Ok, I feel the need to update you on the stock situation, and yes, it is now a stock situation. After my first attempt at stock, I made a chicken tortellini soup. The soup was great, exactly what you crave when its cold and rainy outside. The next soup I tried was a beef barley and mushroom. My in-laws were coming for an impromptu dinner and so I opted for store-bought beef stock. I have to admit, the soup was really nothing special. It tasted flat – flavorless, even though there were plenty of vegetables and seasoning. I concluded that my lacking soup was a result of using store bought stock. Unfortunately, now I know what homemade tastes like – and I tell you, there is no going back.
So, while I suggest you make your own stocks to really create some amazing and show-stopping soups, be ready to be hooked. I have made two large batches of chicken stock since last week and I just finished my first batch of beef stock. With my second batch of chicken, I followed the “traditional” stock recipes that use raw chicken parts (and yes, I actually bought chicken to make stock – but in my defense, I didn’t have any left-overs hanging around). I found that a “bought bones” stock was not as rich and flavorful as my first using the left overs of a grocery store rotisserie chicken. So, if you do have to buy chicken bones, roast them first before you start the stock process. This will create the same deep, dark flavor of the rotisserie chicken stock.
I know stock seems like a large undertaking, but once you try it – you will never go back. Luckily, it is easy to make large batches and then freeze for later use. For easy storage, ask your local grocery store or deli for plastic quart containers. Usually sold for cents, these containers are a great way to store your stock, without monoploizing all your tupperware.