Basic Stocks in French Cuisine

In classical French cuisine, learning how to make stock is considered one of the most basic of all skills.

The French word for stock: fond, meaning “foundation” or “base” highlights the importance of learning how to make stock and its role in the kitchen.

Stocks are the foundation upon which the flavorful French sauces, soups, and stews are built.

Furthermore, stocks play the essential role of reducing, reusing and recycling kitchen scraps unfit to serve clients and guests- a cost effective strategy for both the home cook and restaurateur.

A stock is defined as a clear, un-thickened liquid flavored by soluble substances extracted from meat, poultry, and fish, their bones, and from vegetables, herbs and spices.

Basic Stocks in French Cuisine


There are 4 basic stocks that you should become familiar with:

1. Chicken Stock or White Stock,
2. Beef Stock or Brown Stock,
3. Vegetable Stock,
4. Fish Stock or Fish Fumet

Each of these stocks can be reduced by 3/4s into their appropriate Glazes used as a foundation for a number of sauces, soups and stews.

Each stock is defined by the ingredients and the method used in its production. Thus, in order to consistently make flavorful stocks, sauces and soups we must first understand the basic ingredients, their proportions, and the procedures involved in how to make stock of varying quality, as well as their glazes.