CHICKEN STOCK, PLAIN OR ROASTED
Chicken stock is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a base for soups and sauces, a cooking liquid for rice or risotto, as braising liquid for meats and vegetables, and so on.
Here are a few tips:
The neck, back, ribs and wings are excellent for making chicken stock. If chicken feet are available they will add to the flavor. (just ask Bob’s mother!). Get these from your butcher. Ask for them to be fresh, then if you cannot use, freeze untill you can. That way you know when and how long they were frozen.
Always start with cold water. More collagen is extracted, giving more body to the stock.
Don’t let the stock boil. It should stay a gentle simmer.
Don’t stir the stock as it simmers. All you need to do while it simmers is skim the scum off occasionally, and to add water if it drops too low.
2-3 pounds chicken bones (or the carcass from a roasted chicken)
- 1 medium onion, chopped, optional
- 1 rib celery, chopped, optional
- 1 medium carrot, chopped, optonal
- SACHE: 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 3-4 fresh , parsley stems, 3-4 whole black peppercorns, 1 whole clove optional
Tie spices into a piece of clean cheesecloth with butchers string. Set aside. Rinse chicken bones in cold water and transfer to a heavy-bottomed roasting pan (roasting) or deep stock pot (blond).
For roasted stock: Bake bones (and vegetables, if using) in oven 400°F for 1 hour. If pan is large enough slowly add 5 quarts cold water, to the pan. Continue in oven or on top of stove, simmering about 2-3 hours. Skim off scum that rises to the surface; discard scum. Add sache and continue cooking 1 more hour.
To make Demi: Cook roasted bones longer, 1-2 hours, then strain, and put back on heat to reduce to 1/3 original. Season and use as sauce rather than gravy.
For blond stock: After rinsing bones, add mirepoix and cover with 5 quarts cold water. Place over high heat until liquid boils; reduce heat and continue simmering 3-4 hours.
After bones are rendered of all flavor: Strain out bones and remaining vegetables and sache; discard.
For cooling stock: Pour hot strained liquid carefully into into 4 inch deep pans; fill to depth of no more than 3 inches. If possible cool slightly before placing into refrigerator. Place pan of stock into an ice bath; then place uncovered into your refrigerator. If possible cook with ice until the stock is down to 70°F before placing uncovered into the refrigerator. Chill the rest of the way to 40ºF before you cover. If there is solid fat layer on the surface, carefully remove and save (freeze) for another use.
Note: when using roasted bones, the mirepoix should also be roasted and then it is simmered with the bones for the entire time.
Goal when making stocks: Remove all the flavor you possible can from the bones, meat, and/or vegetables. At the end of the cooking time, the those items should be tasteless. Strain out and carefully chill the liquid stock.