Making chicken stock

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McCall St. Brewer

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I love homemade chicken soup, but I have never been very satisfied with my ability to make it myself the way I would like it to taste.

Does anyone have any tips on how to make chicken stock with a lot of good chicken flavor? I hate having to resort to using chicken stock or bullion powder to bump of the strength of my broth.

I consider myself a pretty good cook, and I think I have a good recipe for stock that uses a good amount of aromatic vegetables, but I need help with the strength of the stock. Do you think that perhaps I am using too much water? Do I need to just reduce the stock down a bit when it is finished?
 

sTango

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reduction is the key to making a stronger stock and eventually glace for sauces
 

sTango

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if you reduce stock all the way down until it just coats the back of a spoon, you can then drain the pan into an ice-cube tray and freeze it. make sure you skim the impurities off when you are reducing.

then pop them all out and put into a freezer bag

then when you are making almost anything, you can pop one or two cubes in for extra flavor and richness.
 

SuperiorBrew

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McCall St. Brewer said:
I love homemade chicken soup, but I have never been very satisfied with my ability to make it myself the way I would like it to taste.

Does anyone have any tips on how to make chicken stock with a lot of good chicken flavor? I hate having to resort to using chicken stock or bullion powder to bump of the strength of my broth.

I consider myself a pretty good cook, and I think I have a good recipe for stock that uses a good amount of aromatic vegetables, but I need help with the strength of the stock. Do you think that perhaps I am using too much water? Do I need to just reduce the stock down a bit when it is finished?
If I dont have the time or ambition I will use the big boxes of chicken broth and add the bones etc. to that and boil and reduce. Costs more but saves time. Once in a while I will use all boxed broth and no home made stock. I rarely add any straight water.
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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Expensive is right. I don't know about where all of you shop, but in the stores here in Southeastern WI chicken is no longer cheap. Nowadays with the popularity of wings, it seems that no part of the chicken is inexpensive any more. A "sale" is when a whole fryer is $.99/lb.
 

SuperiorBrew

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It seems that way with all the cheaper cuts of meat, wasnt that long ago you could buy cheap ribs, butts. Briskets were the same price as cheap hamburger. Then smoking caught on and now the stuff is like gold.
I paid $21 for 2 racks of baby backs today :eek:
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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SuperiorBrew said:
It seems that way with all the cheaper cuts of meat, wasnt that long ago you could buy cheap ribs, butts. Briskets were the same price as cheap hamburger. Then smoking caught on and now the stuff is like gold.
I paid $21 for 2 racks of baby backs today :eek:
You got that right. Oxtails, shanks, neckbones, soup bones... you name it. They're all expensive now. You'd think some of that stuff would be really cheap.

The stores here used to carry packs of chicken backs and necks for making stock. I haven't seen them lately, though.

p.s. baby backs were on sale here for about $6 or $7 a rack here this past week.:)
 

Brewtopia

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I usually make stock with the left over carcass anytime I roast a chicken or turkey. I put a little olive oil in the bottom of my stock pot and saute the bones first then cover with water. Add a couple of onions (quartered, skin and all), a whole head of garlic (quartered, skin and all), coursely chopped carrots, coursely chopped celery, and bouquet garni (a few sprigs of thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley) tied together and a couple bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a couple of hours and strain. Add stock back to heat and reduce if desired or begin to add your soup ingredients as normal.
 

sTango

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yeah, i was gonna post that when we buy those grocery store roasted chickens, i pick the meat thats left after we eat for the dogs and then I just throw the carcass in the freezer.

when I get three or four then I go ahead and make stock and then soup.
 

EdWort

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I could make chicken stock out of the winglets I cut off whole chicken wings when I grill them. I save the wing tips in a plastic bag and SWMBO will boil them and save the broth. Pretty cheap chicken stock.
 

Spyk'd

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Here are a few things I gleened over the years:

Salt is your friend when making good stock. I use Kosher Salt due to the fact that it brings out the flavors of the ingredients without adding as much "salty" flavor as regular table salt.

You can also roast the bones in a deep roasting pan with your vegetables to intensify the flavors by caramelizing them.

Poultry seasoning is a quick and easy way to get some herbal flavors in there if you don't have fresh.

Celery, celery, celery!

Broccoli stocks (you know, the part that you normally throw away) adds natural thickness to the stock. Just peel the tougher or dirtier pieces with a veg peeler!

Use liquids other than water, such as wine, cider, or beer to add richness.

Add the skin as well as the bones and add back in some of the spices that were used when cooking the chicken. I made a BBQ chicken soup one time that was AWESOME!

Hope this helps.

:mug:
 

Kaiser

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Check out Alton Brown's Good Eats episode on stock on the food network. That's how I learned to make stock and now I collect the carcasses and winglets and make a batch of stock once in a while.

Kai
 

zoebisch01

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Chicken Stock is the easiest.

Just add your Chicken bones to a large pot (I just keep a bag in the freezer and when I have enough I make stock). Any bones will do, leg, backs, as Ed says the wingtips, necks, etc... You want to cover with cold water. The bones should take up roughly a third of the volume. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and skim off any scum that arises. Set it on the back burner and basically just set your burner on a very low setting. You should see convection of the liquid but not hot enough to simmer. Leave it go for roughly 6 to 7 hours or so (you can go overnight if you have a large volume, I usually do 5 gallons roughly). When it cools enough you can strain it off into another pot. When it cools you can remove the fat cap. If done properly you should end up with 'chicken jello' as all the cartilage will have dissolved into the stock. That is what I look for to see 'done' is that there is no more cartilage left on the knuckles, etc. I personally don't add salt or anything for that matter as I prefer to have my stock very basic.
 

Kaiser

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McCall St. Brewer said:
Hmmm. The interesting thing about his recipe is that he says to simmer it for 6-8 hours. Most recipes I've seen call for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
I actually go for almost 10-12 hrs. You want to simmer it until all the cardilige (no idea on how to spell this) on the bones and joins is dissolved into the liquid. This won't be done in a few hours unless you are using a pressure cooker.

Kai
 

pjj2ba

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I've made great tasting chicken stock in about 1 hr! (2 hrs to finished soup) I'm not sure where I got the recipe, I think Cooks Illustrated (AKA America's Test Kitchen). I'll check at home tonight. What I did was to buy a whole chicken and then cut it in half, cut out the backbone, the wing tips, deboned everthing, even the legs. I then cut all of the bones, skin and scraps up into 1" pieces and then sauteed them until very nicely browned. You may have to do this in several batches to avoid over crowding. Once everthing is nicely browned, then deglaze your pan with water. Now add the rest of your water and any vegetables and herbs and spices (and salt) Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30-60 min. Strain and use. It really is that quick. I made Belgian Waterzooi this way using the stock and the reserved chicken meat and it was pretty close to the best soup I've ever had. If I recall correctly I didn't use the breast meat in the soup, saving that for another dish. The leftovers set up into a solid gelatinized block. I'm going to be making this again soon at my mother-in-laws request.
 

korndog

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Get some backs and necks from the butcher, Make sure you skim the albumin off near the boil. From there, it's just like beer. Check your extraction after about an hour and half. Skim fat frequently. Like, beer, you can always add a high quality extract (cube) if you are in a hurry or need a richer stock. Make sure you cool your samples and don't salt until your reduction is complete. Use of carrots, celery, onions, parsnips depending on application.

KD
 

Melana

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I always add onions, garlic, celery, and carrots to my stock and never do i add salt until I am making my final dish. Typically I will use the left over bones from whatever poultry that I am cooking on a given weekend. You could collect a bag of chicken bones and freeze them after you eat dinner and when you have enough cook with them. Good stock - like good beer - is a product of time.
 

DUCCCC

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Some great advice above, and I'm learning a few things myself.

As for where your chicken carcass comes from in the first place, I can frequently get fryer chickens for just $2-3. I'll get a pot of boiling water on the stove and toss in the cut up fryer. When the meat's cooked I'll pick it off the bone, and all the bones and trimmings go right back in the same pot. The picked meat is great for making chicken salad for sandwiches, or for wraps with fresh lettuce and tomato with mayo. The bird gets stretched to multiple meals this way. Inexpensive root veggies go in the pot with all the bones and stuff and cooked till the bones can be smashed in my fingers, a couple hours. The broth is strained through a fine sieve or simply some cheesecloth in a colander. Rather than using an ice tray I freeze one cup amounts in tupperware containers, and pop them out once frozen and repackage with my food saver vacuum sealer. They'll keep for months this way, and in one cup amounts it's perfect for uses like cooking rice, where I simply use like one cup of water and one cup of stock to one cup rice.

My mother likes to get the rotisserie cooked chickens from the store and do pretty much the same thing, but I find those are a little too heavily seasoned myself.
 

friscobrewer

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Try this

5 # Chicken bones
1/2 # onions, peeled & chopped
4 oz carrots, peeled & chopped
4 oz celery chopped
2-4 bay leaves
some fresh thyme
black peppercorns, whole
fresh parsley
5 gallons of water

Bring to a simmer and skim skim skim. I always think of it like hot break. Proteins and scum that need to be removed. Simmer for 1-1/2 hours (do need to simmer too long with a small volume)

Strain & chill. I have always wanted to try a wort chiller to chill stocks quickly
 

monty73741

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Since i used to a chef we made stocks all the time. the key is roasting the bones. that removes fat & less the skim. Roast them till they are almost done...drain grease deglaze pan with water. I use wine for veal stock. then pour that in a crock pot, with celery, carrots, onion. I use vegetable ends, but you dont want to use too much onions it sours it. let that simmer for 48 hours...strain with A china cap, put in fridge....let cool & scrape off fat cap.

Portion or use. Chicken stock is great for everything it a very neutral stock so you can use it in anything
you can use a wort chiller mainly that way you take it through the temperature danger zone quickly
 

etp777

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If you have a pressure canner you can also can your stock and save that valuable freezer space. Check your Ball Blue book or UGA site for times, but looks like 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts at 10 pounds of pressure. If your'e really ambitious, make a day of it. Or two really, so you can let it cool and skim as much fat as possible. Saturday, whip up big pot of chicken soup, pull out chickens, cut off meat, etc, let cool, skim fat. While that's cooling, take bones, skin, etc make up batch of stock. Put that in fridge to cool, and skim fat and start canning the soup. When taht's all canned, go back and skim fat from stock, and can that. Long day, lots of work, but great homemade soup and stock for a while. :)

Edited to change pressure cooker to pressure canner. These are NOT the same thing (and I know that, just a brain fart, haven't had coffee yet :)
 

Laurel

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I'm lazy and cheap - this is my method
I buy roasted chickens from the grocery store for salads, burritos, etc, and save EVERYTHING that I don't serve with the main dish.

I put it in my old stock pot, and brown it. I then deglaze the pan with a little water, then add enough water to cover the chicken. If I have onion on hand, I'll toss one that's been quartered in, I'll half a head of garlic usually(when I remember or have it on hand), I add a little dried dill, rosemary, and whatever seems tasty at the time, sometimes oregano. If I have carrots or celery or anything else, I add those too. My trick to have a beautiful color is to add just a little turmeric. It doesn't add any flavor , but the color is beautiful. After I boil it for a few hours, I crash cool it the same way I do wort in my sink, strain it through a very fine mesh strainer, then I put it into ziploc containers and cool it overnight, scrape the fat off the top, then freeze it.

I love cooking rice with stock instead of water. It creates delicious flavor and I'm not left wanting meat. It's even better if I leave the fat in!
 
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