Tag Archives: stock

Clear Chicken Stock

fanny and brendas clear chicken stock

Sometimes you want a stock that is flavourful, but one that perhaps doesn’t have the array of aromatics found in our usual lovely gorgeous stock! The one major difference with this stock is that it is cooked from raw and is not a leftover carcass from a roast.

So, I simply selected two medium chickens, cut the four breasts off and reserved for cooking elsewhere., I then split the remains into about twelve pieces, quartered three large onions, added a teaspoon of black peppercorns and topped up with about 4 litres of cold water and simmered for about four hours.

This chicken stock is particularly useful for the likes of a chicken noodle soup!

Delicious Fish Stock

fish stock recipe from fanny and brenda

This is a wonderful fish stock which can act as a base for bouillabaise, fish stew, soups etc. It is quite delicious and will influence the end result of your lovely fish recipe.


4 langoustines – I used cooked ones but raw would be even better – deveined and rinsed but retaining meat and all shell including head and legs. Meat does not have to be removed from legs or tail but the tail meats can be eaten or used in many fish recipes you make with this stock

5 shallots or a small red or pink onion – finely sliced

root and trimmings from 1 bulb fennel – finely sliced

1 carrot, finely sliced

large handful fresh parsley

1/2 lemon

1 bayleaf

3/4 tsp fennel seeds

3/4 tsp black pepper corns

big splash Vermouth (extra dry). You could use dry white wine but I like the extra “herbiness”


Place the fennel, carrots and onion/shallot into the stockpot

Roughly chop the parsley, including the stems, and add them to the stockpot along with the half lemon, bayleaf, fennel seeds and black pepper corns.

Add prepared langoustines to pot

Pour in the vermouth, then add enough cold water to cover the fish and vegetables (about 1 litre)

Place the stockpot onto a high heat and bring the liquid to a simmer. You probably won’t find there is any, but remove scum that forms on the surface with a spoon and discard. Reduce the heat, put the lid on and let simmer gently for half an hour and dont stir it (which could make it go cloudy)

At the end of cooking time, remove the stock from the heat, let cool a little and strain. With a wooden spoon, lightly press the stock ingredients against the sieve to drain as much of the precious liquid as possible but without too much force that some of the softer components. like the onion, start to squish through which will make it go cloudy. Discard anything you catch in the sieve, unless you can rescue any of the small langoustine tail meats.

You should be left with around half a litre of clear stock which can be covered with clingfilm and stored in fridge for at least a few days – or used immediately.

Roasted Vegetable Stock

Rule 1: Forget your cubes.

Rule 2: Make your own stock.

The stock cube taste is fine if you are happy with that chemical construct taste. It was Fanny who pointed this out to me quite recently and it was a bit of a revelation.

an excellent roast vegetable stock even though I say so myself

However I’ll be quite frank my darlings: I’ve been having issues. For a little while now I have been experimenting with different vegetable stock recipes and a lot of them are complete dribble. Tasteless, flavourless, bland and uninteresting.

There is a debate that says mild isn’t bland and I get that. But my experiences showed that unless some punch was added, there would not be a vegetable in the world that could usurp or even match a meat stock. And lets face it I’m pretty nice about vegetarians. One has to be compassionate that’s what I say.

So why would anyone possibly put up with such dullnesses? I can’t answer that but having thought about the meat stock process for a while I took it from first base.

So I roasted the vegetables first having cut them up into chunks.

I put them in a pan with lashings of olive oil and some herbs – thyme mainly.

The vegetables were cooked at 200°c for an hour – turning them every 20 minutes or so so each way they got hit with the heat.

an excellent roast vegetable stock even though I say so myself

In another stockpot I put the water and the bay leaves and some more thyme and started to heat it up, just as the hour was up for the roasted vegetables.

The vegetables went straight into the stockpot, though I loosened the garlic from its casing.

Then I cooked it on a simmer for 3 hours, until the flavour developed satisfactorily

an excellent roast vegetable stock even though I say so myself

Several lugs of olive oil
4 bay leaves
A good sprinkling of thyme
1 whole garlic head
5 carrots cut up into chunks
5 celery stalks cut up into chunks
1 yellow pepper deseeded and cut into chunks
5 tomatoes, quartered
Salt and pepper for enhancement

Once cooled pour it through a sieve/mesh strainer and you will have a stock that will be several times better than any prefabricated stock cube.

vegetable stock recipe by fanny and brenda

Making a decent chicken stock

chicken stock recipe by fanny and brenda
An old chicken carcass
2 onions
A handful of black peppercorns
3 carrots
2 leeks
2 celery sticks
parsley stalks
lemon thyme
fanny and brenda's proper chicken stock recipe There is no substitute for a decent chicken stock. For the well developed palate a stock cube simply won’t do. There are differences and these will influence the end result very considerably. chicken stock recipe by fanny and brenda For this stock we used an old roasted chicken carcass as the starting point . To that we added two leeks, two onions, two celery sticks, parsley stalks,lemon thyme, black peppercorns, and four bay leaves, which have been placed in a large pan of water. chicken stock recipe Now bring to the boil and then simmer for about two and a half hours.

making a gorgeous chicken stock

Place in a jug or large bowl and allow to cool. Then place it in a fridge. chicken stock recipe by fanny and brenda The following day you will notice that you have a rich jelly like chicken stock with a layer of chicken fat above. set jelly chicken stock -fanny and brenda's recipe for superb stock The important thing is to be able to use the old bones and leftover meat bits to your liking and it is so much better than the stock cubes.