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Chicken Stock


Akiko
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Quick thing about using water - depending the situation, definitely fantastic. Made French Onion Soup with it (Ruhlman's recipe) and it worked perfectly.

Is that the Bouchon-style onion soup? If so, it's quite good. The trick, as far as I'm concerned, is to really caramelize the onions until they are dark brown and soft. Too many "caramelized" onions are little more than fried.

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 ... Shel


 

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  • 9 months later...

I've been making different meals out of whole chicken lately, as they're so cheap in my grocery store right now. I'm struggling with my attempts to make quality homemade stock out of leftover bones. 

 

So, my question is this: what is the best and tried method to make a simple satisfying solid homemade stock? I do have a pressure cooker by way of a instantpot. 

 

advice and tips will be greatly appreciated here!! 

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I like to use the bones and trimmings of a chicken I've roasted.  I start with those, fill up the pot with cold water and add celery, onion and carrot ( I save the ends when I'm cooking with these and throw them in the freezer ).   Throw in some salt and pepper.  Maybe some lemon pepper--gives it some "brightness" and I let it gently simmer for hours.  Not fancy, but it's how I do it :)

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Wings are one of the best parts of the chicken for making stock as they have a good ratio of meat to bone and connective tissue. It's hard to make a really flavorful stock from bones alone, so adding wings helps punch up flavor (and the gelatin level). I don't know about you fine folks, but when I roast a chicken the wings seldom end up being eaten. I like to take the wings off before hand and save them up. I also like to keep a bunch of chicken feet in my freezer for stock making. These are really cheap at the farmer's market and can be used to enrich the body of pretty much any stock you're making.

Break down the caracass/bones into chunks to maximize surface area and then roast them in the oven at 425 until they're golden brown. Transfer them to a pressure cooker with some onion and garlic, and then cover with just enough water to cover the top of the bones. You can also add browned carrot, celery, or mushrooms depending on how much of that sort of flavor you like in your stock. Cook at full pressure for 1.5 to 2 hours.

Edited by btbyrd (log)
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I don't put muscles or flesh into my stocks.  Too costly. But chicken backs, necks, wing tips, and skin have lots of flavor and gel.

 

Asian stores often have $1 bags of fresh chicken backs, and I have had good results with them.  

I don't bother with vegetables any longer, as I like the pure chicken flavor.  Sometimes I make a pure vegetable stock in the PC, (just .5 hour is enough.) Then I have the option of blending vegetable stock and chicken stock. 

 

I really pack the chicken parts into the PC, and add just barely enough water, some bay leaves, and 125 ml vinegar. That's optional, but supposedly it extracts calcium from the bones.  One hour is enough time in the PC, with a slow release.

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Since the reason for making stock lies in what's left over or what can be bought for cheap there must be many ways to make a good one. I like stock made from roasted carcass, but I rarely roast whole chickens, so I usually make chicken stock with raw parts. When I have nothing on hand, I buy two lbs backs, 1 lb wings and 1 lb feet. Often, if I am planning to make some variation of soup with chicken meat, I will buy one breast and/or a leg-thigh combo. I put everything in to start with, then take out the breast after half an hour and the dark meat out after 45 minutes. When cool enough, I strip off the meat and set it aside, then throw the bones and skin back in the pot to continue simmering. I do cook an onion stuck with cloves, a carrot and some celery tops along with the parts.

I've never understood how you can cook chicken long enough to make stock--like two or three hours--and still want to eat any of that chicken meat; it seems flavorless and worn out. So with fresh raw pieces like breasts or thighs, rescuing the meat before it overcooks seems like the best solution.

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I've never understood how you can cook chicken long enough to make stock--like two or three hours--and still want to eat any of that chicken meat; it seems flavorless and worn out. So with fresh raw pieces like breasts or thighs, rescuing the meat before it overcooks seems like the best solution.

 

True.  I usually throw out most (but not all) of the chicken pieces after I have made the stock.  The exception  is when I've added in meaty pieces to "boost" the meaty flavor, usually added at a later stage of making the stock – and which I may or may not remove and save when the stock is done, or even before it is done.  If I do chicken stock using just chicken spare parts. feet, carcasses, stewing chickens, etc - most of the time the "chicken pieces" simply get tossed.

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Hey IrishJersey,

How are you preparing the whole chicken?

Are you looking to make a white chicken stock or a dark chicken stock?

 

There are several ways I make chicken stock depending on what i have to work with and the desired outcome.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I believe that bones have no flavor. It is what's on the bones and inside the bones which make good stock. ( Yes, I have done a test).

 

That's why I always crack bones in two when making stock.

 

I also have found that Turkey parts make great "chicken" stock, and chicken hearts, some liver, gizzards make flavorful stocks, and they are cheap.

 

dcarch

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I'm not sure I agree with this.

Right, I don't think I expressed myself very clearly. My reason for making stock is solely to make soups, not to use up leftovers; I go out and buy what I need because byproduct chicken feet is simply not what happens in my life. I guess all I meant was that in the days before prepackaged chicken pieces you did whatever you could not to waste any foodstuffs. Clearly old vegetable peelings don't make the purest chicken stock, but if flavor and nutrition is in short supply you will use whatever you can.

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I believe that bones have no flavor. It is what's on the bones and inside the bones which make good stock. ( Yes, I have done a test).

 

 

And of course what's on the outside. The bones I use are roughly trimmed carcasses from birds I've roasted. Quite a bit of meat on each one. If you buy bones from a butcher they're always roughly trimmed as well. I care about the meat more than the marrow. 

 

Agree that clean bones don't contribute flavor unless the marrow gets out (and then it's marrow flavor, nothing else). This is pretty well established now.

Notes from the underbelly

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I really pack the chicken parts into the PC, and add just barely enough water, some bay leaves, and 125 ml vinegar. That's optional, but supposedly it extracts calcium from the bones.  One hour is enough time in the PC, with a slow release.

 

Just curious- why would you want to extract calcium into your stock?

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I can't answer for jayt90, but calcium is pretty useful to have in your body, as you'll discover when you get older.

 

Can I also clarify that jayt90 probably means "pressure cooker" when he refers to a PC. Making soup in your personal computer is not recommended. 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Break down the caracass/bones into chunks to maximize surface area and then roast them in the oven at 425 until they're golden brown.

Worth emphasising this. The key is to roast the stuff first. Yes there are different recipes / techniques for white and brown stocks but the OP only asked about a satisfying solid stock, so I don't think it really matters about semantics. Roasted wings / thighs etc etc make a huge difference.

And if the stock is simply too weak, just reduce it down until it gets stronger...

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I buy a free-range chicken a week, cut off the breasts and freeze then roast the rest and at that, I cut the meat off and use the whole carcase for stock.

All the usual suspects go in my lovely WMF Perfect Plus German made pressure cooker.

(no hissing and fizzing with this patent pot).

Cooking time: Bring up to pressure, then let it run  for 30 minutes and here's  what you do then.

Turn of the gas and let it slowly depressurise . (it will take about an hour)   .

I make 1Ltr of good strong stock that turns to a gel.

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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If you are using a pressure cooker, you can get some of the flavor that occurs from roasting. Roasting is more effective at producing the really good flavors, but sometimes those flavors can be very strong. Or so it seems to me. Typically, I have a mix of roasted carcass, and the bones left from de-boning thighs.

 

I too add some vinegar to extract calcium from the bones, but that seems to inevitably make the stock sort of "milky" translucent, not clear.

 

Another key to good flavor is natural glutamates. As I understand it, celery has a good bit of that and is important in traditional stocks. Chef Thos. Keller says he doesn't use celery, because it can impart bitterness. I was reading about the development of celery production, and one thing that was mentioned was that early on, different "golden" strains were used, and those were often grown in way to reduce the stalks exposure to sunlight, and render them almost blanched. Later, Pascal celery came to dominate, which grew very well in California. It can be noticeably more bitter than other celery. To avoid some of the celery bitterness, I add celery seed to an herb sachet.

 

Also, save your papery onion skins. They can add a lot of flavor and color.

 

A few times I've been roasting enough stuff, and making enough stock that once a week I could use a remnant of stock from the previous week as a base for the new batch. One time, I was able to do this 5 times in a row. The results were amazing.

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I can't answer for jayt90, but calcium is pretty useful to have in your body, as you'll discover when you get older.

 

Interesting.  Where I live, unfortunately, the water is extremely hard, so calcium intake is not an issue.  Is there any flavour, texture or visual reason to want to extract the calcium?  I've read that for fish stocks, at least, one of the reasons for a short cooking time is to prevent calcium from leaching out of the bones.

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I confess I find puzzling the tendency of many folks to remove all fat from their stocks.  I, on the other hand, PREFER that fats from the rendering of the meat/whatnot in making the stock (whether chicken, pork,. beef, etc etc) be left in (whilst taking out large excesses, true).  There is so much more taste obtained from leaving at least some of the fat in.  The issue of clarity or non-contamination or supposed spoilage or whatnot does not hold water with me.  Perhaps there are those who feel that any fat in a soup is undesirable but I am DEFINITELY not one of them. In fact, if there isn't enough fat/oil in my soup - coming from a stock - I will add more into it.  Chicken fat chunks and duck fat chunks as well as liquid fats (vegetable oils, peanut oils, etc, for example.  And no, please don't go into lectures about eliminating fats from one's diet - you are free to rip every vestige of fats from your meal but you are not free to obsess about doing so for my meals, just in case you feel inclined to drift in that direction.

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I find that if you make your stock in a traditional fashion by simmering for hours on end, the fat you end up with is often oxidized and doesn't have the good flavor one associates with fresh animal fats. A bonus of cooking in a pressure cooker is that this doesn't happen and you can save the fat from the stock for other purposes. When making chicken soup, I like to take the fat from the chicken stock and use it to cook the vegetables and brown the chicken that ends up in the soup. I do something similar when making pho to sear off the beef that ends up on top of the soup.

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