I love making ‘broth.’ Using chicken or turkey carcasses gets me all excited because I get to feel like a mad scientist for 24 hours and I even get to use cheese cloth for straining!
I know I’m hopelessly rising within the ranks of nerddome but that is nothing new. Maybe just maybe someone out there can sympathize. I place a giant stock pot on our stove at least once a month and add leeks, carrots, a chicken or turkey carcass, whole black peppercorns, onions (with the skins), aromatics, etc., and let it simmer usually overnight. So what is it called? What is the difference between broth, stock, bone broth, etc.?
I’m sure a lot of us frequently use recipes that call for chicken broth, stock or even beef or vegetable stock. Whenever a recipe I see calls for broth I always buy stock. Why? I feel like there’s more flavor action, and I feel like it’s superior in general. Can I back this up? No I cannot. Do I really know what the differences are? No I do not. Well that was two many ‘no I do nots’ for my liking so I decided to research. I scoured the web and read articles from licensed GAPS diet practitioners on biodynamic wellness.com, to the infamous Alton Brown, to an irritated author on the eater.com, finally landing on an article from Epicurios online, by Rhonda Boone, titled Stock, Broth and Bone Broth: What’s the Difference?
For the article Boone scoured the web and consulted her former boss, Marco Canora, Executive Chef and owner of Hearth restaurant, in Manhattan’s East Village. In 2015 Canora became New York’s broth afficionado when he opened Brado, a take away window which sells broth exclusively by the ounce. According to Boone’s research and findings, heres’ a simple breakdown.
- “Broth is water simmered with vegetables, aromatics, and meat, and can include some bones. It is cooked for a short period of time, usually 45 minutes to 2 hours, then strained and seasoned. The goal of broth is to use a combination of ingredients to create a light, flavorful liquid that can be enjoyed on it’s own as a soup (or soup base along with other ingredients). Broth usually stays fluid when chilled.
- Stock is water simmered with vegetables, aromatics, and animal bones, sometimes roasted, and sometimes with some meat still attached. It is cooked for a medium period of time, usually 4 to 6 hours, then strained. It is usually not seasoned at this stage. The goal of stock is to extract the collagen from the connective tissues and bones being simmered, which give stock its thick, gelatinous quality. When chilled, good stock should have the texture and jiggle of Jell-O. Stock is not served on its own; rather, it’s used to deglaze a pan, or as a base for a rich sauce or gravy. Stock is also a great binder to use instead of cream or butter, or used in a broth-like manner (just add some water to it).
- Bone Broth is really a hybrid of broth and stock. The base is more stock-like, as it is usually made from roasted bones, but there can sometimes be some meat still attached. It is cooked for a long period of time, often more than 24 hours, and the goal is to not only extract the gelatin from the bones, but also release the nutritious minerals. It is then strained and seasoned to be enjoyed on its own, like broth.
- Vegetable Broth and Stock are essentially the same thing, since no bones are incorporated in the process.”
Hopefully this helps clarify some differences for you, as well as helps you understand your needs when it comes to recipes. For me it helped clarify what it is that I make exactly. haha. These days I can’t even go on Pinterest to escape hearing about broth benefits, the amazingness of kale, or even essential oils. Now before you bash me as a broth, kale, and oil hater, know I use all of the above … well I only own three oils and kale I’m getting used to (except kale chips. I will not succumb to the nastiness of kale chips). Tangent, I know, but like many other moms and parents, having children often changes your nutrition outlook. The thought of feeding them like you ate in college or having them continue some of your eating habits makes you twinge.
There are currently a great many health claims on broth (bone broth specifically), as it seems to be one of the latest health trends. Are all the health claims true? Unlikely, but there are certain positive nutritional information facts you can’t ignore, and something you make at home from well-sourced ingredients is always better than reaching for something prepackaged. For Brodo their philosophy is a belief in meticulous attention to skimming and bringing the maximum flavor and nutrients without emulsifying the fats and impurities. Do they believe in all the health claims of broth? According to Marco Canora,
“We believe some of it. Mainly, we think our broth is delicious and believe deeply in the old world nutrition and comfort that comes in each cup.”
“We believe some of it.” Brodo’s philosophy and thought process is something I can get behind. So next time you cook a chicken or anything with the bone-in, don’t toss the carcass. Try making some broth or stock. Its a good way to get rid of leftover veggies and aromatics too. I always seem to have a couple stalks of celery and a few rogue carrots hiding out in the crisper, unused from a previous recipe. I will enclose a warning however: making broth may prove addictive. Whether its as a result of the nutritional information, money saved or superior taste, you may just be ruined for the store-bought stuff forever.
Here are a few great links to recipes if you need a starting point.
Chicken Stock from Ina Garten
Chicken Bone Broth from WellnessMomma.com
Beef Stock from Emeril Lagasse
Vegetable Stock from Martha Stewart. This page also has great storage instructions, tips and videos since its part of her Cooking School series
*Note. I’m a busy mom and sometimes babysitting a stock pot of broth on the stove is unappealing or sometimes you just don’t have what you need on hand. Buy some. Just check out the ingredients and check the salt content. Salt can be a menace in store-bought broths.