View Full Version : Backing into a chicken stock (broth)?

08-17-2012, 10:08 AM
The guys on second shift will boil chicken breast for making chicken salad. If I had them save the water, can I back into a chicken broth for a soup base by adding vegetables and herbs and bringing back to a simmer? Is that reasonable? I'm just looking for a way to have more time to make chicken stock and wondering if we aren't throwing away a resource.



08-17-2012, 11:00 AM
We used to do this at a place I worked every day. The liquid was mainly used on the line to reheat veggies and rice. If making it into soup it will need lots of skimming and some reduction/fortification as it usually is not as flavorful as a true stock made from bones. Have them save the bones when they pull they meat off the chickens and use this to fortify the stock.

08-17-2012, 11:01 AM
Are they boiling without bones? Mom taught me that boiling water without bones isn't stock, it's just hot, cloudy water. OTOH, if you could team up and boil/simmer all your ingredients together, remove the breasts when they're done, and continue simmering the carcasses and veggies until the base is ready, you'll all win -- the breasts will also be better.

08-17-2012, 11:31 AM
It will be more of a light broth than a stock. Is that the only thing you use chicken for? If you have leftover raw spines and wing tips from other chicken preparations, roast those, add those and veggies to your leftover broth and then you will have something more stock like.

08-17-2012, 11:38 AM
Bummer. No all we have is boneless chicken breasts. I was hoping for an alternative to chicken base which I find to be more salt than anything else.


08-17-2012, 11:39 AM
Yeah, roasting the bits and parts would definitely add character and umami.

08-17-2012, 12:01 PM
Reduce it as far as you can,it will intensify the flavour a bit.
Also try roasting whatever veg you normally throw in there(if you have the time)

08-17-2012, 12:08 PM
as everyone has said it will be a broth.. as far as backing in.... i have been making my stock in the pressure cooker lately... i do one gallon with just the chicken and herbs and and one gallon with the veggies run them thru a bullion strainer and mix them together. works for me

Eamon Burke
08-17-2012, 01:42 PM
My last job was at a college cafe, and when I changed the chicken salad to NOT be mayo soup, people really ate it. I also got sick of being told to use neon-yellow powder that was labeled "SOUP BASE -- Chicken Style"(seriously).

So I would keep the odd bits from chopping up celery and onions for the chicken/tuna salad, and toss them in with the water while bringing it to a boil, and then add a lot of salt. Then I'd put in the whole chicken breasts without trimming. After the chicken was done, I picked it out with tongs and I'd go back and pour the pot water through a china cap with a fryer filter in it. I used it for everything, and it was better than that freaky powder(which you can taste and smell a mile away), and we'd been throwing it away 1-2 times a week anyways.

Eamon Burke
08-17-2012, 01:47 PM
And not to quibble, but stock is a broth. Broth is any hot flavored water, and 'stock' just refers to broth that is used as the foundation of something else(no matter what is in it). You don't tell someone you can order a side of Stock with your meal, it's just called Broth, but if you use the pot of Broth in the BoH to make a sauce, its stock.

If you want it darker, put red onion skins in it. The great thing is, you can put whatever you have in it, really, and it won't do anything but add a nice character to the chicken and make a nicer broth when done.

08-17-2012, 02:30 PM
I had good success once where I lightly browned the chicken breast with mira poix first then added cold water, and what few herbs I could find. I simmered for an hour or so and strained like Eamon said. It was better than the alternative.

But it is rare that gets done on days because we are always slammed. I can't count on the afternoon shift doing it my way but could at least get them to save merge cloudy chicken water.

Thanks for the suggestions!


Mucho Bocho
08-17-2012, 02:42 PM
I save all my miripoux trimmings and skins in keep them in the freezer until needed. Then pressure cook the chicken carcasses for a hour then add the mix veggie. Eamon is correct, you can add just about any type of veggie, but I stay away from cabbage, asparagus and broccoli.

08-19-2012, 06:13 PM
Stock is made from bones, broth is made from proteins or meat definetly differs in taste.

But yes you can do that with great results itd be a good broth to use for just about anything.

labor of love
08-19-2012, 08:03 PM
the place i work at presently steams chicken breast for chicken salad and yes we keep the juices for cooking but a way better idea if possible is to use day old roasted/rotisserie chicken and just pull the meat. or day old fried chicken. finding tasty 2nd uses is the way to go!