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SIMMERING STOCKS: Homemade broth provides versatile kitchen ingredient

I absolutely love making stock. Homemade stock is comforting, flavorful and helps elevate low-sodium cooking to delicious.

Stock is one of the most versatile ingredients in my kitchen. Use these recipes when you are cooking or simply sip a cup on a chilly afternoon. You’ll taste the difference homemade makes.


Makes about 9 cups

Use a 5 – 7 quart round or oval slow cooker

The slow cooker does most of the work but you’re rewarded with a delicious, low-sodium stock with true chicken flavor. 

2 ribs celery, sliced into 1-inch chunks

½ cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, stems discarded

4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled

3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 large dry bay leaves

¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

Photo courtesy of Jochenschneider
Photo courtesy of Jochenschneider

Preheat oven to 450 F.  While oven is heating, lightly coat a large roasting pan and a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place celery and ingredients through peppercorns in slow cooker.

3 pounds chicken wings (read label and select chicken that hasn’t been injected with sodium or chicken broth)

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, cut in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1-inch long pieces

Put chicken in pan and roast until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven; keep oven on.

While chicken is roasting, put onions and carrots on the baking sheet, putting carrots flat-side down. Bake until onions begin to brown and carrots’ flat sides just turn golden, about 25 minutes. Watch so onions don’t burn.  Transfer to cooker. 

12 cups water, divided use

¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt

Meanwhile, remove 1 cup of the water and set aside. Stir salt into remaining 11 cups of water and pour into cooker.

Using tongs, transfer wings to cooker. Stir reserved 1 cup water into roasting pan and return pan to oven for 3 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and place on a flat, heat-resistant surface.

Stir carefully, scraping bits from pan bottom. Pour pan contents into cooker.

Cover and cook 9 to 10 hours or on high or 5 hours on low.

Strain and Store: Place fine-mesh colander in a large bowl. Carefully strain stock, pushing on solids to extract liquid. Discard solids.

Divide stock among small containers. When cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, remove and discard fat on top. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 4 months.

Nutrition information per serving: 10 calories; 0 g fat; 0  g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 70 mg sodium;  1 g carbohydrate; 0 fiber; 5 g protein

Photo courtesy of Wasilewski
Photo courtesy of Wasilewski


5 to 7 quart Slow Cooker

Makes about 5 cups

Turmeric adds rich color along with a subtle flavor to this soothing stock. Resist any temptation to use veggies that show signs of spoiling. To get a good-tasting stock, the veggies don’t have to be pretty but they do have to taste good.

2 medium leeks (about 1 pound), white and light green part only

Slice and wash leeks:Cut off root ends. Cut in half lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½ –inch pieces.

Put leeks in large bowl of water. Swish them well to let sandy grit fall to bottom of bowl.

Place colander in sink. Scoop leeks from water and place in colander. Shake colander to remove excess water. Set leeks aside; toss water.

8 cups water, divided use

½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

Remove 1 cup water. Stir salt into remaining 7 cups. Set aside.

3 medium carrots

3 celery ribs

2 parsnips

Cut vegetables in half lengthwise then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

2 teaspoons corn or canola oil

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

8 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom of pan.

Sauté bell pepper, garlic, carrots, celery, and parsnips until almost softened and start brown, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

2 teaspoons turmeric

Add reserved leeks. Stir in turmeric. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in reserved 1 cup water, stirring bottom of pan. Transfer to cooker.

1 medium brown onion, halved

1 ½ cups cauliflower florets

1 large tomato, chopped

1 cup firmly packed flat-leaf parsley

6 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 ½ teaspoon dried thyme

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Add ingredients to cooker, from onion to peppercorns.  Stir in reserved salt and water mixture.

Cover and cook 10 hours on low or 5 hours on high.

Strain and Store: Put fine-mesh colander in a large bowl.  Carefully strain stock into bowl. Don’t press on solids.  Discard solids.

Ladle stock into containers. Cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 4 months.

Nutrition information per serving: 5 calories; 0 g fat; 0  g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 66 mg sodium;  2 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 3 g protein

Freezer Tips: Freeze in small portions so it’s easy to thaw just what you need. Choose plastic containers or spoon 1 cup quantities into freezer bags and lay flat in freezer. Or, spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop cubes into freezer bags and pull out a cube or two when you need them.

Kitchen questions? Email Carla at