How to Make White Stock: Chicken, Veal or Fish

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Ratings (28)
  • Total: 6 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 5 Quarts (20 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
300 Calories
17g Fat
2g Carbs
33g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 Quarts (20 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 300
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Sodium 108mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 33g
Calcium 29mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In the culinary arts it's fairly common to refer to a stock as a white stock or a brown stock, depending upon what technique is used to make it. It so happens that chicken stock is made using the white stock method and beef stock by the brown stock method. Thus chicken stock is a white stock and beef stock is a brown stock. But you can make a white stock using veal bones or even beef bones. 

The difference is that when making a white stock, rather than roasting the bones beforehand, they're blanched instead. Blanching helps get rid of the impurities in the bones that can cloud the stock. (With a brown stock, it's the roasting that adds much of the color to the stock.)

To make this white stock, you'll need a heavy-bottomed stockpot, a mesh strainer, twine, and cheesecloth.

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 pounds of beef (or veal or chicken bones)
  • 4 ounces carrots
  • 4 ounces celery
  • 8 ounces onion
  • For the Sachet:
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 to 4 parsley stems
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 whole clove​

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the bones in cold water.

  2. Transfer the bones to a heavy-bottomed stockpot.

  3. Add enough cold water to the pot to completely cover the bones. Figure about a quart of water for each pound of bones.

  4. Bring the pot to a boil.

  5. Drain and rinse bones.

  6. Return the blanched bones to the pot and again cover with fresh, cold water.

  7. Bring the pot to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a simmer.

  8. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface.

  9. Prepare the sachet, tying the ingredients (thyme, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, clove) inside a piece of cheesecloth with twine, leaving a long tail of twine.

  10. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion.

  11. Add the chopped carrots, celery, and onion, (also called mirepoix) to the pot along with a sachet d'epices; tie the sachet string to the stockpot handle for easy retrieval later.

  12. Continue to simmer the stock and skim the impurities that rise to the surface. The liquid will evaporate, so make sure there's always enough water to cover the bones.

  13. After 4 to 6 hours, remove the pot from the heat.

  14. Strain the stock through a sieve lined with a few layers of cheesecloth. Cool the stock quickly, using an ice bath if necessary.

Tips for Making White Stock

  • The best bones to use for making stock are ones with a lot of cartilage, such as the so-called "knuckle" bones in the various leg joints. The bones of younger animals also have more cartilage, which is why veal bones are so desirable.

  • Always start with cold water when making stock. It will help extract more collagen from the bones, which will produce a stock with more body.

  • Don't let the stock boil, but rather, keep it at a gentle simmer. Also, don't stir the stock while it simmers. Just let it do its thing. All you need to worry about is skimming the scum off the top, and possibly adding more water if the liquid level drops too low.