken Bone Broth
Traditional Chinese medicine food therapist Zoey Xinyi Gong pairs whole chickens with jujube dates, goji berries, astragalus, and angelica root to make an herbal bone broth that warms you from the inside out.
Beef Bone Broth
F&W Test Kitchen developer John Somerall says this rich, long-simmered beef bone broth "is terrific when used as stock in recipes, but is just as satisfying and delicious enough when enjoyed straight from a mug, gently warmed and topped with a bit of freshly ground pepper."
Golden Assari Chicken Chintan Stock
MasterChef Junior star Josh Reisner's ramen stock is packed with flavor: umami from dried shiitake mushrooms and Parmesan rinds, a touch of sweetness from Napa cabbage, and smoky notes from charred leek and katsuobushi. Simmering chicken feet in the stock gives it a silky texture.
Rooster Soup Co. Broth
There's no actual rooster in Mike Solomonov's chicken-based broth — rather it's named for Rooster Soup Co., the community-based restaurant that he opened to support vulnerable Philadelphia residents. The venture closed in 2019, but its soul lives on in nourishing dishes like Winter Squash Soup with Kale and Fideos.
2017 F&W Best New Chef turbocharges game dishes like Hunter’s Stew with Duck Legs and Cannellini Beans by using a simple, savory stock made with two ingredients: water and roasted duck necks.
Ham Hock Stock
Give yourself two hours to simmer chef Michel Nischan's ham hock stock and you'll have a glorious base to use in dishes like Missouri Baby Back Ribs with Apple Slaw for up to a month if you keep it in the freezer. In the Smoky Pork Stock recipe from the iconic culinary duo of Edna Lewis and Scott, smoked hocks or bacon bring an extra level of flavor.
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