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La Belle Cuisine - Basic Soup Stocks

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."






“Indeed, stock is everything in cooking, at least in French cooking.
Without it, nothing can be done. If one’s stock is good, what remains of
the work is easy; if, on the other hand, it is bad or merely mediocre, it
is quite hopeless to expect anything approaching a satisfactory result.”

~ Auguste Escoffier, as quoted in 'The Pat Conroy Cookbook '

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La Belle Cuisine


“If you do not use good stock, you should not be allowed to eat.”
~ Pat Conroy, 'Pat Conroy Cookbook '


Lee Bailey's recipes are from his cookbook Soup Meals,
unfortunately now out of print.


Lee Bailey's Fish Stock

4 pounds fish bones, heads (gills removed),
and tails from any non-oily white fish;
no bluefish, mackerel, salmon or the like *
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 large shallots, coarsely chopped
4 ribs celery with tops, broken into pieces
3 large carrots, scrubbed but not peeled,
broken into several pieces
3 cloves
2 large bay leaves
6 sprigs parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or
a large sprig of fresh
18 peppercorns
2 strips lemon rind
4 cups water
2 cups dry white wine

* Note: If you have any shrimp, lobster, or crab shells around,
these may be added, too.

Wash fish bones, heads, and tails in cold water and place in a large
stockpot. Add all other ingredients. Bring quickly to a boil, then reduce
heat until liquid is just barely simmering. Cook at this heat level for 20
to 30 minutes, skimming foam as necessary. Place a double thickness
of damp cheesecloth in a colander and pour the stock through it. Allow
to drain thoroughly, but do not press down. Discard solids. Allow stock
to cool and then refrigerate. Makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts.


Lee Bailey's Chicken Stock

3 pounds chicken wings, backs or other bones *
1 medium veal knuckle, cracked
4 quarts water
3 large onions, peeled and cut in half
2 large carrots, scrubbed and
cut into large rings
2 medium leeks, carefully washed and
cut into large rings
Several large shallots, peeled, whole
1 large bay leaf
8 parsley sprigs
8 large ribs celery with tops,
broken into large pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

* Note: Whenever I cook chicken, or fry chicken wings, I always cut off
the tip joint and freeze it. There is a lot of gelatin in this (also in veal
knuckle). And when I buy a whole chicken, and am not cooking it
whole, I usually freeze the back uncooked as well . . . You will wind
up with 3 pounds of uncooked chicken bones before you know it.

Select a stockpot large enough to comfortably hold all the above ingre-
dients. Place the chicken, veal knuckle, and water in pot and bring to a
boil. Skim foam, and add all the other ingredients. Bring back to a boil
and reduce to the lowest possible heat; you want this to be barely sim-
mering. Continue cooking for about 2 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally
as necessary. Strain the cooked stock through a damp cheesecloth-lined
colander. Discard all solids. Cool and refrigerate the stock. When fat has
congealed on top, remove and discard it. The stock may be used as is or frozen. Makes 3 1/2 to 4 quarts.


Gigi's Chicken Stock
(an alternative - no veal knuckle)

4 pounds chicken with neck and giblets,
excluding liver
1 large onion stuck with 2 cloves
2 leeks, halved lengthwise
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
2 teaspoons salt

Bouquet Garni:
6 parsley sprigs,
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme,
1 unpeeled garlic clove,
1 bay leaf

In a kettle combine chicken, chopped giblets and 12 cups cold water.
Bring to boil and skim froth. Add 1/2 cup cold water, bring to boil, skim
froth. Add onion, leeks, carrots, celery, salt and bouquet garni. Simmer
the stock, skimming froth, for 2 hours. Remove chicken from kettle,
remove meat and skin from carcass and reserve meat for another use.
Chop the carcass, return it and skin to the kettle and simmer stock,
adding boiling water if necessary to keep ingredients barely covered,
for 2 hours more. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl,
pressing hard on the solids. Let it cool. Chill stock and remove fat.
Makes about 6 cups. May be frozen.


Dark Chicken Stock
Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home
with a Four-Star Chef
by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman,
1998, Broadway Books


"This is close to a classic brown stock, or jus rôti. Here you want to
brown the meat and cook it quickly, to give you the flavor of roasted
meat, not of bones. You can use this technique with meaty veal or
beef bones, or those of rabbit or duck."

Makes about 4 cups

1 tablespoon canola, grapeseed,
or other neutral-flavored oil
2 pounds chicken wings or other meaty
chicken pieces, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place a roasting pan over high heat
on top of the stove and add the oil. A minute later, add the chicken pieces
and place the pan in the oven. Stir from time to time, but don’t worry
about bones sticking to the bottom. The chicken will give up its liquid
and then become dark and dry.
2. After about 45 minutes, add the vegetables. Roast for 15 minutes,
then stir. Roast for another 15 minutes, then stir again and add 4 cups
water. Stir and scrape the stuck bits of chicken off the bottom of the
pan. Roast for 20 minutes more.
3. Cool, then strain, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze
for up to 3 months.

Click here for Chef Jean-Georges's Asian version of this excellent stock.


Julia Child's Court Bouillon

2 cups water
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced shallot or green
onions (tied in cheesecloth):
6 sprigs parsley, including roots,
if available
1 small celery stalk with leaves
or 1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
1 sprig fresh fennel or
1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 sprig fresh thyme or
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
12 peppercorns
6 coriander seeds

Place all the ingredients in a 2 1/2-quart enameled or stainless
steel saucepan, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.


Lee Bailey's Beef Stock

5 pounds mixed beef and veal bones
2 large carrots, scrubbed
2 large ribs celery, cleaned
2 large onions, cut in half
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 parsley sprigs
1 teaspoon leaf thyme
18 peppercorns
2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

Preheat oven to very hot, about 500 degrees F. Place bones in a single
layer in a roasting pan, break carrots and celery into large pieces and
sprinkle among the bones, ditto with the onions. Roast for 30 to 45
minutes until meat, bones and vegetables begin to brown, even burn a
little. Dump these into a deep stock pot. Pour about a half inch of water
into roasting pan and dissolve any bits which have stuck to the bottom
of the pan. Pour over bones. Add more water to several inches above
the bones. Bring to a boil and stir in tomato paste. Add parsley, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic. Cook, barely simmering, for several hours,
adding more hot water as necessary. Strain and boil slowly until the
stock is reduced and the flavor is intensified.
Allow to cool and skim any fat from the top. Refrigerate, tightly
covered, or freeze. Makes about 2 quarts.


Lee Bailey's Vegetable Stock

1 tablespoon safflower oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 large leek, carefully washed and cut into
large rings, some green
1 medium carrot, washed but not scraped,
cut into large rings
1/4 large bulb of fennel, you may use the
tough outer layers, coarsely chopped
1 large rib celery, coarsely chopped,
with some leaves
1 small tomato, coarsely chopped
1/8 very small head cabbage
coarsely chopped
10 cups water
1 bay leaf

Place oil in a deep pot and add the onion, leek, carrot, and fennel. Toss
and cover tightly, cook over very low heat for about 5 minutes, shaking
pan occasionally so as not to let vegetables scorch. Add celery, tomato
and cabbage. Toss again and cover tightly. Continue to cook over very
low heat for an additional 10 minutes, shaking pan occasionally. Add
water and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook, barely simmering, for
30 minutes, skimming as necessary. Put ingredients through a strainer
which has been lined with a double thickness of damp cheesecloth.
Allow to cool and refrigerate, sealed, or freeze. Makes about 1 quart.

Note: You may make a heartier-flavored stock here by roasting the onion,
leek, carrot, fennel, and celery, as in the beef stock recipe. When they have
browned, add them with the dissolved pan juices to the other vegetables
which you have sweated as in the second part of the Vegetable Stock
recipe, then follow the balance of the recipe as above.


Autumn Stock

Cook and the Gardener:
A Year of Recipes and Writings
from the French Countryside

Amanda Hesser, 1999, W. W. Norton & Company

“The best way to make this stock is to roast a duck, then use the remaining
carcass to make the stock. If duck is too much bother, the stock may also be
made using a chicken or two Cornish hens. Just keep in mind that it will
lack the unique and intense flavors of one made with a duck.
I am not a fan of bastard stock, in which the cook uses the stockpot like a
compost heap, because stock is the base for flavoring in many dishes, and I
don’t like to think of my base as tasting like a compost heap. A bastard stock
is a lazy outlet. With careful consideration, though, the stockpot can be a
useful recycling bin. Onion skins, for example, are useless in cooking, but
they add an earthy sienna tinge to otherwise pale stock. Parsley stems and,
for that matter, all herb stems, branches and sprigs, offer flavors echoing
that of their leaves. Leek greens, tomato skins, and, in this recipe, celery-
root greens, are also respectable additions.
And what about bones? It is not a good idea to mix duck bones with those of
other fowl. If you have duck bones, make a duck stock. Last autumn we had
an overload of poultry in the house, so the chicken stock became chicken/
pheasant stock and later a version of chicken/turkey stock. But duck stock
has a character so much its own, it would be wrong to weaken it with
another bird.”

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts stock

1 1/2 pounds duck bones or 1 duck carcass
2 tomatoes, fresh or preserved, or
store-bought canned tomatoes
2 onions, left in their skins and halved
1 head garlic, cut in half to expose the cloves
1 carrot, trimmed, washed, and
cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 green celery-root stems or
1 branch celery, washed and
cut into 1-inch lengths
3 bay leaves
3-4 branches fennel leaves (the tuft
of leaves from 1 bulb fennel)

2 branches rosemary
8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1. If the duck carcass has not already been cooked, place it in a roasting
pan and brown it in a preheated 450-degree F. oven for 30 to 35 min-
utes, until it is dark and crisp. Pour off the fat and reserve it for another
use. Deglaze the roasting pan with 2 cups of water over medium heat,
scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any drip-
pings, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Pour this liquid into a large stockpot. Add the duck bones, tomatoes,
onion, garlic, carrot, celery-root stem, herbs and peppercorns. Pour
in 5 quarts of water and slowly bring to a boil, skimming the top if
necessary. Never let the stock come to a full boil or it will turn
cloudy once cool, causing stock-based soups too look murky. As
soon as you notice bubbles making their way to the surface, lower
the heat slightly, and the stock will come to a gentle simmer. The
most accurate, though the least appealing, way to describe the ideal
simmer is to say the water is just bubbling. Keep the liquid at this
simmer for 3 to 4 hours, until reduced by half and well concentrated.
Do not stir as this will cause clouding, too.
3. Strain. Let cool to room temperature and skim off any fat, which you
may save (along with any reserved fat) for frying. Dieters beware –
potatoes fried in duck fat are delicious (though they are marginally
inferior to those fried in goose fat).
4Before using the stock in any of the recipes, it is a good idea to bring
it to the boiling point, as above, and then keep it warm until needed.
You’ll find this speeds recipes like soups because it is less of a shock
to the base ingredients, and the stock will take less time to come back
to the boil.

Storing stock:  This stock may be stored in a covered container for up to 1
week in the refrigerator, It is unlikely, though, that you will use this much
stock in 1 week. Freeze it in useful amounts like quarts. This can be done in
plastic containers or strong plastic bags, which should all be labeled with
the date. Stock will keep for up to six months in the freezer.
To defrost the stock, set the container or the bag (in a bowl in case of leakage)
in the refrigerator overnight.

Amanda Hesser's Summer Stock


Veal Stock
Great American Food

by Charlie Palmer with Judith Choate
1996, Random House, Inc.


Makes about 6 cups

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
7 pounds veal knuckle and marrow bones
3 onions, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup canned tomato purée
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
8 peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using 1/4 cup oil, lightly coat the bones. Place them in a roasting pan in preheated oven and roast, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or
until well browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pan and transfer
to a large stockpot.
If necessary, add remaining oil to roasting pan. Stir in vegetables and
place pan over medium heat on top of the stove. Cook, stirring frequent-
ly, for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer
to the stockpot.
Pour fat from roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water and return to medium
heat on top of the stove. Cook, stirring constantly, scraping any particles sticking to the bottom of the pan, for about 2 minutes, or until pan is
deglazed. Pour into stockpot. Add remaining ingredients and 3 1/2 quarts
of water and stir to combine. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 6 hours, occasionally skimming off
foam and fat, or until liquid has reduced to about 6 cups. Strain through
a very fine sieve, pushing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Allow stock to cool slightly, spooning off fat as it rises to
the top. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 to 3 days or freeze in small quantities, for ease of use, for up to 3 months. Before using, spoon or
scrape off any fat that has solidified on top.

A Note from Judie:
Additional bones and meat scraps and further reduction will yield a richer
stock. Charlie often uses what he calls ‘natural sauce’ to garnish meat dishes.
It is the deepest and richest of all stock reductions, created by combining a
rich stock than has been even further reduced with the addition of a reduc-
tion of red wine, shallots, and mirepoix *. Easy to do – just add some time in
your kitchen and money to your grocery list! Use beef, lamb, or venison bones
in place of the veal bones and follow this basic recipe for beef, lamb, or
venison stock.

* Mirepoix is a classic culinary term for a mixture of equal amounts of finely
diced carrot, onion, and celery, often seasoned with minced herbs, and sautéed
in butter just until softened. Occasionally, cubes of ham or bacon are added
to the vegetables for a richer flavor.

"Only the pure of heart can make a good soup."

Featured Archive Recipes:
Extra-Rich Chinese Chicken Stock
Pork Stock, Rich
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Shrimp Stock (Emeril Lagasse)
Veal Stock (Commander's Palace)
Veal Stock and Veal Reduction (Emeril Lagasse)

La Belle Cuisine


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