Craig in the kitchen: Fish stock

September 2010

By Craig Bergeron

This stock is so much better than the store-bought, sodium-soaked stocks we find in the supermarkets. The key to making it is to let it cook at a slow simmer (not a rolling boil). I like to make this in big batches and freeze it in heavy-plastic quart containers. There’s nothing better than having a bowl of delicious homemade fish chowder in the middle of January or February when it’s snowing out.

4 cod racks with head
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 tablespoons course sea salt
12 cups cold water

In a large stock pot, put the fish in first followed by the vegetables, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Add water so that you have about one inch over all the ingredients. Cook on medium heat, uncovered, then lower temperature so that it’s just a slow simmer. Remove all the frothy foam that appears on the surface by skimming it with a large spoon or ladle.

Cook for about two hours, then let it rest on the stove top till cool. Remove all of the fish racks and vegetables using a long pair of tongs, drain the stock using a fine-meshed colander with a big bowl or pot under it. Discard all remaining veggies, peppercorns and bay leaves. This stock will last five days refrigerated and up to six months in the freezer. This is a time-consuming recipe, but trust me: You will enjoy the delicious, rich stock next time you make a chowder or bisque.