Q: How do you make chicken stock? Is there a basic recipe for making chicken stock?
A: I have two, one is based on the French method and the other on an Asian method of stock making. The ratios for chicken or turkey parts to water and vegetables is similar in both. While the methods are different both versions have specific steps for removing impurities, rendering a higher quality stock. Other methods of stock making are not wrong the stock making methods in the tables are written to yield consistent, good results. [pullshow id=”hotsoup”] Professional chefs often follow a more rigid method, carefully cooling the stock pot in a water bath before storing. This additional step yields a clearer stock, but is often awkward in most basic kitchen set ups. [pullthis id=”hotsoup” display=”outside”]Don’t place a large pot of stock from the stove into your refrigerator, divide the stock for safe storage.[/pullthis]
Notice that neither recipe calls for salt.
Chicken stock is not chicken soup.
Stock is an ingredient that will be altered further in recipes, with the addition of salt and spices. When tasting your stock, if it seems bland, it’s because you’re expecting a different flavor the stock should provide. Commercially prepared stocks are often made to taste like soups and contain a lot of sodium. Just be aware that what you are making here will not taste like a bouillon cube or chicken broth from a can. It will have a very mild flavor. Do not underestimate its performance in your recipes.
|Asian Chicken Stock Method||French Chicken Stock Method|
Q: Can I freeze my homemade stock?
A: Yes. [pullshow id=”2″] Divide the stock into into frequently used portions (1 cup, 2 cups, or 1 quart). Stock can be frozen in freezer safe containers or freezer bags. [pullthis id=”2″ display=”outside”] Allow stock to cool slightly before storing in zippered freezer bags. Freeze the bags flat on a baking sheet for easier stacking. Don’t forget to label.[/pullthis]
Q: I made stock last night and this morning it was like Jell-O®. Is this normal? Is this safe?
A: Congratulations, you have made a very high quality stock. Gelatin is a protein found in the connective tissue and cartilage of animals. Sure it’s kind of scary looking, but your soups and sauces will have a richer flavor and feel to them, and rank a little higher on the nutrition scale.
Q: Why is my homemade chicken stock cloudy?
A: There are several possible reasons: too much fat on the bones and scraps, the stock was not skimmed enough during cooking, or the stock reached a vigorous boil breaking up fats and proteins. The Asian method uses blanching, the quick boil, to remove many of the proteins that can create a cloudy stock. The French method relies on careful skimming and straining.
Don’t worry, cloudy stock is perfectly safe.
Q: Can I add other vegetables to my chicken stock?
A: Sure, but remember your stock is not a garbage disposal and be aware that strongly flavored vegetables like cabbage will create a strongly flavored stock. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes also yield cloudy stocks.
Q: This sounds really time consuming, does it really need three hours of cooking?
A: Yes, stocks are not fast food, but they are not labor intensive. Except for the actually draining, skimming, and occasional stir, the stock can work quietly all by itself. It doesn’t need much attention. Leave it alone.
What else would you like to know about making your own chicken stock?
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.