A rich, dark chicken stock with loads of flavor. It's a practical and delicious alternative to veal stock.
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Since this is my first time making dark chicken stock, I am unsure what the flavor profile is supposed to be like. I noticed that my dark chicken stock has a sweet note to it (probably due to the oven-browned veggies and tomato paste?); is this normal?
Also, I was disappointed to find that there was a bit of bitter finish, as I'm quite sure it means I did something wrong, but I cannot figure out what it was. I did my best to discard any burnt bits of veggies and I'm pretty sure none of the chicken bone sucs were burnt, but I could have missed something. I used Pino Gris to deglaze the roasting pan--could wine impart a somewhat bitter flavor? What are your thoughts on this? Thanks your wisdom!
Congratulations on making your first dark stock!
The browning of the vegetables will lend a subtle sweetness to the stock but it shouldn't be too overpowering. Because carrots can be very sweet, if you used a larger ratio of carrots to other vegetables in the mirepoix this could contribute to more sweetness.
It sounds like you took plenty of care and went through the proper stock making steps, so don't worry. Perhaps it was the wine or a some overly-browned bits that you're tasting but once you start to make dishes with the stock, the flavors should blend in and enhance the food. Let us know your findings when you start cooking with the stock. I'm sure it will be fine. Cheers!
Thanks for your response, Kimberley. So here are my findings for the practice lessons for the dark stock: 1) Reducing the stock in half and drinking slightly salted in a mug--really bitter; 2) Reducing by 75% and using as a sauce for chicken--not bad, but can still taste off bitter/sweet flavor (love the texture though, but unrelated); 3) Used in the Roast Pork Tenderloin w/ Apple Sage Jus--off flavor very faint, but still slightly detectable, so I slow cooked the apple-based sauce for an extended period to extract more of the apple flavor, and it worked. Sauce was fantastic. I guess what it comes down to is that I have to set aside a full day to redo this lesson :)
First of all Yaara, exceptional job for your own self diagnostics. This is a quality of a great cook - being able to taste and adjust. I love that you slowed cooked the apple sauce to concentrate the sugars to offset the bitter notes. This is what cooking is all about (small adjustments until you get the desired flavor). So very nice work.
As I type this, I'm actually drinking a mug of dark chicken stock. I usually have one cup a day (most days anyways). Occasionally even mine has a slight bitter note, but 9 times out of 10, it's because I over roasted something (bones or leeks usually). Next time, try roasting a bit less and compare the results.
One other thing to try to better understand how powerful over-roasted (or over-browned ingredients) can affect the flavor of a dish or recipe is to try the first exercise in the sweating lesson (garlic clove and water). It's really amazing and really quick to try.
Keep up the great work.
After reading a reference to pressure cooker chicken stock in Michael Ruhlman's blog I decided to give it a try and the results were remarkable. I used a 10qt pressure cooker and based the approach on the following article (http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/From-the-Test-Kitchen-Perfect-Pressure-Cooker-Chicken-Stock) and it was almost as good as the traditional method from Rouxbe that I've been following for the past year. The yield was about 5 quarts.
The best part was that I was able to complete the stock start to finish in less than two hours (on a weeknight) versus the 5-6 hour weekend endeavor. The stock was dark and gelatinous but lacked a bit of the roasted flavor, which was probably due to the fact that I just sauteed the carcass of a roasted chicken and the vegetables rather than roasting them in the oven. Next time I won't skip the roasting step and hopefully the results will be even better. I will still do the large volume approach from the Rouxbe recipe in my 24qt stockpot, but applying the same principles with a pressure cooker is a great alternative for a weeknight stock or when you can't spend 5-6 hours.
Made this today - was v good tho didn't quite caremelise the bones enough so wasn't as dark as it should be. Still good. I fried the bones but they didn't crisp up like in the video. Will try oven them next time ( I think it would take two hours in my oven and didn't have the time today).
You can definitely fry the bones in a pan (as per the Short Stock Lesson). It sounds like perhaps you just didn't let them fry as long as needed. Of course as you mentioned the oven method is much less messy.
Even though your stock may not have quite as much color it will still be delicious and add a lot of flavor to the food you are adding it to. Nice work!
I wouldn't over think the ratio of back to necks. If it turned out great then that's what matters. As for rinsing before roasting this is not a really a good idea as the moisture will cause the bones to steam rather than roast (as per the lesson on How to Make Dark Stocks. Cheers!
The size of stock pot really depends on how much stock you are going to make at once. For the home cook, anywhere between a 10 to 16 qt should be good. With that said, lately I have been making smaller batches and it has been quite nice as the smaller amount is just easier to deal with all around. The only draw back, of course, is that we have to make it more often.
Whichever pot you decide to buy, just be sure it is has a thick enough bottom so ingredients don't burn if you decide to caramelize the mirepoix etc.
As far as brands, there are so many. Here is a link to some that we sell through our store from Cuisinart. You may also want to check out your local restaurant supply store.
If you search for Size of Stock Pot in the search field you will also find quite a few other discussions on this subject that you may find helpful. Good luck and happy stock making. Cheers!
I made dark chicken stock last weekend. It was the second time I have made. The first one turned out great but this time the liquid did not sodify after keeping in the fridge overnight. There was not any fat cap either. The things I did differrent from the previous were cutting the bone down to 4 pounds and trimmed out almost all the fat from the bones. I have a small stock pot and 6 pounds of bone is quite overcrowded. I cooked it over 6 hours. The stock looked great shiny brown and smell good. Is there anything wrong that it did not solidify in fridge?
Sounds like perhaps your ratio of bones to water might have been low. The bones are what will provide your stock with the gelatin, which is what will solidify once it has been refrigerated.
Don't be too concerned about your stock not being overly gelatinous this time. Next time you may just want to use a higher ratio of bones to water. For more information on the subject you may want to do a search for "gelatinous stock" or search the discussion tab under the lesson called "Stock Making Fundamentals" as there is quite a bit of discussion on this popular subject. Cheers!