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Anonymous Modernist 10517

[Modernist Cuisine at Home] Aromatic Chicken Broth

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I'm trying to make the aromatic chicken broth recipe from Modernist Cuisine at Home (p 266) and am very confused about the spice amounts. The recipe says:

Star anise / 4g / 1 star anise

Black peppercorns / 4 g / 1/2 tsp

The problem is those volumes don't come close to matching the given weights. 4g of star anise is almost 5 whole star anise pods, and matches what appears to be in the photo for step 3. Same for the peppercorns: it appears the volume is off by 4x to get the amount shown in picture 3.

Which one is correct? 4 star anise pods in 4.5 cups of broth seems like an awful lot?


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I was making a half batch and added 7.5 g of salt and 2.5 g of msg and it was way to salty. I should have added it to taste. It was so salty I couldn't eat it. I used homemade chicken stock with the stock recipe from the "at home book".

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The chicken I used was left over from the roast chicken recipe. I used the carcass from that bird plus a some extra wing tips and ground chicken tights in the stock. Blanched the bones and followed the stock recipe scaling exactly. The egg noodles were bought and done in salt water but were not "satly" to taste before going into the soup. Leeks and carrots turned out great. The aromatic broth after infusing the chicken stock was way too salty to even eat. I was making a half batch (due to the size of my French press), I was pretty sure I scaled out 7.5 grams of salt and I know I scaled out just under one gram of MSG because it should have been 1.5 grams but I was being conservative.


I think there are two possibilities, 1 (most likely) I made a mistake and scaled out 15 grams of salt as per the recipe when I was making a half batch. 2. My chicken stock started salty from the roast chicken carcass that had been injected with brine. Next time I will add the salt and msg to taste to be safe.

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What was the total water weight of the recipe? If it was much over 500g and still tasted too salty, then you're probably right that the carcasses brought a lot of salt with them.


Edited to add: salting to taste is usually the best idea with a broth, since other things you do to it will affect its apparent salinity. Including the acid level, and of course any reduction. If you're using it as stock it's best to leave it out entirely. 

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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