YIELD 2 quarts

Don’t waste a single scrap of your fish. This fish stock, submitted by customer Scott W., is a great way to utilize the entire fish – head and bones included.


2 tbsp butter

2 medium onions, very thinly sliced

4 stalks celery, very thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced

2 dried bay leaves

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems

6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tbsp black peppercorns

1 large (6 inches long or more) or 2 small (4 inches long or less) fish heads, split lengthwise, gills removed and rinsed clean of any blood.

2 1/2 to 3 pounds fish bones, cut into 2-inch pieces and rinsed clean of any blood

1/4 cup dry white wine

Kosher or sea salt


Melt the butter in a heavy 7 to 8-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and peppercorns and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables become very soft without browning, about 8 minutes.

Place the fish heads on the vegetables and stack the fish bones evenly on top. Pour in the wine, cover the pot tightly and let the bones sweat until they have turned completely white, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add enough very hot or boiling water (approximately 2 quarts) to just barely cover the bones. Give the mixture a gentle stir and allow the brew to come to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, carefully skimming off any white foam that comes to the surface (try to leave the herbs, spices and vegetables in the pot).

Remove the pot from the stove, stir the stock again and allow it to steep undisturbed for 10 minutes. Ladle through a fine-mesh strainer and season lightly with salt. If you are not going to be using the stock within the hour, chill it as quickly as possible.

Cover the stock after it is thoroughly chilled (it will have a light jellied consistency) and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.