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Kris

Gelatinous Meat Stock -- Is this normal?

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Hi everyone! I tried my hand at making some chicken stock yesterday using chicken backs (skin removed), water, carrots, onion, celery and spices. Once it came to a full simmer, I let it simmer for 5 hours.

The first time I made chicken stock, it became gelatinous upon cooling. This time it did not. It remained liquid, even though it's fully chilled.

In the future, how do I get the stock to fully gel? Overall though, does it really matter?

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You might need to reduce it some more- how much water did you have to how many bones?????


Stop Family Violence

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Ratio of water to bones and time are the two most important variables here. I use 10-15 lbs for a gallon of stock. I also throw in a couple of lbs. of veal bones to up the collegen.


Edited by jefferyc (log)

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I've got a ~16 qt stockpot. I would not expect stock made in it to gel unless I used something like the bones of 3-4 whole chickens to make my stock. I *get* perfectly servicable and tasty stock with the bones of a single chicken, but such stock would need to be very much reduced before I'd expect it to gel.

Emily

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It sounds like you didn't have enough bones/too much water. I like to supplement my chicken backs with a package of wings. There's lots of collagen in the wings.

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It sounds like you didn't have enough bones/too much water. I like to supplement my chicken backs with a package of wings. There's lots of collagen in the wings.

That's my choice too. Plenty of bones, some wings (I leave the skin on) and I like to add some necks too.

My chicken stock always gels... and I don't think I've ever simmered it for 5 hours. How much of each did you use?

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I used a little over 4 pounds of backs (then I removed the skin) to 2 1/2 quarts of water.

Do you think I need more bones than this?

Now that I think about it, the very first time I made stock, I had a mixture of chicken backs and necks. Do the necks have more collagen than the backs?

At any rate, does it really matter if it's gelled or not? It still tastes 100 times better to me than chicken broth from the can.

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Depends on what you want to use it for. If you want aspic, then it's a problem if it doesn't gel. If you want it for thin soup, it probably doesn't matter. For purposes in between those two extremes, it's somewhat a matter of taste.

I use the whole bird's bones because it seems to produce better results. That way I get wing bones, neck bones, leg bones etc. I just have to save the carcasses after we have roast chicken :). Around here, it's not cheap to buy wings or necks for stock, and the normal "of course you get the bones with your boneless chicken" that I'm used to doesn't happen since you're not dealing with the farmer/butcher.

Emily

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For using as soup or in soup (or sauces) it doesn't matter if it gels at all. As long as it tastes good. Necks and wings have a high ratio of bones to meat - and they just add tons of flavour to broth.

If you're happy with the flavour, then don't worry about it and enjoy!

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I always add chicken feet to my soup and stock. Aside from there being a lot of collagen in the feet, which will assure you a firmly jelled stock, I absolutely LOVE to devour them afterwards. I also like to have some of the jelled stock or soup on its own.

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Artichoke - great suggestion. My grandmother always used feet - but I can't get them kosher.

(that's another reason for the necks - I love snacking on them after the soup is done)

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Artichoke - great suggestion.  My grandmother always used feet - but I can't get them kosher.

(that's another reason for the necks - I love snacking on them after the soup is done)

No sources for kosher chicken feet? That is a travesty Pam, what is your address?

I guess I am spoiled living here in Manhattan. I keep a kosher apartment and I am fortunate enough to have a great kosher butcher a few blocks from me with all the chicken and calves feet I want (I suspect I am one of the few who buy them, which is just as well).

I learned to appreciate chicken feet from my grandmother as well. Although, I had one of the few Jewish grandmothers who did not cook, but she had a maid from Guyana, who was a spectacular cook and never made a chicken soup without feet.

I agree with you on the necks as well, great for post soup or stock snacking.

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No sources for kosher chicken feet?  That is a travesty Pam, what is your address?

:biggrin:

I sell kosher chicken. But it all comes from Ontario, and for some reason they can't send chicken feet across provincial lines.

I still manage a pretty decent soup with what I can get :wink: .

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So you can use the carcass of an already cooked chicken to make stock? I thought it had to be raw bones and meat.

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Sure. Who the hell *wants* to waste a perfectly good carcass by tossing it? For home use, a stock is meant to use up trimmings that are still perfectly good and would otherwise be wasted.

Technically, for the whitest possible stock, you want uncooked bones and meat. That doesn't mean don't make stock with the cooked stuff tho, just don't *mix* it with your most pristine white stock. In most very classical French cookbooks, you'll see recipes for white veal stock, brown veal stock, white chicken stock, brown chicken stock, and possibly a few more. The brown stocks are made with browned or cooked bones and meat, the white stocks are made with uncooked bones and meat. Since I'm not going through anything like enough beef or veal on the bone to make even the most debased meat stocks (only 2 of us), and I don't have an infinite grocery budget, I stick with one stock: "brown" chicken stock. It actually comes out about the same golden yellow as the whitest chicken stocks I've made, and I can't tell the difference in flavor. If I were really on the ball, I'd also keep an onion/carrot/leek sort of veggie stock on hand.

Emily

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I cook my chicken stock for ~ 12 hours... when I pull it out of the fridge the next day its like a rubber hockey puck it's so gelled :-). I say cook it longer, and when you want it to finish in an hours time, stop adding water and let it reduce slightly, then strain & refrigerate.

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As previously mentioned, wings and feet will add enough gelatin to your stock.

Gelatinous mouthfeel in your stock isnt absolutely critical unless you are making consomme.

By the way, cooking chicken stock for longer than 2 hrs is a waste of time in my opinion

After 2 hrs, it doesnt get better, it only gets worse.

It gets murky flavour and it no longer is the clean broth it should be.

Bring to a boil, simmer, skim, 2 hrs done.

Chicken bones are fairly porous and cook out in less than 3 hrs.

IN fact a 2 hr chicken stock that is drained and subsequently reduced by half withouth the bones and vegetables tastes much better than the same exact stock cooked for 4 hrs.

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If you can't get an easy source for chicken feet, just amp up the stock with some powdered gelatin. Gelatin DOES add to the mouthfeel of a stock, making it feel fuller and more rounded.


PS: I am a guy.

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If you can't get an easy source for chicken feet, just amp up the stock with some powdered gelatin. Gelatin DOES add to the mouthfeel of a stock, making it feel fuller and more rounded.

gelatin, generally, is not kosher.

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Skin has the highest proportion of collagen than any other part of the bird. If you look at the parts that have been recommended for well gelled stocks- feet and wings, it's not a coincidence that feet and wings have the greatest proportion of skin than any other part of the chicken.

Skin, in whatever form, is stockmaking gold.

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Thanks everyone for all of the advice. Now I feel like a chicken stock expert. I doubt I'll ever use the canned stuff again.

Last night I portioned the stock out into 1 cup and 2 cup containers for my freezer and I nearly swooned. It just smelled heavenly. You never get that rich aroma from canned broths. It was still mainly liquid but had a slightly gelled consistency to it. I guess as it chilled down more, it firmed up ever so slightly.

Even the fat that accumulated on top smelled delightful. I skimmed it off and put it into a ziploc bag into the freezer. I don't know what I can use it for though. lol I know it's not technically schmaltz rendered in the usual way. But surely I can use it for something?

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lol  I know it's not technically schmaltz rendered in the usual way.  But surely I can use it for something?

It's schmaltz (fat) - fry some onions! :wink:

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I've looked all over the forums for an answer, but have not found one to my satisfaction.

I made beef stock for the first time on Sunday using beef bones. I simmered it for about 10 hours. I then chilled it so the fat on the top would get hard and I could remove it.

When I went to remove the fat on the top, I noticed as I skimmed it that the stock was completely gelatinous. Loosly gelatinous, but certainly not runny and liquid like a chicken stock would be.

My question is: Is this normal?


--- KensethFan

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It is, and it means you made a good stock! :smile:


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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