Broth Is Beautiful Part 2: Stock recipes

By Sally Fallon Morell
Sally Fallon Morell
Sally Fallon Morell
December 20, 2013 Updated: March 2, 2016

Chicken Stock

• 1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones, and wings, and gizzards from one chicken (optional)
• 2–4 chicken feet (optional)
• 4 quarts cold filtered water
• 2 tablespoons vinegar
• 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
• 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
• 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
• 1 bunch parsley

Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.


1. If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands, and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken parts into several pieces. (If you are using a whole chicken, remove the neck and wings and cut them into several pieces.)
2. Place the chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar, and all vegetables except parsley.
3. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Bring to a boil, and remove the scum that rises to the top.
5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
6. Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon.
7. If you are using a whole chicken, let it cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass.
8. Reserve the meat for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches, or curries.
9. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals.
10. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

Beef Stock

• 4 pounds beef marrow and knuckle bones
• 1 calf’s foot, cut into pieces (optional)
• 3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
• 4 or more quarts cold filtered water
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 3 onions, coarsely chopped
• 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
• 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
• Several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
• 1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
• 1 bunch parsley


1. Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calf’s foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees F in the oven.
3. When well-browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables.
4. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add cold water to the pan, set over a high flame, and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices.
5. Add this liquid to the pot.
6. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones, but the liquid should come no higher than within 1 inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking.
7. Bring to a boil.
8. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed it off, reduce heat and add the thyme and crushed peppercorns.
9. Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes.

You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn’t even smell particularly good. But don’t despair. After straining, you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many delicious recipes.

10. Remove the bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let it cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long-term storage.

Fish Stock

• 3 or 4 whole carcasses, including heads, of non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish, or snapper
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 onions, coarsely chopped
• 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
• several sprigs fresh thyme
• several sprigs parsley
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
• 1/4 cup vinegar
• About 3 quarts cold, filtered water

Ideally, fish stock is made from the bones of sole or turbot. In Europe, you can buy these fish on the bone. The fish monger skins and filets the fish for you, giving you the filets for your evening meal and the bones for making the stock and final sauce.

Unfortunately, in America sole arrives at the fish market pre-boned. But snapper, rock fish, and other non-oily fish work equally well, and a good fish merchant will save the carcasses for you if you ask him. Because he normally throws these carcasses away, he shouldn’t charge you for them.

Be sure to take the heads as well as the body—these are especially rich in iodine and fat-soluble vitamins. Classic cooking texts advise against using oily fish such as salmon for making broth, probably because highly unsaturated fish oils become rancid during the long cooking process.


1. Melt butter in a large stainless steel pot.
2. Add the vegetables and cook very gently, about 1/2 hour, until they are soft.
3. Add wine and bring to a boil.
4. Add the fish carcasses and cover with cold, filtered water.
5. Add vinegar.
6. Bring to a boil and skim off the scum and impurities as they rise to the top.
7. Tie herbs together and add to the pot.
8. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 4 hours or as long as 24 hours.
9. Remove carcasses with tongs or a slotted spoon and strain the liquid into pint-size storage containers for refrigerator or freezer.
10. Chill well in the refrigerator and remove any congealed fat before transferring to the freezer for long-term storage.

Sally Fallon Morell, M.A., is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, She is the author of “Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats” and “The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care.” To learn more about her work, visit