Invest in stock?

One of the things that we are finding it hard to source are really good stock cubes. The good old OXO cube is still made in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Which is all well and good but I must admit to not being a great fan of their flavour. Ordinarily we would go for the Knorr stock pot brand but they are obviously not an option for us at the moment. So we have decided to make an investment in stock by making our own.

Because stock is the staple ingredient for a great stew , risotto or soup to make this type of dish taste great you need to start with a fantastic stock base.

One of the best things about making your own stock is that it can cost you nothing but time to make.


One stripped chicken carcass (this is obviously going to be Chicken stock)

Any old vegetables that are on the turn. The classic combo is carrots, celery and onion. I personally did not have celery but included an old leek and added some celery salt.

Herbs: I added sage, rosemary, basil and pepper leaf (more about this last one another day)

3 big cloves of garlic

Salt (and pepper if you have it… we don’t… not British)

A knob of butter

How to…

First roast the chicken carcass until it is browned (about 20 minutes). While this is roasting fry your onion, garlic an veg in a large saucepan. When the onions have gone transparent leave this is cool.

Add your chicken to the cooled veg and add enough water to just cover the chicken. Add you salt (and pepper) and bring to the boil. Allow this mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

At this point get a potato masher and mash-up all of your ingredients. What you are trying to do here is get all of the flavour out of the chicken and veg. This leaves you with a rather tasty but bony soup. Now simply pass the whole lot through a fine sieve.

What you are left with is a fantastic stock!

You can then freeze it or use it straight away.



  1. Track down a British bacon joint. Boil it and save the stock after you’ve enjoyed the bacon (maybe save a few bits of bacon too).

    Next day add some peas (frozen is fine) and make a wonderful soup. Add diced boiled potatoes if you wish. You can use the liquidiser to make a good thick soup.

    Soul food!!!

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  2. Lizzie Baker says

    Exactly what I was going to say chiptheduck.

    I make my chicken stock using the carcase from the Sunday roasted chicken. I find that once you strain the made stock from all the carcase remains and veg that the carcase can yield yet more soft meaty pickings which become a treat for your pet(s). I suppose this is a less vigorous home version of mechanically recovered meat, but you know where it came from!

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  3. Felicity says

    Am married to a chef and he has never explained to me clearly enough how to make stock….. I’ve tried to follow recipes and failed.. but this seems easy, even for me! Will be buying chicken this weekend!

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  4. Ian Deaville says

    I freeze stock in an ice-cube tray, then keep the separate cubes in a tub (in the freezer) for use later.

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  5. I freeze the carcases, adding the odd bone from any thigh joints we get. When I have 3-4 carcases I then make the stock. I don’t add salt or herbs as these can be added later to suit the recipe. I freeze it in large yogurt pots ready for soups, casseroles, gravy, rissotto etc..

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  6. Lizzie Baker says

    I freeze in half pint quantities in those plastic takeaway cartons. They stack easily in the freezer. I’ve also made beef stock when we’ve had a huge rib of beef.

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  7. I use the Heston Blumenthal method, which is to cook the chicken stock for 2 hours in a pressure cooker to extract as much flavour as possible. I just use the carcass (sp?) of a roasted chicken and don’t roast it again.

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  8. Lizzie Baker says

    The dictionary OED says it can be spelled either way carcass or carcase so we’re OK Jilly. 🙂

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