Basic White Chicken Stock

Basic White Chicken Stock

Details

This basic white chicken stock is easy to make. The liquid from slowly simmering chicken bones, vegetables, herbs and spices will add incredible flavor to your cooking.
  • Serves: 6 L
  • Active Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs
  • Views: 74,062
  • Success: 88%

Steps

Step 1: Making and Cooking the Stock

• 6 lb chicken bones (backs and necks)
• cold water
• 3 ribs celery
• 3 carrots
• 3 onions
• 2 leeks
• 2 tsp whole, black peppercorns
• 2 bay leaves
• 10 to 12 stems fresh parsley
• 3 to 4 stems fresh thyme
• small bunch of celery leaves

Method

To start the stock, rinse the bones under cold water and place them into a suitable-sized stock pot. Cover the bones with cold water by about 2 inches. Turn the heat to medium and slowly bring the bones to a simmer, making sure it doesn’t come to a boil.

In the meantime, chop the mirepoix (onions, leeks, celery and carrots) into about 1/2" to 3/4" -inch pieces.

After the stock has simmered for about 30 minutes, skim one more time before adding the mirepoix.

Let the stock gently simmer for another hour or so, skimming the surface as needed.

Then add the bouquet garni (peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley stems, fresh thyme and celery leaves), making sure to gently tuck it underneath the surface. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Step 2: Finishing the Stock

Method

Once the stock has cooked for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours, you can strain it. First, skim off as much fat as possible from the surface. Then gently remove the solids and discard. Finally, strain the stock through a sieve lined with a piece of cheesecloth.

You can either use the stock immediately or cool it over an ice bath. Once cool, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or it can be portioned and frozen for several months.

80 Comments

  • O I
    O I
    I find stocks with un-roasted bones a little tasteless. Try roasting the bones first.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    We cover this in Lesson 2: Dark Stocks. White stocks and dark stocks have very different purposes. For example, you can't make a like colored soup with a dark stock. And dark stocks (with roasted bones) do not lend well to many recipe preparations. So remember, different stocks have different purposes. I happened to agree that dark stocks are more flavorful so I mostly roast my bones and caramelize my mirepoix.
  • Naouar E
    Naouar E
    Is it also possible to use (a) whole chicken(s), instead of only the bones? I want to make the total amount of this recipe to freeze the stock, but if I can only use bones I'd have to buy more chickens.
  • Joe G Rouxbe Staff
    Joe G
    If you are using a Whole Chicken, you are actually making a broth. Bit different and you want to remove the chicken when it is cooked to use the meat. I'd suggest buying chicken bones if you want to learn how to make the White Chicken Stock. Any butcher will sell them. Use the whole chicken for the Broth Lesson and then use the meat to make the suggested recipes in this lesson (chicken pot pie anyone).
  • Lisa K
    Lisa K
    I'm shopping for a new stock pot and some seem really big. What is a good size stock pot for the home cook?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    A good size stock pot for the home cook is 16qt/lt. This may seem a bit big, but this way you will always have a good size pot around. And if you are going to make stock, you might as well make it worth your while. Restaurant supply stores are also a good source for these type of things. Hope this helps!
  • Nate M
    Nate M
    I buy rotisserie chicken (can be found at most groceries) and make at least three meals from them. 1st - I make a dinner of the chicken. 2nd - I use the left over meat to make a chicken salad.3rd - I use the carcass and bones to make a stock. I use a pressure cooker and make the stock in 20 minutes. It comes out exactly as the 3 hr. method. Just as good, and unlike canned stock,but you are controlling what is in there. Also after refrigerating, the fats will hardened and can be easily removed before the stock is used.
  • Kyle P
    Kyle P
    I couldn't find chicken necks/ backs at my local grocery store, but they did have Turkey Necks, and it turned out great!!!
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    I don't understand why you don't cover a more on gelatinous chicken stock as that is optimum for using in soups and sauces. I used the chicken parts you recommended and got a thin stock that did not "set" like gelatin. The last time I did it it set like gelatin. I used the same chicken parts. I don't understand what I did wrong. Other than changing the pot to a very thin huge 20 quart pot. I could never really get it to simmer properly without having the burner on medium. I don't think the bottom of the pot fully connected to the flat surface of this awful glass top stove. (I'm living in temporary housing and about to move into my new home that has a gas stove. Whoo Hoo!! I haven't had a gas stove in 25 years!!) Anyway, I'm really confused. I've tried two batches of 20lbs of chicken and all is ruined. I forgot not to let it boil so the fat emulsified. I also read you can use egg whites to extract the fat from the stock. I tried that and it seem to be working but I didn't use enough egg whites. So I tossed that batch. I can't cook anything without my stock (recently relocated from Ft. Lauderdale to Portland, OR) so it was the first thing I tried to get started. So I guess my question is, what parts of the chicken should I use to get a gelatinous stock?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Hi Judith, We here at Rouxbe also start to panic when we are running low on stock. It is such a fundamental part of cooking that we always make sure we have some on hand, as it adds such great flavor to so many dishes. In the Cooking School Lesson on "How to Make Stock Fundamentals", we cover the parts in Topic 2 (backs and necks of chicken are typically used). Sometimes the amount of gelatin will vary in a stock (even when using the same parts). My advice would be to use a higher ratio of bones to liquid to produce the most gelatin. Sounds like you are using a gigantic pot. If your pot is really wide, you may have had to add too much liquid to cover the bones...a pot that is tall and somewhat slender is better for making stock as you can cram the bones in and use just enough liquid plus a couple of inches to cover the bones, making the ratio more concentrated. As for controlling temperature, as you know, every stove is different, so you'll just have to keep more of an eye on it to ensure it does not boil. There is no need to complicate the making of a stock with adding egg whites. Perhaps watch the lesson on How to Make Stock Fundamentals again. Whether you are making a small or large batch, stock making doesn't need to be stressful or complicated. Don't give up!
  • Ron H
    Ron H
    First, this is an amazing site. Next, does anyone have an opinion on making pozole verde (green, not red) regarding using chicken stock? I'm assuming clear/white is preferred over dark? The recipes I've found online after encountering this for the first time a few days ago at Jimmy Carter's in San Diego vary, as does most Mexican cuisine. It largely depends on the grandmother. :)
  • Jude O
    Jude O
    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I did finally make another stock that came out excellent, (on a gas stove where I had more control over the temperature) but will in the future watch the amount of water ratio as you suggested because I probably just got lucky this time. By the way, I used chicken feet along with backs and necks. It was perfect consistency and flavor. I guess my greatest lesson in all of this thus far is never let it boil, and don't use too much water, and use chicken feet whenever possible for a more guaranteed gelatinous stock. I nearly used the canned stuff after I ruined those two batches. But as soon as I opened the can the stench from the metal and whatever else they put in there was too nasty. I always used cans in the past but now that I've made my own with your wonderful video instructions, I just can't go back. The clarity of your photography, is amazing and the teaching extremely clear. Best, Jude O'Hare
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Way to go Judith, I am proud of you for sticking with it. If I could give you a gold star I would. Cheers!!!
  • Faye C
    Faye C
    Hi - me making stock again. The video narrative says to simmer the bones for 1.5-2 hrs prior to adding the mirepoix. I assume the text instructions are correct which state 30 minutes. BTW,I was also told once to add the onions in stock unpeeled and cut in chunks as the skins add flavour. Any thoughts from the rouxbe staff about this? Thx.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There are actually two times given in the video. First (around 00:30) we say to simmer the stock for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours and then we say (around 00:45) to add the mirepoix after about 30 minutes. The first time was more of a total time whereas the second time was specifically talking about the mirepoix. To answer your question about adding onion skins for more flavor, this can be done but most times the skins and ends of the onions are quite dirty, for this reason we peel them first. Hope this clears things up for you - Cheers!
  • David R
    David R
    Is it to idiotic to try making good stock in a pressure cooker? From what Jude O'Hare and you guys have discussed it would emulsify the fat with the extra heat. I think I just answered my own question. David.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    I'm sure it could e done, but it wouldn't be clear or clean-tasting. Good that you took the time to think it through. Cheers!
  • Tony A
    Tony A
    That sounds nice, but that's not how my stock came out. In fact, I have made stock (both dark and light) several times over the last six months, and I think that most of them were not very clean tasting. I'm not sure how to describe it, but maybe the flavor is a little sour or bitter. My last batch of 'clear' chicken stock is dark in both color and flavor - the flavor is just off and no amount of seasoning helps. Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    By clean, we mean not fatty or greasy. The stock should taste of what it is made from (i.e. if you use chicken bones, it should taste like chicken stock). Even though stock may have a darker color, it should still be clear and not murky. Murkiness comes from not starting with cold water, boiling the stock, or not skimming well enough. Bringing it up slowly to a gentle simmer is best. As for the flavor, it could be the combination or amount of mirepoix you are using. Carrots will contribute a darker color to stock, so if you want it lighter, use a bit less (or use white mirepoix). If everything is fresh and vegetables are peeled, it should be good. Make sure to review the lesson on How to Make Stock Fundamentals. Happy stock making!
  • Robert S
    Robert S
    Hi Rouxbe team. So I made stock yesterday, and it seemed to go well. I cooled it in an ice bath and then put it into my really cold refrigerator. But, when I checked it this morning, there was almost no fat on top, and definitely not a whole layer as shown in the video. I'm not sure what went wrong: I made sure not to let it boil, I skimmed the impurities as I went along, I strained it using a cheese cloth, etc. The only thing I can think of is that my stock pot is kind of small (8 qts) and I used four small carcasses. Maybe it was overcrowded? Anyway, I could use any suggestions you might have. Thanks, Robert
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You most likely did nothing wrong at all Robert. Sometimes there is just less fat than other times. You may have done a really good job of skimming during the cooking process. I also made stock the other day and wound up with a thin layer of fat on the top of the chilled stock. I placed a piece of paper towel onto the surface and it soaked up the little fat that was there. Once you make stock enough times you will soon realize that not every batch turns out exactly the same. As long as it tastes good then that is all that matters! Hope this helps. Keep up the good work - cheers!
  • Cathy B
    Cathy B
    I have made stocks many times but never knew I should not bring it to a boil. What a difference! This is the best chicken stock ever.
  • Azleena W
    Azleena W
    can i make one batch of stock using both 'raw' chicken bones and the carcass from a roast chicken? or should they be made into separate batches of stock? and if I use a carcass from a roast chicken, should it be rinsed first too? thanks!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You most definitely can combine them in the same pot. The roasted bones do not need to be rinsed. Just add them to the pot with cold water...simmer and skim...and follow the normal stock making process. Cheers!
  • Rosie G
    Rosie G
    I'm having trouble finding bones. Does anyone know if there is anyone who sells them online?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Personally, I do not know of where to find them or even if you can find them online. Perhaps someone else will. You may also want to try calling one of your local restaurants and also your any local butcher to see where they buy theirs bones from. You can also ask your local grocer to see if they can bring some in for you. Cheers!
  • Kim M
    Kim M
    I have a turkey carcass in the kitchen right now that I need to turn into stock. I couldn't figure out over the last few times that stock has been made here that it was murky and cloudy. Come to learn by reading here that it's my husbands insistence on boiling the bones for HOURS! I'd been trying to tell him that it doesn't take that long and his habit is actually making the potentially wonderful stock an icky mess. Thank you for putting in print the instructions to a make a clear and tasty stock. I can show it to my hubby and change his mind in time to save the poor carcass waiting in my fridge!
  • Kevin M
    Kevin M
    Just made my first dish with the chicken stock I made last week, what a difference. I made a basic Tuscan soup with my stock and it had a much better flavor than the Swanson stock I had been using.
  • Danielle S
    Danielle S
    I'd like to try my hand at making my first chicken stock tomorrow, but the stock pot I own already is only 8 qt, and I know you recommend a 16 qt pot. Obviously I'll get more stock out of a larger pot, but can I successfully make a stock in such a small pot? Should I half the amount of ingredients?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed, you can use a smaller stock pot you wil just need to make a smaller amount. If you stock pot is half the size then you will likely need to half the ingredients. Really you can use any size pot to make stock, as long as the ingredients fit and there is still enough room for watet etc. you are good to go. The advantage of course of a big pot is that you end up with more stock. Hope this helps. Cheers and happy stock making!
  • Brian J
    Brian J
    Am making my chicken stock for the first time and am wondering whether the skimming of the fats and the evaporation of the cooking process will reduce the amount of liquid in the pot. If so, should I keep adding water to maintain the approximate two inches, or would this reduce the flavor?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    The evaporation, because the stock is just at a simmer, is quite slow. The most important thing is to make sure the ingredients are covered with water so the flavor can be extracted. It doesn't have to be "2 inches at all times"...just covered. You may need to top it up with a bit of cold water from time to time. Don't sweat it. You're already on the right track for making your own stock. Cheers!
  • Griffin B
    Griffin B
    Hi. I did knives and now I'm starting stock. I am doing the practice stock recipe today and it says 2 leeks. I never made leeks before. They are big. I didn't know. Do I use the two whole big leeks? or do I pull off two pieces from one the way you pull off pieces of celery?
  • Dianna H
    Dianna H
    Leeks are large members of the onion family. Treat them like onions. Pull off any larger outside leaves that are damaged or icky. Slice off the roots at the bottom. Slice from the bottom up and until you stop getting any white part and just are cutting into the out leaves. Use the bottom (bulb) parts and some of the tender inside greens. They are very mild tasting.
  • Griffin B
    Griffin B
    Okay, I understand now. Thank you.
  • Michelle B
    Michelle B
    Here's a question---why is cooling the stock quickly in the refrigerator unsafe but cooling it quickly in an ice bath is okay? Thanks- Michelle
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Stock is cooled down in an ice bath rather than in the refrigerator as the ice bath is much much quicker at bringing down the temperature of the stock. Not to mention, that you can stir it from time to time to redistribute the heat. Not only would it take too long in the refrigerator, it would also bring down the temperature of the entire refrigerator, along with everything else in it. For food safety reasons, stock needs to be cooled down quickly prior to storing. Cheers!
  • Yulia B
    Yulia B
    Hi there, I just managed with butchering my first 2 chickens today and I really would like to thank you all for the perfect lessons. I am now on the way to use the bones to make chicken stock and have a question. Can I use the wings which remain and I don't need anyway? Is it also a good idea to add the skin and fat which also remain from the deboning? I have tried to check the videos which you present in the lessons, but I cannot really recognize. Greetings Yulia
  • Miles C
    Miles C
    I wanted to try this but I can't find anywhere that sells just the bones. I assume I need to just start using whole chickens, butchering them myself and keeping the bones. This recipe calls for 6 lbs., assuming average chickens, how many chickens am I looking at?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Just phone any butcher in your area and order them. I'm pretty sure they will have them. In fact, you can even ask the butcher at your supermarket and they may even be able to find some for you in their back fridge. Last resort, phone a poultry supply store in your area. If you think about all the deboned chicken in your supermarkets, there are lots of bones around. You just might not find them packages alongside the meat - you'll have to ask. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  • Mark M
    Mark M
    I am from Canada, and all of my local supermarkets that have meat departments do not butcher there chickens in house anymore so they do not have any bones for me which is a real bummer. I was able to find a specailty Meat store in Calgary (Second to None Meats) which had Frozen Backs and Necks with the Breats, Thighs, and wings removed but the skin is still on the underside and they have some meat as well. I was thinking about using them as is but removing the skin to make the stock. Is this a Bad Idea? I know this will somewhat a broth. As well if I was to remove the meat prior to making the stock since they were frozen before I would think I would have to use this meat right away. Any ideas on what to do with the meat whether I remove it before hand or not? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks Mark
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    It is fine to leave the skin on when making stock or broth. It will lend some flavor to the liquid and can be removed after simmering. Once the meat is cooked, remove it and cool it properly. Use it within a couple of days or freeze it. You can use the meat anywhere that you would normally use that particular cut (i.e. pot pies, quesadillas, ravioli, or soups, etc.). If you haven't already, check out the lesson on How to Make Broth-Based Soups. Cheers!
  • Giovanni M
    Giovanni M
    Hi i made a chicken stock from frozen bones, can i frozen the stock as well.? tank you. Giovanni
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes you can freeze stock, whether or not it was made from fresh or frozen bones. Just always be sure to bring it to a boil when using it. Cheers!
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    re: Mark M's message above. Mark - I often buy fresh Chicken backs and legs at Sunterra Market in Calgary. You may have to ask for them though. Also check the frozen meat section at Superstore where they have frozen kidneys and livers and odd things like that. I always manage to find chicken legs there too. Once I couldn't find any but I did ask and they had lots put somewhere else.
  • Stephanie D
    Stephanie D
    I had to buy my fresh herbs in quantities much greater than needed for this stock recipe. Can I freeze the herbs and use them in a later stock?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed you can freeze extra herbs for later use in a stock. In fact, I do this whenever I have too many herbs or if I just can't use them before they go bad. Cheers!
  • Griffin B
    Griffin B
    Is there a special way to freeze parsely and other leafy herbs? They get icy.
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    There is a full lesson in the Cooking School on How to Use and Cook with Herbs which includes information on how to freeze herbs. Cheers!
  • Keith T
    Keith T
    It looks like there is a cheese rind in one of the videos. When would you use it in a stock?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    We do not use cheese rinds to make stock. Perhaps you noticed this during one of the soup-making lessons and/or soup videos. Cheese rinds can be added to the soup base for flavor. They are removed prior to serving. Cheers!
  • Matthew C
    Matthew C
    Further to the above comments, you can get chicken back and necks from Hoven Farms at the Kingsland Farmers Market. It's probably a good idea to contact them through the website at http://hovenfarms.com/ and ask that they reserve some for you. I drove in from Banff, as there's nothing available out here, and they had sold out by Sunday morning. As a second option, the BonTon Meat Market in the Stadium Shopping Centre had them.
  • Jake D
    Jake D
    This is a little off topic but I wondered what the results would be if I grilled the bones and vegetables instead of roasting. Would the char leave an off taste in the stock? Would it change the color and/or leave it cloudy? What do you think?
  • Christophe K Rouxbe Staff
    Christophe K
    A couple of issues, in an oven you have surrounding heat and that insures that the bones are roasted more or less evenly. On the grill you will not be able to get any consistency. You will have dark brown or charred parts, which will lead to a bitter stock, to no browning/roasting at all, from all the pieces that will not be in direct contact with the grill. Secondly, this will require a lot of time and you will be limited to the space on your grill. Always good to challenge ideas though. That how things improve. In that case however, I am not so sure. With that said, there is some charring of the mirepoix in the classic Vietnamese Pho.
  • David P
    David P
    Am I correct In assuming that the stock pot is never covered when making stock?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes, you are correct, covering a stock is not recommended. The liquid can potentially boil which will cause the ingredients to emulsify and make the liquid murky. Better to top up with water as needed. Cheers!
  • David P
    David P
    Thanks for your prompt reply Dawn. No wonder I couldn't keep the stock from boiling. I thought there was something wrong with my stove. BTW, do the same rules apply for making fish stock?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes, the rules apply to all stock in general. Covering them makes it hard to see what is going on in the pot. Cheers!
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    I've been buying whole chickens and making stock off the remaining carcass for some time. Today was the first time I did after watching this lesson - and what a difference! This stock was crystal clear, whereas my earlier attempts have always been murky. They've been usable, but this latest batch is way superior. Can't wait to do a new batch of beef stock too with my new-found skills :)
  • Mansoor K
    Mansoor K
    Will I be able to make a good stock if I only used the chicken bones, carrots, onions and the black peppercorns and use dried instead of fresh parsley and thyme? We rarely get celery and leeks here, and fresh herbs like parsley and thyme and also bay leaves are almost non existent.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Mansoor- Yes, you can make those substitutions, not to worry. You can use chicken bones, carrots and onions and dried herbs. If you have other vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.) you can try those as well. I hope this helps!
  • Mansoor K
    Mansoor K
    That was a really prompt response! I will make stock tomorrow with what I can find! Thanx
  • Ivan M
    Ivan M
    I had it in my mind that a broth is made by simmering meat/poultry in water, etc. and that a stock start with roasting meat/poultry in a pot. But, in reviewing recipes here, I cannot ascertain a simple rule of thumb for a stock vs a broth. Can you help me?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The main difference is that a broth is bones with meat still on them, while stock is just bones. For a more in depth definition, be sure to review the lessons on Broth and Stock, as we go into quite a bit more detail there. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Daniel P
    Daniel P
    I didn't see this question answered, but I'm curious about the difference leftover roasted carcasses make compared to raw carcasses. After roasting a chicken, I thought I would inspect the leftover liquid after it cooled. I noticed that it jellied. Does this mean I'm losing valuable gelatin if I only use carcasses from roasted chickens? Do I need to increase the amount of carcasses when using only leftover roasted chickens? Are there adjustments that need to be made when using the carcasses of leftover roasted chickens? I find it difficult to keep chopping up whole raw chickens so I can get bones for stock. I'm finding a rather large collection of chicken legs because I don't eat them that often. However, I have found it easier to collect the leftover bones of the roasted chickens I make as this comes from one complete meal that uses the entire chicken.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I say don't over think it too much Daniel. If you find it easier to use leftover roasted bones, then so be it. Yes you will likely be loosing a bit of gelatin, but you will still end up with a highly flavorful liquid — which is what you are going for. If you want to use a few more roasted bones for added body, then you can do that as well. The key is that you are making your own stock and cooking from scratch. Cheers!
  • Lea
    Lea
    Well, this was an adventurous weekend. Saturdays attempt at the stock resulted in a cloudy, gelatinous mess! I know why...I had the heat too high and it got away from me, Sunday, I tried again but first I tested my water in the pot to see what the best temp setting to use. The result: better, but not perfect. The heat did escape me once and got up to 210 but I think I know how to prevent that in the future. Now, I have three questions. 1. I've seen some blogs where home cooks recommend boiling. I've looked at pics of their stock and it didn't look nearly the mess mine did. How can this be? 2. Additionally, in the book Professional Cooking (which i consulted Sunday to see how i went so wrong) the instructions say bring to a boil the reduce to a simmer. I found this impossible. On Saturday, to "reduce to a simmer" I had to turn the heat down and remove the pot entirely from the heat to get the temp down. By then it was too late. My stock was ruined. Am I missing something? 3. My final product yesterday was very gelatinous. It was a sharp contrast to the liquidy stocks I've bought in the past. Is this how it's supposed to be?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Great comments Lea- Stock does best at a simmer -but if it boils momentarily, it's not the end of the world. Particulate matter and clarity come from the product itself and is not created solely by agitation and too much heat. Bring to a boil slowly, watch for it to just begin and then turn the heat back down (or even off for a minute) to simmer. It is by no means ruined if it takes a bit longer - you can always strain or clarify or use it in an application where clarity is less integral (thickened soup or other soup where you are not seeking crystal clear liquid). Finally, stock should absolutely be gelatinous. That is why we make them and why the stuff in cans and boxes is simply inferior. I hope this helps, and keep cooking!
  • Lea
    Lea
    My attempt yesterday at chicken stock was an unmitigated disaster. I seriously don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I started with cold water (chilled in the fridge) and a mixture of chicken backs, necks and feet. They were the freshest I could find in the supermarket…but maybe that’s not really that fresh. Short of buying chickens and slaughtering them myself, I’m not sure how I can find fresher bones if that’s indeed the problem. I monitored the temperature constantly and as high as it got was 206.5. When it was done I strained it, cooled it in an ice bath, covered it, stuck in the fridge and let chill overnight. Since we can't upload pics here I've posted pictures here on my blog at www.leamclemore.wordpress.com - can someone please let me know where I might be going wrong?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Honestly Lea, from the looks of your pictures, you have done absolutely nothing wrong. And when we say your stock should not be cloudy, we are referring to when it is hot and not when it is chilled and gelatinous. Also, don't get too hung up on the little details, as long as you are not boiling the stock and your are using good ingredients, which it sounds like you are, then you will be fine. Virtually every stock will vary slightly in color, consistency (gelatin) and flavor, depending on your ratios, ingredients used etc. The important thing is how does it perform and taste? Does it thicken and become somewhat gelatinous when reduced? If so, great, that is what it is supposed to do. Also, when you use it in soups, stews, rice dishes etc. does it taste good and/or add nice flavor to whatever you are cooking? If so, then that is ultimately what matters. Again, by the looks of your stock, it looks like all went well and you have a good looking stock there — holy gelatinous Bateman :-) One last thing to think about, the more you make stocks, the more comfortable you will become with them. I know when I first started making stocks, I was obsessed over the details and I was always a bit underwhelmed by the final result. But once you start to use the stock in dishes, you learn to appreciate how much better they can be then just plain water. Also, the more you make them, the easier and more carefree they seem to be to make. Okay, now go make something delicious with your nice stock! Cheers, Dawn
  • Franklin G
    Franklin G
    Lea's stock does look great. I make a big batch 6-8 quarts of dark stock every 4-6 weeks and generally get decent levels of gelatin, but only rarely like the pictures in Lea's post. Do the chicken feet contribute more gelatin than bones and carcasses?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Indeed, chicken feet are very high in gelatin. Hers is another thread that talks a bit more about this. Cheers!
  • Lea
    Lea
    Well, Rouxbe staff, you were right as usual. Before I go further, I must confess that I threw the above away as I didn't trust myself or it. I spent weeks in a funk because I thought I failed. Recently, though, a new shop opened near my office. They offer locally sourced, organic meats. I spoke to the owner about getting chicken backs, necks and feet. Two weeks ago they came in. I bought them up and yesterday, tried again. I set the stock overnight to chill and today I pulled it out. I was still suspicious about the color but I knew, this time, I'd done everything right. So, before freezing, I pulled a cup and boiled it then let it cool a bit. Tasted it: it seemed "okay." Added a dash of salt: Holy chickeny goodness! So....I decided to take my taste test one step further. I pulled out a box of Homestyle, All Natural store bought stock. Boiled it down. Tasted it. It was VILE! I can't even describe how bad it was. I'll be giving the rest of my store ought away at work tomorrow. Now that I've seen the light, I can't go back! BTW - I love the gelatinous goodness that the feet provide!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Thank you Lea! We have a pretty spectacular crew over here... and thank you for trusting us. We have a lot of collective wisdom and students like YOU contribute to that bounty of exchange. Thanks for sharing your success and for taking us along your journey. Real food (especially carefully sourced food) tastes...well, real. That in itself is a great motivator to cook. Cheers!
  • Jason S
    Jason S
    After refrigerating, is it necessary to bring the stock to a boil before use? Or does this only apply to stock that has been frozen? In either case, why is this done?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Jason- Like reheating any food, it must be done to the proper temperature. Usually just reach 16dF and it's OK, or just use it in a dish (like soup or a sauce). ~Ken
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    Hey, What would be the rule of thumb, vegetables, water and chicken?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Yuseph- If you go back to the recipe for Basic White Chicken Stock (or watch the lesson), you will see the ratios. Feel free to adjust these to your liking, or according to their intended final application. http://rouxbe.com/recipes/850-basic-white-chicken-stock/text ~Ken
  • Barb H
    Barb H
    When you say to "skim off the fat and impurities", what exactly are the "impurities" we're skimming off? Thanks.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Barb- These are insoluble proteins from blood and other surface proteins that form a sort of grey/brown "foam" on the top of the surface. ~Ken

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