Dark Chicken Stock

Dark Chicken Stock

Details

A rich, dark chicken stock with loads of flavor. It's a practical and delicious alternative to veal stock.
  • Serves: About 4 liters
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 7 hrs - 8 hrs
  • Views: 72,326
  • Success: 99%

Steps

Step 1: Caramelizing the Bones and Mirepoix

• 6 lb chicken bones (necks and backs)
• 3 large carrots
• 3 large onions
• 3 celery ribs
• 1 large leek
• 2 heads of garlic
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 6 tbsp vegetable oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 425º degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat a roasting pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil and lay the bones in a single layer. Place into the oven to caramelize.

Meanwhile, wash and roughly chop all of the mirepoix into approximately 3/4" to 1" -inch pieces. Keep the leeks separate, as they will be added a bit later. Cut the garlic in half horizontally.

For easy clean up, line a baking tray with foil all the way up the sides. Add about 1 tablespoon of the oil and the mirepoix. Add another tablespoon of oil over top and toss to coat. Place into the oven for about 30 minutes.

Check the bones after about 40 minutes or so. If they’re golden brown, turn them over and place them back into the oven to caramelize on the other side. Toss the vegetables occasionally to ensure they’re cooking evenly.

Now, add the leeks, toss again and place back into the oven. Once the mirepoix is done, push it towards the center of the foil, being careful not to tear it.

Next, heat a stock pot to medium and add the rest of the oil (about 2 tablespoons). Transfer the mirepoix to the pot and add the tomato paste. Cook for about a minute or so, turn off the heat and set aside while you check on the bones. Once the bones are nicely caramelized, add them to the stock pot.

Carefully drain the excess fat from the roasting pan. Place the pan onto the stove top and turn the heat to medium-high. Deglaze with the white wine. Once the wine has reduced, scrape the bottom and pour everything into the stock pot.

Step 2: Cooking the Stock

• cold water
• 2 bay leaves
• 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
• 1/2 bunch parsley stems
• 1 1/2 tsp whole, black peppercorns

Method

To cook the stock, cover the bones and mirepoix with enough cold water to cover everything by about 2 inches. Slowly bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat.

As the stock heats up, skim the surface periodically to remove any fat and impurities. Cook the stock for approximately 4 to 6 hours.

About 30 minutes before the stock has finished cooking, add the bouquet garni and continue to simmer.

Step 3: Finishing the Stock

Method

Once the stock has finished cooking, gently remove the bones and mirepoix using a spider. Strain the stock through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.

You now have a beautiful rich chicken stock, which can be used in soups, stews and many other dishes.

If not using immediately, cool the stock over an ice bath and store appropriately.

Step 4: Dark Chicken Stock Reduction

Method

You can further reduce this stock to create an even richer stock with a sauce-like consistency.

Simply place it back on the stove and simmer until the stock is reduced by half.

The reduced dark chicken stock can be used as the base for many healthy and delicious dishes and sauces.

Chef's Notes

Stock will keep in the in the refrigerator for a few days, or in the freezer for a few months. Just make sure to bring it to a boil before consuming.

112 Comments

  • Ken J
    Ken J
    I made stock for the first time and used this recipe--it turned out great! It was easy to do, too. Thank you. Your recipe calls for barely simmering the stock for 6 hrs. Other recipes I've seen say simmer only 1 hr. Is the amount of flavor proportionately greater in the longer-simmered stock?
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Short answer: There IS a point where you will not extract any more flavor from bones and/or vegetables. A slow simmer results in a slower extraction process and is used to produce a very clear stock. We suggest 4 to 6 hours at a very slow simmer for best results. Longer Answer: Let me first start off by talking about what a stock is - it is flavored water. That's it. Making a stock is like making tea where you are simply infusing flavor into water to use as a base for a: e.g. sauce, soup, braised dish, etc. With that out of the way, there are no absolutes with stocks. You simmer to extract flavor and if you like the flavor you have reached after 1 or 2 hours, then so be it. It will still produce an end-dish that will be better than if you simply added plain water. And unlike tea, you can even cook a stock longer without causing the stock to degrade in flavor. You won't be extracting any more flavor after a certain point, but rather you will start concentrating the flavors through reduction. So remember - no absolutes. If you want to add tomatoes and more thyme to adjust the base flavor, then go ahead. This is where stock making gets fun and begins to take on your own personal culinary character.
  • Linda C
    Linda C
    I made this stock yesterday. Instead of my usual short cut methods, I followed the recipe. this is some of the best stock I've ever made. I did simmer for 6 hours. It was very gellatenous when cooled. I can't wait to use this stock. I also put the stock in ziplock bags, laying flat in the freezer. I had 8 bags which hardly took any room...awesome!
  • Iain G
    Iain G
    Fantastic stock. I've used it in meat dumplings and almost anywhere "water" is needed in a recipe. I too have a gelatinous mass in my fridge which I enjoy scooping out and enriching my, now superior, dishes. Thanks guys! 100%
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    I may need to get a larger one but it is difficult for me to tell from the video ... Thank you! Matthew
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Anywhere from a 10 quart to 16 quart is good for the home cook. It all depends on how much you want to make and how much you can store. There is more covered in the How to Make Stock Fundamentals Lesson and in this previous forum discussion. Happy Cooking! Hope this helps.
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    Really I wanted to make this recipe verbatim. I saw that the stock pot that I have is in fact a 7 quart which I suppose it is why it looks small - especially if it were to accommodate all the ingredients in this recipe. So, for this Dark Chicken Stock recipe I take it that a 10 quart would be the minimum with a 12 quart getting the nod? I was not able to make my way to the link for a recommended pot that was listed in the previous forum as the "page could not be found" but I did find a 12 quart All Clad stainless stock pot but it sells in the high $300 range ... :)
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Hi Matthew. I'd go for a 12 minimum to 16 quart (the bigger the better) as you are going to love making stock - not to mention the great recipes that will be within your reach once you have great stock on hand. Note that going from a 12 to 16 will not be that different in price. However, 12 is big enough for this recipe. As for where to buy them, call you local restaurant supply store and I'm sure you can pick one up for around $100 to $150. Just make sure it's stainless steel. In Vancouver, we go to this place: http://www.russellfood.ca/ (interesting people think that it's only for restaurants and hotels but the public are served as well if you know). Good luck.
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    I'll go and search today. As a matter of interest, could one take this recipe, divide the quantities by two - and cook in two smaller (7 qt) stock pots? Would that have any effect on cooking time or consistency of the resulting stock? Thank you again! Matthew.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    This would totally work - the cooking time would only be affected by how long it would take the stock to come to a simmer (as there would be less water). Basically stocks are quite flexible, don't worry too much just get in there and you will see how easy and wonderful they are. I just made one the other day (in a 6 qt pot) and I had to leave it on low for about 6 hrs and the end result was a delicious and rich stock. What I mean is that I rarely worry about time, I work stocks around my schedule so that I make them often. Hope this helps!
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    of an 18 quart Vollrath Stainless Steel Stock Pot! Acquired from a local restaurant supply store ($109 for the pot, $26 for the lid) - thank you Joe G for the suggestion! Chicken bones are harder to come by than I thought but have requested a local supermarket to set some aside as the day goes on - hopefully will pick them up tomorrow. Let the stocks begin!
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    Following the recipe, I seem to have ended up with two to three times the vegetables - as compared with the video. Consequently I think I was steaming the mirepoix in the first step as opposed to caramelizing them. I then split them into two pans. I did not use the product from deglazing the pan which held the chicken bones as it was beyond caramelized 0 it had burned and the taste was so acrid that I did not want to incorporate this into the stock. At the end of the day we had 14 cups of what I would call a very nice and deep vegetable stock - however the chicken was hard to detect. Nevertheless,I look forward to using this stock in future recipies.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    Hi Matthew... First of all, congratulations for making one of the most important purchases for your culinary training (next to the knife) - a stock pot. Everyone take note :-) Secondly, I congratulate you on adapting (splitting up the mirepoix because you noticed that it was steaming). Paying attention and asking questions is the first step to obtaining the results you desire. You did the right thing. Thirdly, I would like to suggest that you review the lesson on Stock Making Fundamentals. In particular, topic number 5. When making stocks there are no hard and fast rules regarding the ratio of bones to vegetables. We suggest a ratio of 3 parts bones to 1 part mirepoix but this is a general guide only. For the mirepoix, half onions and half celery, carrots and leaks. So next time, forget the recipe altogether and eyeball it. If in the end you'd like a bit more chicken flavor, add more bones. Play with it. Lastly, caramelizing the bones is important. Not over caramelizing is also important (e.g. burning). So you did the right thing to trust your judgment. The subsequent lesson in the Stock Section on How to Make Dark Stock will provide some great technique for you. Great work. Try another small batch after you review these lessons and then let's make something with it. If you need suggestions, click on the 'Contact Us' link on the bottom of the page and we'll suggest a few great starter recipes.
  • Hesham K
    Hesham K
    This is the key to setting yourself up for some great results in the kitchen. The first recipe I tried from Rouxbe was the Chicken Marsala and I used store bought stock. The second recipe I tried was this one for the dark stock. I reattempted the Chicken Marsala and was blown away at the difference in quality. Since that time I've pretty much always had some home made dark stock on hand in the freezer. My only gripe is that my oven is too small to adequately roast everything all at once so I find myself doing the vegetables and bones separately, and even then, sometimes the bones in batches. Once it all gets thrown into the pot though, it's smooth sailing and I can pretty much let it do it's thing once it's come to a gentle simmer. I can't stress how awesome having your own dark stock on hand is. Ridiculously good pan sauces, braising liquids, etc., are all so easily attainable now.
  • Rosi L
    Rosi L
    I made stock yesterday, which looks delicious. However, I woke up this morning and there is no thick layer of fat at the top (I put the pot in the refrigerater). Does this indicate that most of the fat emulsified? -I hope it all wasnt for naught...
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Rosi, You didn't do anything wrong. Either you did a great job of skimming during cooking or there was just not a lot of fat on the bones. Also, sometimes the stock can be super gelatinous and other times not so much. It all depends on the bones used. If it tastes great, that's all that matters. Great job!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There is not always a big layer of fat on top. Perhaps the bones you used wasn't very fatty. Don't worry Rosi, if it tastes good then you are fine. Curious...did the stock thicken (get more gelatinous) in the refrigerator?
  • Rosi L
    Rosi L
    The stock did not get more gelatinous. Could my refrigerator not be cold enough?
  • Rosi L
    Rosi L
    Thanks! I'm just going to stick to "having done a great job skimming"!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    As far as the temperature of your refrigerator...I suggest using a fridge thermometer. I have one that I keep in the fridge at all times. This way I always know that my refrigerator is at the correct temperature. I also have an oven-proof thermometer for my oven, as appliances are most often slightly out when it comes to temperatures. Hope this helps!
  • Jorge A
    Jorge A
    I made chicken short stock yesterday. I had to use chicken legs as I have no easy access to chicken bones. I followed the recipe and used good quality canned chicken stock rather than water. The recipe calls for adding 2 liters of chicken quarts. The beginning of the recipe has the statement Serves 5L. Is this recipe supposed to make 5L? Am I reading the recipe wrong? In other words, adding 2 L should not yield 5L Jorge
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Thanks for the catch. The recipe has been updated - the yield for this short stock is about 2 L.
  • Colleen S
    Colleen S
    What other herbs could be substituted for the thyme? Would rosemary work?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I would not substitute with rosemary as it would be too overpowering. I would maybe just leave it out or use a bit of dried thyme. You could also try using a herb blend that contains a bit of thyme such as, herbes de Provence. Just don't over do it, as you don't want to overpower the flavor of the chicken.
  • Colleen S
    Colleen S
    Are you supposed to use the whole leek, or just the white and light green parts?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You can use the whole leek if you like. I often save the white and light green part for cooking and store the dark green tops in the freezer, to be used later when I am making stocks.
  • Colleen S
    Colleen S
    Why isn't there salt in this stock? I thought the point of the lesson on "seasoning with salt" was that you should pretty much season everything as you go, so wouldn't that include stock?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Salt is optional in stock, as stock is meant to more neutral in flavor. This allows you to have more control when you make dishes later. If stocks are made with no (or very little salt) it is much easier to control the amount of saltiness in a dish. Does this make sense? We often add a touch of salt into our stocks but again this is optional. For more information on this, watch the cooking school lesson on How to Make Stock Fundamentals, in particular topic 5 (after about the 45 second mark).
  • Siew eng Y
    Siew eng Y
    I followed the instructions on caramelizing the bones and vegetables, and then placed all the ingredients (and hot water) in my slow cooker instead of a stock pot and let simmer for 5-6 hours on low. The stock was extremely flavourful and gelatinous! Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I will not make chicken stock any other way except the rouxbe way from now on! :)
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Glad you were happy with the results you got; however, we don't recommend starting a stock with hot water. Cold water helps to coagulate the impurities, allowing them to float to the surface, which makes for a clearer and cleaner-tasting stock. If you were happy with the results, that's great, but we'd encourage you to try the stove top method as shown in the lesson on How to Make Stock Fundamentals. Cheers!
  • Siew eng Y
    Siew eng Y
    Thanks so much for the explanation! No wonder I saw so much residue in the stock! But the taste was good though. :) I used slow cooker to make the stock cos I don't own a stock pot and I could just walk away and not have to keep an eye on the stove constantly. However, I will certainly try the stove top method one of these days! :) Thanks again!
  • Nancy B
    Nancy B
    I get my chickens from a local farm. They come with feet attached. I have cut them up and saved all the extra bits for stock. I have wingtips, backs, necks, etc. My question is should I use the feet for the stock as well? Why or why not? -Thanks
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Good question. Indeed, you can use chicken feet in a stock. Here is another forum thread that talks a bit more about this same subject. Cheers!
  • Aaron J
    Aaron J
    Knowing roasting and pan drippings are a crucial part of the process, is there a way to make stock from rotisserie chicken? We have a rotisserie shop we like to buy our chicken from but we would like to make use of the rest of the chicken. Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed, you can use leftover chicken bones. You can either use them as is or you can roast them first. Then carry on with the same stock making process. Cheers!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    So far I've only made regular chicken stock, and a failed attempt at demi glace which I now call a veal/brown stock, Both were ok, but this ROCKS!!!! Maybe I'm just getting better at following directions?! I will never again bother with just a straight boring bland clear chicken stock. Or maybe I will once I finish all the lessons and understand why one would pick that over this. The aroma from the roasted chicken feet and left over roasted carcasses is AMAZING. I can actually taste this "Flavored Water" (thanks a million for making that clear to me, Joe G.!) I wasn't sure if it was going to work adding frozen left-over roasted chicken carcasses that I've been saving along with the raw frozen chicken feet as I couldn't find any chicken necks, backs etc. unbelievable! So I ended up re-roasting the left-over roasted chicken carcasses and roasted the raw chicken feet. Along with the mirepoix this took all day just to roast!!! I do have one question... I didn't follow the directions exactly as far as roasting the mirepoix as far as using tin foil. I just oiled up my half-sheet and roasted on that. When the roasting process of the mirepoix was finished, it seems to me I missed an opportunity for more of that grand suc flavor by not deglazing the pan the mirepois was roasting in. I only dumped the mirepoix into the pot without deglazing it because part of the pan had black burned bits and frankly I was tired of the marathon roasting day I had been struggling with. I didn't know I could re-roast a previously roasted chicken carcass and it took about the same amount of time the raw chicken feet took. I had far more sucs with the previously roasted chicken carcasses and much more flavor and aroma. Hummmm.... this is fun! Could you please comment on why you would skip the tin foil and just roast the mirepoix, then deglaze that as well? I really think I should have deglazed the mirepoix and added it to the mix. I'm thinking there's not much coagulation that's going to go on in a previously roasted chicken carcass, but if you add half raw chicken feet you may end up with the same viscosity or "congeniality" as you wanted. Please comment. thanks!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Ok, this may be over the top, but I usually make about 16 to 20 quarts worth of chicken bone/water in my stock pot. I'm not very happy to make such a small amount given the amount of cost of energy it takes to do this all day marathon. that's not your fault, it's mine for not finding enough chicken bones to fill a 20 qt pot. In any event since this is the smallest batch I've ever made...as I skim the surface for grease and what-not, I know I'm taking valuable liquid stock out in the process. I was thinking of taking that grease-filled bowl of the skimming and placing it in the frig to let the grease rise to the top so I can skim it off, then take the small amount of left over stock and add it back to the pot instead of water as it evaporates. Usually I have a much larger batch and wouldn't care about losing that little bit of flavorful stock and throw it in the trash. So, I would like to hear your comments on this. Thank Rouxbe, you are going to make a world-class-home-cook out of me yet!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    This stock came out perfect and tastes so wonderful I could just sit here and drink it all up!! p.s. the pre-roasted frozen--re-roasted chicken carcasses along with the roasted raw feet came out perfect. Perfect texture and tastes amazing. Thanks Rouxbe, you're going to make a gourmet cook out of me yet!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Is it my imagination or is there less scum rising to the surface on dark chicken stock as opposed to white chicken stock? Made white yesterday, today making roasted dark. There looks like less scum in this batch than the white. Thanks!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    No, it's not your imagination, Jude. If you caramelize the bones prior to making stock, the impurities on the surface actually coagulate and tend to make the stock less scummy or cloudy. Nice work on the stock making...sounds like you're all stocked up for a while :)
  • Mark E
    Mark E
    what is wrong with using an excellent quality aluminum stock pot? i think it was mentioned here that stainless steel should be used.
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Wish I could answer this for you and I'm sure someone with expertise will be along shortly to give you a more qualified answer. Only thing I can think of is aluminum is not exactly healthy and emits a subtle taste to your food. Cheap stainless steel is everywhere and tasteless and a lot more healthy for your brain. The only thing I can think of as far as heat distribution, aluminum is excellent, but still wouldn't want my food to have physical contact with it. It's great in frying pans when used as a heat conductor/distributor, but again, wouldn't want it in direct contact with my food. Just my two cents worth.
  • Herminia C
    Herminia C
    i am currently attempting my first hand at making chicken stock. i have decided to try making dark stock. i am not certain how it's gonna turn out but i am crossing my fingers. wish me luck!!!
  • Mona K
    Mona K
    I do my dark chicken stock by putting the mirepoix in with the bones to carmelize. Would this make a differece? Also sometimes use turkey necks, backs, added to chicken bones. Will this be okay?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    As long as nothing burns or darkens too much (which will create bitter flavors). Also, be sure things are not too crowded or they will steam...otherwise, it should be fine. You might also want to check out our lessons in the cooking school under the stock section. Here we discuss the different bones to use, etc., along with the fundamentals of stock making. Cheers!
  • Amanda D
    Amanda D
    I've made the dark and light chicken stocks from this site with great success before. This week I was all out of stock in my freezer, but only had a couple of chicken bones I'd saved. My small-town grocer usually sells chicken backs (with all the fat and skin attached... but at least I can get them!), but this week they only had turkey necks. I decided to buy them and try it out. Is there anything else I should change about this recipe as I will be using turkey necks instead of chicken bones?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The same ingredients/mirepoix that are used to make chicken stock can be used to make turkey stock. Then again, you can also vary the mirepoix depending on the flavor profile you want to give the stock, if any. Also, I personally love the aroma and taste of poultry seasoning, so I might had a pinch or two of that if I had it, but it's not necessary. Cheers!
  • Nancy R
    Nancy R
    I am new to Rouxbe and am making my first batch of dark stock today. I am using 2 pots, since I don't have a stock pot. I live in Houston, too, and was wondering if you could tell me where you found yours. I am not familiar with any restaurant supply stores in our area, and hope you can help me. Thanks in advance, Nancy
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    Hey Nancy! I thought I had responded to your post earlier in the week - but see that it did not make it - so here is another attempt Link to Ace Mart store locator in Houston is here http://www.acemart.com/store-locator.ep Link to product is here http://www.acemart.com/prod7788.html Good luck! Please let me know if you need anything further. Matthew
  • Laurence T
    Laurence T
    Can you buy chicken bones ready for stock? Or do you have to collect them yourself? Also if it is not possible to buy them, what is the best route to saving enough? Roast a few chickens and save the bones?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Most butchers and many grocery stores sell chicken bones (meaning they are ready for stock). Cheers!
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    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!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    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!
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    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 :)
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    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. http://rouxbe.com/cooking-school/lessons/200-how-to-sweat-ingredients/practice Keep up the great work. Cheers, joe
  • Yaara B
    Yaara B
    Thanks for the positive feedback, Joe. The garlic experiment was enlightening. I'll definitely try to roast the bones a little less next time and see how the flavor of the dark stock is affected.
  • Franklin G
    Franklin G
    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.
  • Darren S
    Darren S
    Is there any disadvantages of frying the chicken over roasting ( other than the mess)? Just thinking it will save time ( I'm sure one of the stock lessons said to fry so I assume no problems) ?
  • Darren S
    Darren S
    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).
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You can use any bones but the backs and necks offer the most gelatin. Please refer to the lessons in the cooking school in the section on Stocks. These provide all of the stock-making information you need. Cheers!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Please review the lessons in the Stock making section. We cover making stock with bones and making broth with meat still attached to the bone. The choice is up to you. Cheers!
  • Phil P
    Phil P
    I am making dark chicken stock. Do you see a problem caramelizing bones and mirepoix and de-glazing on day 1. into the fridge overnight, then finishing stock on day 2?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    No, this should be fine. Just make sure to properly cool the bones and mirepoix before storing in the refrigerator. Cheers!
  • Kathleen S
    Kathleen S
    I thought it turned out great. Please let me know what percentage of chicken backs versus necks. Burtcher gave me twice as many necks. Should they be rinsed prior to roasting ?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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!
  • Gail S
    Gail S
    What size stock pot would you recommend buying? And is there a particular brand you would recommend? I am buying a few things and want to make sure I get the right (meaning most useful) size(s). Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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!
  • Preecha L
    Preecha L
    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?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    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!
  • Preecha L
    Preecha L
    Thanks Dawn; Will it help if I reduce the volume by simmering. Does only water evaporate during simmering or other aromatic hydrocarbon compounds are gone too?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes you can reduce the stock (here is a Drill-down on "Reducing Stock"). This may help to give it more of a gelatinous quality. And yes, some of the liquid will evaporate and the flavors will intensify as the stock reduces. Cheers!
  • Eric G
    Eric G
    Sorry for the noob question :)
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    "a head of garlic" is the whole garlic with all of the cloves and "a clove of garlic" is just a single clove. Cheers!
  • Eric G
    Eric G
    I don't see any necks on your video. I'm using equal parts in weight of neck and back is that ok? thanks
  • Eric G
    Eric G
    Also I'm about 2 1/2 hours into simmering, I'm afraid if I add water I will dilute it even though the water level is dropping below the bones and vegetables. I don't understand why I should add water. Thoughts?
  • Eric G
    Eric G
    Hi second attempt here almost finished. Again it is a orange/dark rust type color rather than that beautiful brown color shown on the video. Any ideas what I'm not doing right? why it isn't darker? see above questions as well please. Thanks Rouxbe.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    As described in the fundamentals lesson, necks, backs or other bones can be used, so whatever combination you have will work. The point is that the bones will give the water flavor and gelatin. Again, if the bones and mirepoix aren't covered by the water, their flavors cannot be extracted. It is just to cover, so if you simmer for long periods of time, the water will obviously evaporate, so you will need to replenish it with just a tiny bit to keep things covered. The orange color could be due to the tomato paste and mirepoix. You can concentrate the flavors and deepen the color further, if need be, by simmering and reducing the stock once you have defatted it. The more important thing here is that you are actually making stock. You are flavoring water to enhance other dishes that you cook. Cheers!
  • Eric G
    Eric G
    So reducing it is the only way to get it to that dark, dark brown/black color? this morning I checked after refrigerating all night and it is very thick and solid "wobbly" gelatin like and not at all liquid with a small fat cap. Is that normal?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Eric, Yes, to deepen the color and flavor, you need to simmer and reduce the stock. Regarding your other questions, I am going to assign you to a bit more homework :-) Please read through the comments on the related stock lesson forums. Other students have asked the very same questions and have had the very same concerns that you have. We have tried to answer these questions extensively. If a particular question has not already been asked, you are more than welcome to fire away; but, by reviewing the forum threads and using the search function on the site to help you find your answer, this will help to keep the forums concise so that the same questions and answers aren't repeated over and over again. Make sense? You are leaps and bounds ahead of most people by getting in the kitchen and following through on making stock. Be proud of yourself, keep on cooking, work through the practice exercises and make sure to search out and review all of the content on the site. Cheers!
  • Eric G
    Eric G
    Hi Kim I understand what you are saying. I have looked but not always finding answers relating exactly to what I need to know, or I found answers but still didn't understand, It isn't easy being a complete beginner. In regards to my question, now hear me out please, the first time I made dark chicken stock it was too runny and thin after refrigerating, now this batch after refrigerating is pure gelatin. So the question I have that I don't see above is: how gelatinous is average? so I know I'm doing it right? I hear your site has a comprehensive faq in the works too that should be helpful.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Yes, I totally understand that you are a beginner cook and you are doing a great job. The forums are a lot to go through (and will be enhanced in the near future), but reading about other people's experiences is part of your learning process. If you type in "gelatin" in the search bar, you will automatically find several discussions on this subject. As you will read, a very gelatinous stock is a good thing! Also, keep in mind where you look for posted questions. The question and answer may not be attached to the practice recipe, but rather to the actual lessons on how to make various stocks. Hope this helps! Cheers!
  • Janice T
    Janice T
    Yesterday, I thought I would save some time by caramelizing some chicken backs and necks in a large fry pan. (I’m not so sure it actually saved any time!) Then removed bones to smaller stock pot then my usual one, and tossed mirepoix into fry pan. (It’s a really big fry pan.) I got a little worried my sucs would spoil before the veggies caramelized any more, so added tomato paste, deglazed, and did the rest of the stock process. The stock turned out well (gelatinous, clear, pretty colour, and tasty), but seems less intense than other times I’ve made it using the oven for caramelizing. I’m not sure why. I think I used more mirepoix compared to the amount of bones than I usually use, and that would make a difference. Mirepoix was not particularly caramelized, and that would make a difference. My question is, do you think doing the bones in the fry pan vrs in the oven makes a difference in the flavour? I think it did because the process created quite a lot of fat in the pan so that I needed to pour it off before veggies, and no way I could put it into the stock pot. I'm thinking in the oven, the fat drips away and that way isn't washing flavourful stuff off the chicken before it gets into the stock pot.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    I think you answered your own question :-) When you think about it, the oven offers more surround heat and can caramelize all of the nooks and crannies within the bones where a fry pan can't reach... so, yes, the oven can roast the bones and veggies more evenly which will help to produce a more intense flavor. While you can brown the bones in a pan, it is better to reserve this method when browning small bones (i.e. when making short stock). It will be easier to evenly brown the surface area of small bones, rather than large ones. And yes, it is harder to control the heat in the pan and bits can become overly caramelized... but, you can do the browning in batches to make sure nothing gets burnt. Btw, even though we drain the fat off of the pan prior to deglazing, any fat that winds up in the stock will float to the surface and can be skimmed off as it cooks. So you can pour all of that fat from the roasting pan right into the stock pot. You don't need to be afraid of it. Just make sure the stock doesn't boil and it'll all be good. Cheers!
  • Gail S
    Gail S
    Hi, I didn't see it mentioned above or in the recipe itself, but were we supposed to keep refilling the water level? My chicken bones sort of disintegrated while they were submerged so initially I didn't notice the lowering level....then by the end...I had about half of the amount of stock I was expecting. (It looks and smells delicious but there is so little of it!). I only made half the recipe to start with. Should I have kept re-topping it up? Now I am worried I won't have enough to make french onion soup!
  • Gail S
    Gail S
    It's possible I had the temperature up too high causing too much evaporation. I did it for the full six hours and was making something else (Rouxbe ravioli!) towards the end....so possible major oversight on my part. I guess next time with lower temperature much less should go missing?!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes, if the water goes below the bones then it should be topped up with a bit more water. It sounds like it could have been a case of needing to adding more water and maybe also turning down the heat a bit. I encourage you to watch the cooking school lessons on stock making. In particular, the lesson called "Stock Making Fundamentals" as we go into quite a bit of detail regarding this. By the way, if you need more stock for your French onion soup, as long as the stock tastes delicious and it has a nice strong flavor, you could add a bit more water to expand it a bit. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Franklin G
    Franklin G
    I've often struggled a bit with the same question, and while the video lesson is very comprehensive, maybe you could provide a general rule of thumb for the amount of reduction to expect for an ideal stock. I know that the answer will be "it depends" but if there is a range to shoot for, that would be helpful (ie. expect the water to reduce by 1/4 to 1/3 or whatever). The last time I made chicken stock, I started with 10 quarts of water which yielded a little over 5 quarts of stock. The stock was rich and dark and gelatinous, but I wondered if I could have had maybe a total of 7 quarts without sacrificing the flavor or quality of the stock. I know there's no hard and fast rule here, but a rough guideline would be helpful.
  • Janice T
    Janice T
    Okay. I can't resist jumping in. I don't think there's missing stock or a way to predict how much it would reduce. For example, I have two pots I use for stock, and one seems to evaporate more liquid than the other. I think the trick is to just keep the bones barely covered with water, keep it at a slow simmer, and avoid the dreaded boil. After whatever amount of time, straining and getting rid of any fat, I sometimes reduce the stock before freezing for space and convenience; but if I do that, I strain it through cheesecloth first to make sure I don't emulsify fat into the stock. I can add back liquids later depending on what I want to do with the stock. I find I add water to the stock as I'm making the stock to control the temperature (getting too close to boiling), and that bit is usually all I end up adding to keep the bones covered. I think I end up with about 1/2 or a little more stock than the original amount of water I started with. If I make French Onion soup, I add back some water to stretch the stock - maybe about 1/3 by volume, depending on how rich the stock is.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Thanks for jumping in Janice and good answer btw. Indeed, It is hard to predict how much a stock will reduce. How much a stock will reduce, depends on the pots, the amounts of ingredients, their size, the heat etc. Franklin, I also wanted to mention that you are really just making flavored water. The more water, the less concentrated the water. The more water, the less concentrated the flavor. Again, as Janice mentioned, it's just important to keep the bones barely covered during the slow simmer. If they are not covered, then there is no way to extract their flavor. In the end, if the final stock is rich and gelatinous and the flavor is there, then mission accomplished. And as Janice pointed out, you can simply expand the stock later if you like. The flavor will not be as concentrated but it would give you more volume. Besides, not every dish/recipe requires a super rich stock. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Jeanette P
    Jeanette P
    I am wondering if you can tell me the correct French for ‘stock’ and for the necks and backs of chickens required to make it. I am a new member of Rouxbe but I also monitor and use a number of French sites for information and cooking tips. I am much enjoying the Rouxbe lessons, but would simply like to also look at how the French deal with stock and the ‘necks and backs’ of chickens to make it. I just find it quite interesting and since I speak French, it increases my useful vocab in cooking. Merci , Jeanette Marie Pontacq
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    Allo Jeanette, The French word for stock is FOND (short for foundation) I always mention that when I teach stock to English speaking classes, so they hopefully connect with the importance, and to pay attention in making a good FONDation for soups, stews, sauces.... As for Neck and back, we would simply say "cou" for neck and "dos" for backs, I can't recall any special term associated to the poultry anatomy, I think cou and dos is what we use.
  • B H
    B H
    What is a "bunch"?
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    B H: where I live, Parsley is mostly sold in bunches. It is exactly what it sounds like: a bunch of Parsley stalks bound in string. The size will vary, I'd guess something like 20-40 stalks with lots of leaves. Some stores in my area also sell Parsley in pots. These are usually a little smaller, but if it's the only thing I can get, I typically treat one plant as "one bunch".
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    In stock making, 10-15 stems or so is probably sufficient. They add great flavor, so add more if you'd like. Enjoy!
  • Daniel P
    Daniel P
    I've made beef and chicken stock before, but this is my first dark chicken stock. I didn't get anything to skim off the top, but it could be because I trimmed almost all the fat off the bones before using them. When I finally took it out of the fridge, I noticed no fat on top, but a thin layer of a creamy orange substance. I didn't care for the tomato smell, but after skimming it off, the tomato smell subsided to an acceptable level. I noticed the stock was opaque and had tiny suspended bits, but this looked the same as the video. I tried to further strain it with my coffee press, but the mesh strainer in the press was just too small and the stock didn't pass through very well. I noticed transparent gelatin like substance plugging the mesh strainer. This brings up a an interesting concept of flavor to gelatin ratio: If I reduce it to increase the gelatin, I get more concentrated flavor, but if I already have enough gelatin, I wouldn't really be reducing it that much and my flavor wouldn't be as strong. Maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better that my stock isn't coming out as gelatinous as others. This stock had 3 chicken carcasses in it and yielded about 4 liters. I always use young chickens for my stocks. Would I see a difference using older chickens? Or, do I just need to increase my chicken bones? I have to admit, I have yet to see any advantage of having a real gelatinous stock. I reduced some of it as part of the lesson practice. It seems to taste fine, pretty much like au jus, but with a chicken flavor. It meets my expectations as far as appearance, taste, and texture. So if I use this reduced stock in my sauces, do i no longer need to reduce my sauce? I made it verbatim using the recipe except that I used a countertop roasting oven. The only difference I saw was the roaster seemed to keep my bones wetter during the roasting; I feared that I did more steaming than roasting. My next batch, I will eliminate the tomato paste to see what it does for the flavor. I plan to ditch the roaster and just use the oven. I'm also going to increase my bones for more gelatin and find out if there really is a reason to desire this. I think I'll experiment with different chickens too.
  • Harry L
    Harry L
    I have been making my own chicken stock for many years now. Ever since I took my first class in Chinese cooking. When I made my first dark stock I was really surprised at the flavor and richness of the end product. I do follow the recipe to the letter except I leave out the tomato paste. I purchased whole birds (2) and de-boned them myself. Roasted the bones off in the oven until a nice dark golden color, I do also add in with the bones the fat and skin of the birds too. This gives great flavor but you will have to skim. The results are always great and flavorful. I have ice cube trays that I use just for freezing stocks. Once frozen place cubes in freezer bags they will keep for 6 to 9 months if thay would last that long. I am now making stock every three to four months.
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    Thanks for your detailed report, Daniel. I recently tried this for the first time as well. I used five carcasses, and only ended up with about 3-4 liters. I'm curious roughly how much stock one could expect to get per carcass. With the yields I'm getting, my need for bones is bigger than for the chicken meat, which is bad because I can only get bones from buying whole chickens. On the gelatine issue, my stock seemed fine, more or less like in the video.
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    As a rule of thumb, you should consider that you will need 1kg of bones to end up with 1 lt of stock. This works well for chicken or beef stock, white or brown. Of course you can make more but for a full flavoured stock this is the ratio that I have always used. To obtain 1 lt of finished stock you will need more than 1 lt of water to start and of course it will depend of how wide your pot is, the heat—how heavy of a simmer you had etc. It is never a problem to end with less than 1 lt of stock—it will have excellent flavor and you can always dillute it later if needed.
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    Thanks, Christophe, that's very helpful. I know I can always dillute/reduce as needed, but it's good to know roughly what a "baseline stock" is.
  • Chris K
    Chris K
    After browning the chicken bones I am left with a great deal of fat in the pan. Is there anything it can be used for? Can I filter it and fry with it like schmaltz? Will it keep or should I just throw it out?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Chris- You can save that fat and use it, but be sure to make sure it's not too dark and "cooked" as it can become bitter with too much heat exposure. If it's good, then it's worth saving. It will have a great deal of flavor for sure (a deep, rich chicken flavor), so have fun and experiment. Enjoy!
  • Jim R
    Jim R
    After reading about all the wonderful things said about the Dark Chicken Stock, I just had to try my hand in making it. I am so disappointed in my results and do not know what I did wrong. We saved up our necks and backs from the whole chickens we bought, but quickly realized it would take to long to get enough, so we saved roasted chicken bones also. We got the six pounds required (although it took us 3-4 months), and we stored them in zip lock bags in the freezer. Mistake #1? Should I not have mixed Cooked chicken with the raw chicken when I roasted them? I followed the instructions, caramelized the bones to just darker than golden brown, and reduced the stock. Color and texture was excellent. Taste - we'll, let me say that it did not taste like our regular Chicken Stock - it was bland, tasteless, and closer to neutral. I am so very disappointed! I have made veal stock once before doing the same thing and it came out just "OK". My stock (ME) needs help! I would like to perfect this method but do not know if I have provided you with enough information to tell me where I am going wrong. Any way I can provide more flavor to my stock (like using bullion) so I can use it? Thanks for your help.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Jim- Don't despair, we will figure this out so your dark stock is flavorful and satisfying. First, there should be no negative flavor consequences for mixing raw and already cooked bones during roasting. Next, in terms of taste - did you ever taste it in a saucer with salt? Stock is generally produced without salt—or very little—(for many good reasons) but to get the full experience of the stock's potential in a dish it needs salt to bring it to life. Aside from that, just be sure you are adding enough mirepoix. Next time, try to bump up the chicken bones and mirepoix. Be sure to roast and then simmer (gently). Good luck next time, please let us know how it goes.
  • Jim R
    Jim R
    Thanks Ken! I will thaw some of the stock tonight and try it with salt in a saucer tomorrow. Regarding the mirepoix, I even had a little extra in the pot, so it was sufficient. I will try again in a few weeks and let you know about my second attempt. If the flavor improves with the salt, I will also let you know. Thanks.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Jim, you might even want to try reducing a bit of the stock, which will concentrate the flavors—that combined with a pinch of salt and you would be surprised how much flavor will come out. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Jim R
    Jim R
    Last week I used my "tasteless" Dark Stock in making Rice and a Soup. I added one bullion cube in each recipe (or in 4 cups Dark Stock) and it tasted great! I guess it is not so tasteless after all! So it seems that Ken was correct in adding salt, even though I did it with a low sodium bullion cube, but I want to try it on the plate also with just a pinch of salt. This week I will try what Ken said, then I will try what Dawn Said and let you know. Hopefully my trials will help other students to get ideas of what to do it theirs comes out like mine. Cheers.
  • Jeremy R
    Jeremy R
    Hey everyone, I just tried this for the first time. The taste is good but I used way too small of a stock pot (6qt). Also, the stock came out orange. I don't feel like I put too much tomato paste in it but apparently I did. Is there any way to add more of a dark brown color? Or just learn from my mistakes on this one and try for a better version on attempt #2?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sorry Jeremy, must have missed this one. There are ways that you could try to darken your stock. For instance, you could try charring some onions to add a darker color. You just have to be careful not to char them too much or they will add a bitter note. You could also make a short stock, by roasting new bones (and maybe omitting any tomato paste) and then use the stock that you already made as the liquid for the short stock. You could also make a nice dark roux and then add the stock to that, but that would depend on what you were using the stock for etc. That being said, depending on how you plan to use the stock, you might not even notice that it's that orange by the time the final dish is prepared. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Jeremy R
    Jeremy R
    I decided to retry this one. Didn't use any tomato paste and also trimmed the chicken backs I had better so there was less fat. Then I cooked them longer until they were more caramelized. Turned out GREAT. I did it for 4.5 hours and left it just slightly watery. I'm thinking I'll use the "slightly more watery" version for things like mixing with quinoa... and then when doing something like chicken marsala, I'll just reduce more before using ;)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Great work Jeremy- way to troubleshoot the process for yourself. Thank you for sharing this with our community. ~Ken

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