Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
rubyred

Skimming Chicken Stock

Recommended Posts

So I'm making the chicken stock like I usually do, but for some reason today I have a lot of stuff (for lack of a better term) rising to the surface. My stock has been simmering for a little under 2 hours so I'm surprised by this. It seems to be congealing at the surface (due to the lower temp, I'm guessing). But since I keep noticing it, I'm wondering, am I flushing beautiful gelatine down the sink, or does my chicken simply have more impurities than usual?

Any help would be very awesome!


Edited by rubyred (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

If you began with fresh chicken bones, you should remove all of the gray scum that rises to the surface during the first hour of the simmer. If you began with cooked bones, there will be much less gray scum.

After the first hour or so, you will have fats and minor impurities rising to the surface. I usually save these in a bowl. They may be defatted and strained for use, depending on the flavor.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim is right.

And you don't have to worry about skimming away the gelatin; it doesn't float to the top.

If you keep the simmer very low (just a bubble here and there rising to the surface) you'll get better clarity, and you won't have to skim quite as often (there's much less risk of the scum getting churned and emulsified into the stock). This will let you wait for a pretty good accumulation of scum before you skim, so you'll remove more scum and fat and less of your precious stock.


Notes from the underbelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the feet reply. I get mine frozen from a local chinese supermarket and they are/were my secret stock weapon. If you gently swirl a spoon into the centre of the stock the unwanted particles will be swept out to the edges of the pot which makes it easier to skim them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can par boil the bones for 10 to 15 minutes, dump out the water then make the stock. That cleans out a lot of the scum before you start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can par boil the bones for 10 to 15 minutes, dump out the water then make the stock.  That cleans out a lot of the scum before you start.

I concur; it's the method I use all of the time. You may need to rinse the bones, depending on how well you "de-gunkified" them prior to the boil.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

If you keep the simmer very low (just a bubble here and there rising to the surface) you'll get better clarity, and you won't have to skim quite as often ...

What sort of temperature are we talking about here?

Can we put numbers on it?


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

If you keep the simmer very low (just a bubble here and there rising to the surface) you'll get better clarity, and you won't have to skim quite as often ...

What sort of temperature are we talking about here?

Can we put numbers on it?

I've never measured, and I don't think precision is all that important. My guess is that the temperature reading would vary by the size of the pot. A small amount of stock is reaching 212 at the bottom of the pan, but you're not pouring enough energy into it to get everything that hot. That bit of simmering liquid carries much of the heat away.

The idea is that you want the water hot, to speed extraction, but you don't want it churning, which would emulsify too much fat and bind up protein particles, clouding the stock.


Notes from the underbelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep my stock hovering around 200. You certainly wouldn't want the stock to congeal, sitting out for hours -- that's just dangerous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I keep my stock hovering around 200.  You certainly wouldn't want the stock to congeal, sitting out for hours -- that's just dangerous.

Sure ... any form of light simmer like what I'm talking about would be way above the 140° needed to keep bacteria from reproducing.

I'd guess I'm talking about a range of 180° or so in a big stock pot to 200° or so in a small one.


Notes from the underbelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bring my stock slowly up to around the boiling point, this is the time when you have to watch it like a hawk, then I lower the heat to around 70c until the meat is tasteless. I dont add any aromatics, I prefer to add them fresh to next application. Then I strain the first stock and re-wet the original ingrediants (perhaps adding a few pigs feet or chicken feet) to produce a secondary stock. Frugal and time consuming but unltimately worth-while.

n.b.

If using pigs feet dont forget to fish them out, press bread crumb and grill for a delicous dinner with mashed potato and a piquant sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can par boil the bones for 10 to 15 minutes, dump out the water then make the stock.  That cleans out a lot of the scum before you start.

Just to clarify, parboiling bones and carcasses is called for when making a white stock. If you're making a brown stock (browning the protein and bones first) the blanching step is unnecessary. The browning process stabilizes the proteins that would otherwise turn into scum and contribute cloudiness.


Notes from the underbelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help!

I was pretty sure I was doing fine, but it's good to know my friends are here for me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can par boil the bones for 10 to 15 minutes, dump out the water then make the stock.  That cleans out a lot of the scum before you start.

Just to clarify, parboiling bones and carcasses is called for when making a white stock. If you're making a brown stock (browning the protein and bones first) the blanching step is unnecessary. The browning process stabilizes the proteins that would otherwise turn into scum and contribute cloudiness.

Excellent point..thanks for the clarification ( so to speak).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can also use syneresis with gelatin to get a nice clear stock if you have the time.

Add gelatin (.5-1%). Freeze then leave in colander with cheese cloth to strain while defrosting.

Look it up-there's a lot of info here and elsewhere on the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well what I do is to put ice cubes on a fine strainer and strain the oily portion of the stock repeatedly. It works for removing most of the fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...