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Mucho Bocho
02-12-2014, 01:58 PM
Its just starting to snow here in Carolina and I have a couple of pots of chicken stock on the stove. One traditional stock, the other from a smoked carcass from some frozen bird. I'm just a passionate home cook but am always trying to improve my game. So it occurred to me, why not ask the Forum for any tips they would share about how they make stock.

I know you could get all organic birds and fresh vegetables, but I'm talking about a stock that is made largely from prep scraps. I always buy decent store brand non-organic fresh poultry/veg. and butcher it myself. After removing the prime cuts I usually have the carcasses, necks, wing tips and sometimes breast bones, as well as the trimmings from onion, carrots, celery, herbs from prep, kept in the freezer. I save it until I have enough to make stock, which is about every two weeks.

My process:

1.) I cover frozen poultry parts in good cold tap water and bring to a strong simmer making sure all the chicken is cooked through. (~30. min.)

2.) Remove chicken parts to a bowl and drain off all of the first stock water and wash pot throughly. Cover the cooked chicken parts with two gallons of distilled water, dash of salt and bring to slow low simmer, cover cracked. Stir gently occasionally. (~3 hours)

3.) Add frozen veg trimmings, peppercorns, bay, parsley, dash of dry vermouth, strong pinch of salt. Taste. Simmer slow simmer, cover cracked. Stir gently occasionally. (~2 hours)

4.) Drain, cool and chill at least one day in refrigerator.

Some of my observations:
After chilling, my stocks come out transparent, shinny and firm with that collagen wiggle, not runny or thin, but not gelatinous either. The taste is a clean pleasant light chicken flavor with a satisfying slightly savory slippery tung finish. More of a background ingredient that a foreground one.

I believe that because I discard the first stock water, the finished product comes our more translucent and golden in color, as opposed to green-grey, cloudy, even though still tasty.

I'm convinced that using distilled/bottled spring water (over decent tap water) leaves a cleaner taste for stocks, brewed coffee, brewing, fermenting, cooking rice, brines, and as for using as ingredient for cooking.

I don't use distilled water for boiling pasta or soaking greens prior to prep.


What tips/thoughts could you share to make our stocks even better?

Zwiefel
02-12-2014, 03:36 PM
roast bones and/or veg in oven to brown/caramelize before simmering.

I don't care too much about cloudiness when I make mine...just not important to me, stylistically.

Also, I sometimes reduce mine rather absurdly...from about 3.5 Gal to around 10oz. Almost like rubber when chilled. Becomes a fantastic flavoring agent for stir-fry's, pan roasted meats, etc. just a teaspoon in the pan until it melts, then toss to coat and serve. Takes up quite a lot less of my fridge too...and can be reconstituted later if desired.

My $.02.

Mucho Bocho
02-12-2014, 03:44 PM
Interesting Danny about reducing the stock that far. Roasting the bones is a good technique too. Always forget that. But then I'd have to defrost the chix. Maybe be. Better then doing the first rinse step plus you get the benefit of the maillard. Got to give it a try next time.

Zwiefel
02-12-2014, 03:50 PM
roasting will make the stock brownish...just FYI. more tastier...but different visually, depends on what you want to do with it.

I roast my leftover veg scraps too (not the mirepoix...onion skins, onion ends, broccoli stems, tomato ends, etc.)...

boomchakabowwow
02-12-2014, 03:59 PM
i eat a lot of store bought rotisserie chickens. i save every carcass and freeze it. i do the same thing with chicken wing tips..you can really eat them..so i cut them off, wrap them in plastic and foil, and freeze them as well. when i feel i have enough..i slow boil them all. some simple, carrots, celery, and onion..just let it go.

i typically do a bunch in the winter, when i can put the stock in every shallow pot i have and chill it all outside. i fill up quart freezer bags, lay them flat and freeze it all. my mix is very gelatinous. i love having it around. some quick wontons, and chinese vegs..dinner time!

i usually never make beef stock. if i did, it would be oxtails and shank.

CoqaVin
02-12-2014, 05:26 PM
beef stock is gross unless its VEAL stock nothing like the smell of veal bones roasting in the oven

Bill13
02-12-2014, 05:48 PM
My favorites are FRNK a very conservative bank in Richmond VA, and on the wild side, EXEL a small cell biotech with some promising phase 3 trials ending this year.:D

stereo.pete
02-12-2014, 06:41 PM
My favorites are FRNK a very conservative bank in Richmond VA, and on the wild side, EXEL a small cell biotech with some promising phase 3 trials ending this year.:D

Thanks for the stock tips Bill13. :beatinghead:

rahimlee54
02-12-2014, 08:43 PM
I have been making mine in the pressure cooker for the last 6-8 months, I like it and its less work than the big stock pot. I also made this one last time and it was pretty rich and flavorful, one of the strongest stocks I have made.

Stock (http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/pressure-cooked-brown-chicken-stock)


Have you tried the pressure cooker stocks yet? Serious did a taste test and gave a slight edge to the pressure cooker over traditional but it seemed like a personal choice. The pressure cooker does make a nice trouble free stock though, I like it alot.

mano
02-12-2014, 08:53 PM
At any given time I have chicken, duck, beef, fish, lobster and veal stock in the freezer. They taste good with firm gelatin, but I may have been making far too much work for years. All are variations of roasting or caramelizing mire poix/aromatics and the protein and then covering with water. Reduce by at least 50% on the lowest boil. Strain with large and medium china caps and then with fine and super-fine mesh strainers.

Looks like, with the exception of veal, I could just dump everything in a stock pot, add cold water and then reduce.

We've been talking about getting a good pressure cooker. Any recommendations?

Chef Andy
02-13-2014, 12:20 AM
Well you can either have a white stock or a brown stock, it depends on what you're going to do with the stock. White stock = non roasted bones, skim impurities and/or discard initial water first, and replace carrots with parsnips and leeks. Usually white stock is used for consomme's and the like. Brown stock is roasted bones and regular mirepoix, still skim the impurities but theres no need to discard the initial water after the first boil.

I also always like to add fresh parsley and thyme, bay leaves and whole peppercorns to all my stocks.

scotchef38
02-13-2014, 03:54 AM
you are pretty much on the money for the classical method for producing white stocks.Only thing i would add is do not add salt as it can always be added to whatever you are going to make out of the stock.As you believe,blanching the bones initially makes a big difference to the colour and clarity of the final stock.I personally dont advocate covering with a lid as it is more prone to boiling which will make your stock cloudy and emulsify any fat.I think 5 + hours is a long time for a chicken stock unless you know it is from an older bird.If the bones are from a commercially raised bird it will probably be only around 18 months and maximum flavour should only take around 2-3 hours.If you overcook a stock you can lose flavour.'Real secret is gentle simmering and skim,skim,skim.If you want to increase the gelatine content add chicken feet.The best stock in my opinion is one made from a boiling fowl(one that has stopped laying) - make the same way but you put the whole bird in and simmer for 3-4 hours then strain and pick the meat off and use it for whatever.Any fat that solidifies on the top when it is in the fridge can be used to cook with especially if you make brown stocks where the bones and vegetables are roasted first.

Geo87
02-13-2014, 05:04 AM
beef stock is gross unless its VEAL stock nothing like the smell of veal bones roasting in the oven

Amen lol... Veal bones all the way.

As for the original question. Your technique is pretty good although You may be cooking your chicken stock slightly too long, there is a point where it reaches it's peak point of flavour. Around about 4 hours... Give or take .Constant tasting helps, Definitely no need to cover the stock as i dont believe this really achieves anything. Personally I don't think you want it simmering either.
You can also get a nice stock without discarding anything by bringing it up very very slowly from cold with constant skiming and very low temp. Some would say this way your not throwing away the initial flavour. Nothing wrong with blanching either.
Make sure the miripoix is a nice small dice as they shouldn't be in the stock too long. Not a lot of time for flavour release hence the small size . Personal I have bones and water only from cold for the first 2.5 hrs then add miripoix... Add aromatics at 3hrs . 3.5 hrs assess flavour perhaps cook a further .5 - 1 hr if necessary. By this way the principal flavour is chicken, balanced & complemented by the aromatics but not overpowered.

Also there is no need to reduce it for most of the common uses... Unless your making sauce out of it.

CoqaVin
02-13-2014, 08:52 AM
Nage is my cooking liquid of choice at work lately

Chef Andy
02-13-2014, 08:54 AM
Also keep in mind mirepoix is 2 parts onion to 1 each of carrot and celery.

chefjohnboyardee
02-13-2014, 09:40 AM
I'll add what others said, you may be overcooking it. Other than that, good stuff.

Now I need to track down some oxtails...

Mucho Bocho
02-13-2014, 10:01 AM
Great feedback. I do use the pressure cooker but the problem is it's only five quart and even with pressure cooking in stages I can't get more that three quarts if finished stock. So I've come back to long coking in a big ole 20 quart stock pot. Also good tip about less cooking time and leaving the lid off. My thinking is that I want to extract as much collagen from the connective tissue and bone marrow.

The final stocks came out a little cloudy and dark in color. I think I could have monitored it better too as it definitely slow boiled at times. Be perfect for the Paella I going to make tonight.

split0101
02-13-2014, 10:47 AM
Check out Stella Culinary Sauces and Soups (https://www.stellaculinary.com/sauces-and-soups). He covers all the different stocks in video's along with complete guides that you can read for the "why". I find his site a great resource for those of us who never went to culinary school but still want all the facts and techniques behind things.

pitonboy
02-13-2014, 11:02 AM
At any given time I have chicken, duck, beef, fish, lobster and veal stock in the freezer. They taste good with firm gelatin, but I may have been making far too much work for years. All are variations of roasting or caramelizing mire poix/aromatics and the protein and then covering with water. Reduce by at least 50% on the lowest boil. Strain with large and medium china caps and then with fine and super-fine mesh strainers.

Looks like, with the exception of veal, I could just dump everything in a stock pot, add cold water and then reduce.

We've been talking about getting a good pressure cooker. Any recommendations?

Been making stock in my Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker as per the Modernist Cuisine recipes; quicker and easy

seattle_lee
02-13-2014, 11:38 AM
Another home cook here. I usually use the pressure cooker unless I'm making a huge batch. I crack larger bones with marrow before making the stock, with my German battleaxe (Wusthof cleaver). I add a tablespoon of soy sauce for salt, and a couple of splashes of rice wine vinegar for acid. I read somewhere that this helps extract nutrients from the marrow; haven't fact checked that though.

Slypig5000
02-13-2014, 12:48 PM
For a home cook, over the last year and a half I've started buying whole chicken legs for dinner boning them out and using the leg bones for (stock, broth, I have no idea what to call it). When I have about a gallon sized freezer bag full of bones, I will boil them off in a stock put with onions, garlic and whatever odds and ends I have around, generally black and white peppercorns maybe a little dried sage. I love the stuff, it does have sediments but I have never made anything where that would be an issue. When I started doing this I tried straining through cheese cloth but I don't notice an appreciable difference between the two. I've tried cooking it for long periods of time, my sweet spot is between 2-3 hours on a soft boil. I use this for the base of any soup and alot of sauces. Last night I did potato-leak soup and used a 2 to 1 ratio of water to stock.

I see that some of you guys cook the bones and then the cooked bones are used to make the stock? In the OP the bones were boiled, drained and then the stock was made from the cooked bones. Is there a reason for this? To be really honest I didn't know what a clear stock was before this thread, is this a necessity for certain situations? Sounds like a good challenge, might shoot for one next time.

split0101
02-13-2014, 12:59 PM
When you guys say clear stock are you referring to consommé (clarified stock) or a "less" cloudy stock?

Mucho Bocho
02-13-2014, 01:12 PM
Check out Stella Culinary Sauces and Soups (https://www.stellaculinary.com/sauces-and-soups). He covers all the different stocks in video's along with complete guides that you can read for the "why". I find his site a great resource for those of us who never went to culinary school but still want all the facts and techniques behind things.

Fun videos. I'm thinking about making a raft now.

split0101
02-13-2014, 01:21 PM
Fun videos. I'm thinking about making a raft now.

Yeah, it doesn't seem to hard to make. I also like his skimming technique where you keep half the pot off the burner. The part off the burner gathers all the fat which makes skimming stocks/sauces easier.

boomchakabowwow
02-13-2014, 01:35 PM
beef stock is gross unless its VEAL stock nothing like the smell of veal bones roasting in the oven

i'm okay with beef bones roasting in the oven. again, i rarely make beef stock..one day, i'll cook some down to a demi..did it once, and it was a chore..for a home cook.

i do make a big pot of beef stock when i do homemade PHO. it works nice..just not worth the effort to do it..when i can buy a bowl for $6.

jamaster14
02-13-2014, 01:52 PM
+1 on reducing the liquid by 75% or more.

Chef Andy
02-13-2014, 03:12 PM
When you guys say clear stock are you referring to consommé (clarified stock) or a "less" cloudy stock?

They're not referring to a consommé, they're talking about a white stock which is just a slightly different stock used for various things.

Also stock is made with bones and broth is made with meat for the people who were curious.

rahimlee54
02-13-2014, 04:30 PM
Great feedback. I do use the pressure cooker but the problem is it's only five quart and even with pressure cooking in stages I can't get more that three quarts if finished stock. So I've come back to long coking in a big ole 20 quart stock pot. Also good tip about less cooking time and leaving the lid off. My thinking is that I want to extract as much collagen from the connective tissue and bone marrow.

The final stocks came out a little cloudy and dark in color. I think I could have monitored it better too as it definitely slow boiled at times. Be perfect for the Paella I going to make tonight.

I usually make stock once a week sometimes once every two weeks. I use it within a week so I rarely want more than what a 5 qt pressure cooker will make, but if I plan on using alot I go stock pot like yourself. I am only cooking for 2 though, so a pot of beans or a soup gives us enough left overs for a week.

Geo87
02-13-2014, 05:54 PM
+1 on reducing the liquid by 75% or more.

What for? If stock is made correctly it shouldn't need reducing.
unless an Intense flavour is required say for a sauce or a strong broth.
Heavily reduced stock could overpower a lot of things. a great stock is the starting point for countless things. It has to be well balanced for the rest of the processes to work.

One common mistake people make is the bones to water ratio. The bones should only be covered with water... If your pot is half full of bones and you fill it up with water then all you've done is made chicken water not chicken stock ....

Geo87
02-13-2014, 06:20 PM
There are a few other comments to reply to...
This should cover it.

The #1 rule is NEVER boil stock . Don't even simmer it. It should be barely simmering. The French term is Fremir : "to tremble" bubbles should break the surface infrequently.

Bones should preferably be from younger animals which have a higher percentage of cartilage & connective tissues which break down into gelatin during cooking.

Rinse the bones to remove blood & impurities.
Always start with COLD water, this gently releases flavour. If you have the right temp all the stuff that could make a stock cloudy will float to the top. SKIM it :) all the time. If you do this you will get a great clear stock.

Brown stock & white stock is referring to if the bones have been roasted and the miripoix caramelised. Which stock you need depends on its use.

add miripoix about 2-3hrs before the end (except for fish stock)
Add aromatics (bay leaves , garlic , peppercorns , thyme , parsley stalk etc etc)
45min -1 hr before the end.

When the stock is finished DONT be rough, ladling it through a fine strainer first then a cloth is the best way. If you tip it be carefully not to disturb the bones to much or it can go cloudy .

Slypig5000
02-13-2014, 06:46 PM
There are a few other comments to reply to...
This should cover it.

The #1 rule is NEVER boil stock . Don't even simmer it. It should be barely simmering. The French term is Fremir : "to tremble" bubbles should break the surface infrequently.

Bones should preferably be from younger animals which have a higher percentage of cartilage & connective tissues which break down into gelatin during cooking.

Rinse the bones to remove blood & impurities.
Always start with COLD water, this gently releases flavour. If you have the right temp all the stuff that could make a stock cloudy will float to the top. SKIM it :) all the time. If you do this you will get a great clear stock.

Brown stock & white stock is referring to if the bones have been roasted and the miripoix caramelised. Which stock you need depends on its use.

add miripoix about 2-3hrs before the end (except for fish stock)
Add aromatics (bay leaves , garlic , peppercorns , thyme , parsley stalk etc etc)
45min -1 hr before the end.

When the stock is finished DONT be rough, ladling it through a fine strainer first then a cloth is the best way. If you tip it be carefully not to disturb the bones to much or it can go cloudy .

Thanks this is great.

Erilyn75
02-16-2014, 03:42 AM
Also stock is made with bones and broth is made with meat for the people who were curious.

I always wondered what the difference was, thank you!


I buy herbs and peeled garlic in bulk because it's cheaper then buying just what I need for a week but I never end up using it all before it starts to go bad, so I freeze them to use when I making stock or dry them out for my own herb concoctions.

When I make stock....or broth, I put 2 cut up chickens in a large pot, throw in handfuls of herbs and garlic from the freezer, a couple of quartered onions, celery, carrots, handful of peppercorns, a few bay leaves and bring to a soft boil them gently simmer for 2 hours. Turn off heat, cover and cool for a bit then harvest the chicken meat to freeze for dishes later and freeze the bones. Then I "clean" the stock by going through I fine sieve then again through cheese cloth because sometimes it's not clean enough for me. I never use salt because I don't know what I'll be using it for and it comes out so tasty every time.

rahimlee54
02-16-2014, 11:10 PM
I put star anise in mine tonight because I bought a bunch recently. Around a whole pod, that is strange, I guess I'll try it in something before I pass judgement. Something different though for sure.

scotchef38
02-17-2014, 04:55 AM
QUOTE=rahimlee54;283951]I put star anise in mine tonight because I bought a bunch recently. Around a whole pod, that is strange, I guess I'll try it in something before I pass judgement. Something different though for sure.[/QUOTE]

Star Anise when combined with onions produces sulphur containing heterocyclic molecules which enhance the flavour of meat and make it taste more" meaty" but too much and it will over power other flavours.

rahimlee54
02-17-2014, 09:36 AM
Star Anise when combined with onions produces sulphur containing heterocyclic molecules which enhance the flavour of meat and make it taste more" meaty" but too much and it will over power other flavours.[/QUOTE]

That is good to know, thank you. I also threw in half a head of garlic that was starting yo sprout. That is a lot of sulfur compound I'll reduce it and put it in a sauce maybe it'll be salvageable. Good to know about the anise though.

ncedge
02-27-2014, 10:08 PM
Hey guys, lots of NC guys here. I'm from Winston-Salem originally.

You know, I'm tired of the century year old preparations of stocks. I'm moving away from them.

The way that I am doing this is to cook stocks like preparing a tea.

What I mean is instead of rough chopping vegetables and then spending hours of cook time and gas energy to pull all the flavor out of these cubes of cut vegetables, I steep my stocks in an allotted amount of water, which is weighed out accordingly to my ingredients and steep time.

I push my vegetables through the grater attachment on the robo-coupe and then add things like dehydrated orange peels, or dehydrated camomile flowers, apples, ect.

In other words, I'm steering away from using vegetable stock or chicken stock.. instead I'm making things like woodstock (yes... made with wood) or forest stock (maybe fresh juniper branches, anise, maple leaves, moss.. see Faviken)

Fennel stock, carrot stock, white stock (potato, parsnips, cauliflower scraps)... moving away from general purpose stocks and moving into small batch, single purpose stocks.

You know, they say when you smell these fragrant smells in the air that it is flavor escaping whatever you are cooking. No clue how much truth to this there is... but I believe it to an extent.

Now I save what other people throw away and dehyrate what I can.. I create a collection of not only dried spices but dried peels, skins, roots, flowers, branches, leaves, and herbs. I use these in my tea-like, steeped, stocks.

ncedge
02-27-2014, 10:15 PM
Another thing I've found to be useful when making protein based stocks is before roasting my bones, I lightly toss them in powdered milk.
This is like a super boost of flavor for any protein stock and also assists in browning. I got this tip from Heston Blumenthal.

"One way to boost the deep meaty flavours is to add milk powder to the chicken wings before cooking them. It may sound strange but the milk powder really boosts the Maillard reaction which is what happens when the proteins and sugars in meat react to being roasted. The resulting stock tastes like the essence of pure roast chicken" - Heston

Be cautious using this method, it is very easy to burn the powdered milk if you are not taking close attention.

Geo87
02-28-2014, 08:20 AM
Ncedge: that's some really interesting ideas and techniques. I like it.

ncedge
03-01-2014, 10:05 PM
Ncedge: that's some really interesting ideas and techniques. I like it.

Thanks Geo.

Todays stock is apple, fennel, and 9 spice with cabbage core. (yes we seared and ate the cabbage after we stocked)

for the pick-up on a dish of pheasant breast w/ wild rice and beets

Dardeau
03-01-2014, 10:46 PM
If anyone is trying consommé, the number one tip I have is to buy few feet of heat safe rubber tubing. Fooling around with ladles and breaking your raft is for the birds. Slip the tube in between the raft and the side of the pot, push it to the bottom, give it a little suck, and siphon into a chinois lined with cheesecloth( or a fryer filter). Makes a tedious job a little easier. I also like induction burners for both stock and consommé, it frees up the stovetop, and allows good temperature control.

ncedge
03-01-2014, 11:00 PM
If anyone is trying consommé, the number one tip I have is to buy few feet of heat safe rubber tubing. Fooling around with ladles and breaking your raft is for the birds. Slip the tube in between the raft and the side of the pot, push it to the bottom, give it a little suck, and siphon into a chinois lined with cheesecloth( or a fryer filter). Makes a tedious job a little easier. I also like induction burners for both stock and consommé, it frees up the stovetop, and allows good temperature control.

sick tip! stealing it!

:plus1: