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Recipe File

Turkey or Chicken Stock

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Making your own stock or broth is easy (although not quick). After cooking whole chicken or turkey (like at Thanksgiving), save the left over bones to make stock later. Homemade stock can be used in place of store bought chicken broth, tastes great, and doesn't contain any MSG or additives.

You'll need a large pot - I used a 12 quart Multi-Pot but any large pot will work. I wouldn't try it in a pot with a capacity smaller than 8 quarts because you'll need enough room for the poultry, vegetables, and water to cover.

Take the remains of a chicken or turkey after it's been carved and break it into pieces so it will fit in your pot. Alternatively, you can use the bones from chicken parts or a pack of chicken wings. To season the stock, wash and rough cut four carrots, four celery ribs, and one onion. Throw these into the stock pot with the poultry and add two peeled garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, about fifteen whole peppercorns, two whole cloves, 1 tsp. ground thyme, and 1 tsp. ground parsley.


Since I used a multi-pot, I had the luxury of placing the colander insert into the pot and then adding all the solid ingredients. This is a nice arrangement because after I'm done with the stock, I can easily remove all the solids by lifting out the colander insert. The steamer basket can also be placed ontop to help keep all the solids under water.

Pour in enough drinking water to cover the solids by at least an inch, about 2 gallons. Over high heat, bring the water to a simmer (about 190°F or 88°C) while being careful not to let it come to a full boil. As anyone who has watched Tampopo knows, bringing the stock to a full boil will break up the solids into particulate matter that clouds the liquid. We want to cook the stock slowly and gently. A simmer is almost as hot as a rolling boil, but the liquid is just barely bubbling. The bubbles should be forming slowly and steadily. If no bubbles form, then the water is not hot enough; but if bubbles begin to rise rapidly, the water is too hot. Once the water begins to simmer, fiddle with your heat settings until it maintains the simmer.



Continue to simmer the stock for at least four hours, checking on the water level every thirty minutes or so. If the water level has dropped and solids are beginning to be exposed, boil some water separately and pour it into the stock until the water level has risen beyond the solids again.

When you get tired of simmering (after four or more hours), it's time to drain the solids from the stock. Since I used a multi-pot, I just carefully lifted up the collander and tilted it to drain. If you're not using a multipot, you can pour the stock into another pot with a large collander placed over it. Make sure the other pot is large enough to hold the liquid (about two quarts) or use multiple receiving pots.


To remove smaller particles in the stock, pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve placed over a large pot. I placed my 8-quart pot in the kitchen sink on a layer of ice. This means I won't have to carry around a nearly full container filled with simmering stock.


Add more ice around the pot to help chill the stock quickly. I also recommend a tip from Alton Brown: place a bottle or two of ice in the middle of the stock to chill inside out as well as outside in. To do this, simply take a water bottle and fill it 60-70% full of water and freeze. Update for 2005: For the last year, I've been simply placing the stock pot into a sink filled with enough cold water to allow the pot to almost float (but not quite - depending on your pot shape and water level, your pot could tip over). If I've got ice available, I'll throw that in the water to keep it cool as the slowly sucks the heat from the stock in the pot. Every ten minutes or so, I stir the stock and that works fairly well at dropping the temperature.


Once the stock is chilled to around 50°F (10°C) (about 1-1/2 hour), move the stock to the refrigerator to finish chilling. The stock will last for about a week in the fridge. If two gallons of stock is too much for you to consume in a week (which is probably true for most families), you can freeze the stock and it should maintain taste and quality for about three months.

You might notice that after making stock, the bones have become extremely brittle. That's because the long simmer has extracted most of the collagen from the bones (as well as nutrients like niacin, fiboflavin, and calcium) which reduces the structural integrity of the bone. Some chef's advocate squeezing every last bit of collagen out of the bones, but I find that after four hours of simmering enough flavor (from the vegetables and bones) and thickening agent (the collagen turns into gelatin in the simmering water) has permeated the broth that it is unnecessary to extract all the collagen.


Chicken Stock (makes 2 gallons or 7.6 liters)
1 chicken carcassbreak apartsimmer 4 hourssievechill
4 carrotschop
4 celery ribs
1 onion
15 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 whole cloves
2 garlic clovespeel
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
8 quarts (7.6 liters) drinking water
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Written by Michael Chu
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106 comments on Turkey or Chicken Stock:(Post a comment)

On November 04, 2005 at 09:39 PM, Jonathan (guest) said...
I recently read a comment on Soup Song http://www.soupsong.com/bstock.html suggesting the use of a few threads of saffron to improve the poultry stock recipe that was quite similar to yours.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
It's just an oversight, I know, but I think you mean 2 gallons of water, not 2 quarts.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:40 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Sir, your site is fantastic, and this was another smashing article. But I was wondering, I have heard that true stock must be made using uncooked bone, so that the gelatin is preserved, and that using cooked meat is for broths. IIRC this was from one of Tom Colicchio’s “Think Like a Chef “. Am I off on this?


On November 04, 2005 at 09:40 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: raw or cooked bones

It is true that raw bones have more collagen that turns into gelatin when cooked, but I find that there is more than enough collogen left in the bones of my roasted turkey to produce a fine stock. After refrigerating the stock, there was enough gelatin that it set. If your stock doesn't have high enough concentration of gelatin, just boil it down to half volume and that should do it.

Michael


On November 04, 2005 at 09:41 PM, an anonymous reader said...
It was interesting to see that you use ice for chilling stock before refrigerating. We used to use an electric fan which did a surprisingly good job, but now we fill our sink with cold water to just shy of the buoyancy level of the pot and then throw in a couple of freezer packs. We have lots of these around because we're always ordering stuff from d'Artagnan.

As for the stock/broth questions: yes, you can used cooked meats to make stock. In fact, Madeleine Kamman has you roast or brown the veal bones and vegetables when making veal stock, and her recipe makes an exquisite golden stock. She is very big on keeping your stock either hot or cold, and never "just sitting".


On November 04, 2005 at 09:41 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Personally I do bring it to the boil, but keep an eagle eye on it and immediately skim the scum off the top. Use a mesh skimmer (I got my fantastic one in Muji) and keep plunging it into cold water, which helps it attract the scum. I also find it necessary to skim the fat off the top once it's chilled overnight.

As well as freezing it in plastic containers, I also pour it into freezer bags. Very handy for adding a little bit of stock to stirfries etc without having to defrost a whole pint.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:41 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Last Xmas I made a Turducken, (for 3 people...) I had my butcher bone the birds for me, and insisted on him giving me the bones. (he looked odly at me) so I had a carrier bag full of mixed bird bones.
I made them into broth, which I mostly froze. I cooked the bones first.
Whenever they have a pig roast at the summer fete I try to scrounge a few bones too. Its shocking the amount of meat wasted during one of these costly events.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:42 PM, an anonymous reader said...
You can also heavily reduce your stock and then freeze it as ice cubes for quick inclusion into dishes later.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:42 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I think you get the best results by a) browning one or two of the chicken pieces used first (makes a richer flavored broth) b) adding a small amount of vinegar to the water (helps extract calcium & collagen from the bones) and c)adding a couple of sliced mushrooms, if available--it really improves flavor.

I actually remove the solids, separate out the large bones, split them and put them back in for an hour or so to get all the flavor from the marrow.

Broth will keep almost indefinitely in the fridge if you re-boil it for about ten minutes every 3-4 days. Also, don't remove the layer of congealed fat until you're ready to use the broth--the fat helps keep bacteria out and prevents flavor creep from other items in the fridge.

Personally I prefer to boil it down to a gelee and freeze it in cubes.


On November 04, 2005 at 09:42 PM, Bill (guest) said...
Great information! Simple things like this are fading away from our active, modern lifestyles, and it's critical that we wake up and realize what a nutritious powerhouse soup stock really is. This is one of the only ways to get the nutrients needed to keep our own bones & joints healthy!

Might want to consider what that hot water is leeching from the plastic bottles though! It's worth your time to research plastics -- ban them along with hydrogenation!


On November 04, 2005 at 09:43 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I notice Alton brown and you suggest cooling using a bed of ice. Any engineer, at least mechanical engineer, knows this is a poor mechanism for heat transfer. Immersion in a liquid is better because of more surface contact. One only needs to compare a person sitting on a bed of ice versus a person jumping into a lake of 50 degree water. Which is going to cause hypothermia faster? A no brainer for those who live in the frigid north, brrrrr.


On November 28, 2005 at 12:15 AM, eltonyo said...
With Thanksgiving over with, and thawed organic turkey's on sale for 0.49 cents a pound, I decided to buy 60 lbs worth, cook up the meat, freeze it, give some away, and refrigerate the rest for soups, casseroles, and yeastie-roll-sandwiches for the next 2 weeks!

That left me with lotsa, lotsa, lotsa, bones, skin, necks, and residual meat.... so I decided to make stock!!!

I basically followed this recipe as is, though I cooked it for 6 hours, and refrigerated it over-night, so I could do a final skimming of the fat.... ala Alton Brown suggestion.

I bagged much of it and froze it, and saved some for turkey soup.

I think the whole idea of hanging over your stove and "skimming the scum" every 30, 60, or whatever minutes is a big waste of time. Just skim it once, and know that the final skimming of fat (after it sits overnight in the fridge), will clean it up swell!

I found the whole process to be very relaxed, and almost "zen-like". I basically did this on a lazy Sunday afternoon whilst drinking a 6-pack and watching football (GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!... woof...woof...woof!).

All in all, it filled my house with nice aroma's, gave me lots of pleasure (and yummy stock), and something to do whilst watching TV.

Good recipe.

Try it.


On June 16, 2006 at 08:35 PM, Carlos (guest) said...
Subject: cooling down stock before refrigerating
Quote:
Once the stock is chilled to around 50°F (10°C) (about 1-1/2 hour), move the stock to the refrigerator to finish chilling.


was wondering: why not place the stock in the fridge after it has cooled down just a bit? Why wait so long (1 to 1/2 hrs) to put in the fridge? Will the stock be adversely affected if I just put it in the fridge still warm??

Thank you for your help.

Great site, by the way!!


On June 17, 2006 at 07:43 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: cooling down stock before refrigerating
Carlos wrote:
was wondering: why not place the stock in the fridge after it has cooled down just a bit? Why wait so long (1 to 1/2 hrs) to put in the fridge? Will the stock be adversely affected if I just put it in the fridge still warm??

The reason why you cool it down as much as you can and as quickly as possible before putting it in the fridge is because otherwise you'll heat up the interior of the fridge. Two gallons of stock at a relatively high temperature contains a lot of kinetic energy. The air circulating in the refrigerator will take longer to cool the stock than if you placed the stockpot in a cold water bath. During this time, you'll also be heating up all the food in your refrigerator because most likely, your fridge can't keep up with the amount of heat introduced by the stock. In some cases, you may even break your fridge as it runs full power for a longer duration than the manufacturer intended.


On June 18, 2006 at 04:21 AM, Carlos (guest) said...
Subject: cooling down stock
Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. I greatly appreciate the logic at work in your writing & explanations of cooking.

When I made the chicken stock yesterday (for the first time in my life) I made just 1/2 gallon approximately (perhaps less). So when I placed the pot in the sink with the cold water it cooled down almost immediately. I think that is why, at the time, I did not think much of the heat...I realize now that anything more than a quart or two would be some serious heat for the fridge to handle.

Thanks again for your help


On June 18, 2006 at 11:57 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: chicken stock vs chicken broth
I feel like I did the right thing in learning how to make this stock. Now I can extend my repertoire of recipes little by little.

Is the chicken broth used in the "Recipe File: Shrimp Scampi" the same liquid that is made in this "Chicken Stock" recipe? From the photo, it appears to be. Not sure though. In general, when a recipe calls for chicken broth, can stock be used instead without adverse affects??

Thanks again for your gracious help.

Carlos


On June 19, 2006 at 07:45 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: chicken stock vs chicken broth
Guest wrote:
Is the chicken broth used in the "Recipe File: Shrimp Scampi" the same liquid that is made in this "Chicken Stock" recipe? From the photo, it appears to be. Not sure though. In general, when a recipe calls for chicken broth, can stock be used instead without adverse affects??

I don't recall any chicken broth being used in the shrimp scampi recipe... maybe you're referencing a different article. In general, you can use homemade chicken stock whenever a recipe calls for chicken broth. Since I do not salt my chicken stock prior to storing it in the freezer, when I add the stock, I also need to add salt appropriate for the dish. I prefer it this way because sometimes the canned broth is too salty for a particular application and you can't take out salt, but you can always add it. Also, the homemade stock is much more flavorful than the canned broth.


On June 19, 2006 at 05:35 PM, Carlos (guest) said...
Subject: chicken stock vs broth
Hi Michael, I noticed the chicken broth in the Orzo Risotto with Buttery Shrimp...no chicken stock in the Shrimp Scampi...my mistake.

Thanks once again for a great forum & site!


On November 03, 2006 at 06:26 PM, chopper (guest) said...
Subject: all right
made stock a few days ago. mostly from a number of leftover parts and bones, as i buy chickens whole and cut them up as i need them.

roasted some of the bones before putting them in, and some of the pieces are a little meaty as well, so that gave it a little bit of broth flavor. yeah, a little less gelatin, but i reduce the stock quite a bit which makes up for it, plus i use a lot of bones.

veggies are usually scraps from other meals, which is actually nice because it gives a bunch of different flavors to the stock.

also, at the same time (why not), i rendered all the skin and fatty scum from the simmer in another pot to make schmaltz. can't go wrong with flavored fats.

the only problem is my stove has trouble with a simmer setting, either it's too low and it barely bubbles or you turn the knob ever so slightly higher and it starts boiling.


On November 03, 2006 at 07:39 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: all right
chopper wrote:
the only problem is my stove has trouble with a simmer setting, either it's too low and it barely bubbles or you turn the knob ever so slightly higher and it starts boiling.

Barely bubbles is fine. That's probably running around 180°F (if you're at sea level) which is just where you want to be.


On November 28, 2006 at 03:21 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: stock
How long is Turkery stock good in freezer. It wbs put in right bfter it wbs cool. I hbve hebrd 1 yebr bnd also 3 months or 6 months


On November 28, 2006 at 05:13 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: stock
guest wrote:
How long is Turkery stock good in freezer. It wbs put in right bfter it wbs cool. I hbve hebrd 1 yebr bnd also 3 months or 6 months

If it hasn't been repeated thawed and refrozen, one year is a reasonable amount of time to assume chicken stock will still taste good if frozen.


On January 27, 2007 at 08:52 PM, SweetAfton (guest) said...
Can this be made by using a crockpot?


On February 07, 2007 at 05:26 AM, kyano (guest) said...
Subject: Crock pot stock
I do that all the time. I find that it is a wonderful carefree way to make unmatchable stock. I buy whole chickens and cut them up for meals and save the "bits and pieces" in a ziplock bag in the freezer and when I have most of a gallon-sized bag full, I throw them into the crock pot and cover it with water, turn it up to high and walk away. It can literally simmer all day and not need a thing done with it. Sometimes I add just a little cider vinegar, as my grandma said that helps to leech out the calcium from the bones, but that may well be an old wive's tale...

I like using the crock pot for stock over using a pot on the stove because I am always having to monitor the heat, and replenish evaporated liquid when I am making stock on the stove. With the crock pot, I don't have to pay any attention to it at all.

Anyway, I cool the stock down and stick in the fridge overnight and then skim off all the fat and pick the meat from the bones, throw in whatever veges are in the fridge/freezer, season, add some noodles, and I have fabulous chicken noodle soup with virtually no effort.


On May 11, 2007 at 04:23 PM, blair (guest) said...
Subject: Can you destroy/denature gelatin by overcooking?
Hi,
Thanks for this great website! I read on the net that you can overcook broth with either too high heat or cooking too long. I understand the collagen can break down. Is this true? Do you have guidelines for max heat/max time?
Thanks for your help,
-Blair


On May 12, 2007 at 06:15 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Can you destroy/denature gelatin by overcooking?
blair wrote:
Thanks for this great website! I read on the net that you can overcook broth with either too high heat or cooking too long. I understand the collagen can break down. Is this true? Do you have guidelines for max heat/max time?

As far as I know you can't over cook broth. It is true that collagen will change (into gelatin) with heat, but you're actually trying to promote this process when making stock. A rolling boil can cloud the stock by agitating and breaking up little bits of the meat or vegetables you're making stock with, but after the vegetables have been removed, I often boil it down to a concentrated state (perhaps halving the volume) over high heat. The stock retains its flavors and gelatin content isn't changed enough that I can tell.


On June 14, 2007 at 02:58 AM, an anonymous reader said...
This works well in a pressure cooker and only takes 30 minutes. I wouldn't recommend buying a pressure cooker just to make stock, but if you have one its worth a try.

*word of warning do not attempt to make any stock while pregnant or you may never be able to eat homemade chicken soup again the smell is quite powerful.


On August 31, 2007 at 11:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Downside
There is a downside to using the colander insert while making your stock - it lowers the chicken/water ratio (which you want as high as possible) due to the 'dead space' between the insert and the walls of the pot.


On October 13, 2007 at 06:49 PM, DarkShadow (guest) said...
Subject: making stock
Was just wondering if breaking the larger bones to let the marrow escape would be good?


On October 17, 2007 at 02:52 PM, zenthrive (guest) said...
Subject: Breaking the bones
I was wondering if breaking the bones would contribute to a more flavorful stock as well.


On November 27, 2007 at 04:26 PM, bjhicks (guest) said...
Subject: cooling
Unfortunately I didn't find your site till AFTER my turkey broth attempts! I made stock for the first time yesterday without a recipe, just remembering what my dad used to do. I started it late in the evening, turned it off at 1:00 a.m. and left it sitting on the stove top all night. This morning I took all the big pieces out, but my husband says I can't use it now because it's unsafe after sitting out so long (8 hours). Wah! Must I throw it out? Can I re-boil it and make it safe?


On November 30, 2007 at 03:13 AM, hello (guest) said...
Subject: RE:Overnight stock cooling
Don't blame me if you get sick, but I'm very sure you won't. It was very likely above 140F for a few hours, so it was under 140F for a lot less than eight hours. Boil it if you want, but I wouldn't bother, especially if it was covered.


On December 04, 2007 at 03:01 PM, soccermom313 said...
Subject: Making stock
This site is wonderful! I am making stock right now, unfortunately while I was reading it came to a full boil. What do I do now? Tell me more about why you do let it come to a full boil. Thanks!


On December 04, 2007 at 05:53 PM, soccermom313 said...
Subject: overboiling stock
I meant to say "why you do NOT let it come to a full boil". Thanks again.


On December 06, 2007 at 02:04 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: overboiling stock
soccermom313 wrote:
I meant to say "why you do NOT let it come to a full boil".

Letting it come to a full boil can cause the ingredients in the stock to break up and cloud the liquid. This isn't really a problem except for cosmetic or, in extreme cases, a textural difference.

There are techniques to clarify the stock involving egg whites, controlled heating, and straining through a cheese cloth lined sieve. I haven't verified techniques involving egg whites work...


On December 23, 2007 at 10:35 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Fast Cooling
I cooled the batch I just made by pouring it into a ZipLoc freezer bag, and immersing that in ice water, laying flat. Because the surface area is large compared to the volume, the heat is absorbed really quickly.

Unfortunately, I didn't time the cooling, so I have to estimate that since the stock went from near-simmer temperature to lukewarm in just a couple minutes (that part I know for certain), it must have been just a few minutes more for refrigerator-safe temperature. As long as the bag can handle this, it should work for you.


On February 18, 2008 at 03:42 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Regarding the vegetables, you can put any sort of off-cuts in a stock -- i was intrigued to see Michael suggested putting peeled garlic in there - you can put garlic skin, onion skins, carrot skins and the like in there. Just don't put anything starchy in, or the stock will become cloudy. Waste not want not is the rule for making stock!


On June 16, 2008 at 08:42 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I looiked at this site to find out NOT how to make chicken stock, but how to FREEZE it. Without a humungous freezer how do you freeze several batches of stock for future use? Plastic bags are unsafe, and may leak. Ice box dishes take up lots of space, and when the stock is still liquid may spill if moved around. Having ready-to-go stock makes sense, the question is how to store it. Julia Celebiler


On June 16, 2008 at 10:55 AM, Dilbert said...
why are plastic bags not safe?

I use quart size freeze zip lock bags (they come in "storage" and "freezer" grades)

let the stock cool to room temp, I put 2 cups stock in a one quart bag, lay them flat on a cookie sheet so they freeze rapidly, and stockpile them like a deck of cards.


On June 17, 2008 at 04:19 AM, Michael Chu said...
I'm also curious why plastic is unsafe...

I would have suggested plastic bags (those double seal ziplocs are pretty good) or Rubbermaid or Tupperware containers. If the stock is boiled down enough (so that the gelatin almost sets at room temperature), it won't expand much in the freezer.


On June 17, 2008 at 02:03 PM, kgb1001001 said...
Subject: I'm with Michael...
I always freeze my stock in quart size double-seal ziplocs, and I rarely have a problem (maybe 1 in 20 bags will leak a bit on thawing).

I hope that this isn't a reaction to the "there are chemicals in those bags!" hype you hear so often and that we've already discussed here a couple of times before...

By the way -- here's a great trick I've hit upon that I'll share; when I find myself with lots of veggies that are going a bit limp in the crisper, I'll bring home one of those supermarket "broasted" chickens for dinner. I've found that the leftover carcasses paired with past their prime veggies make absolutely fantastic stock since they've been well-browned while roasted.


On July 02, 2008 at 09:06 AM, ChickenBeginner (guest) said...
Subject: When is it bad?
Hi,

I made chicken stock on Saturday and put it into the fridge. I was very proud of myself as it was my first time. Unfortunately I forgot about freezing it and it is now Wednesday morning. It was in the fridge in a measuring jug with clingfilm on top.

It had some orange stuff on top when I remembered to check it. I wasn't sure if this was normal or some sort of bacterial growth. I binned it but wanted to ask for comments.

Thanks


On July 03, 2008 at 12:35 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: When is it bad?
ChickenBeginner wrote:
It had some orange stuff on top when I remembered to check it. I wasn't sure if this was normal or some sort of bacterial growth. I binned it but wanted to ask for comments.

My guess would be that it's probably not bad yet. Did the orange stuff look like it could have been a solidified fat layer or was it fuzzy? Most importantly, how quickly did you chill it down to refrigerator levels after you made the stock? In general, if you can get the temperature down to room temperature within an hour and then deposit it into your fridge, you should be safe.


On November 29, 2008 at 04:01 AM, Big Dog (guest) said...
Subject: Turkey stock
I am going to make turkey stock in the morning. I would like to know if the pan drippings
from the bird can be used? They have been in the fridge and seem to have gelatinized.
BTW this recipe looks really good
Thanks


On November 29, 2008 at 01:32 PM, Dilbert said...
..pan drippings

yes you can use these - but be aware "solids" in a stock can make it cloudy.

depending on personal preferences and how you eventually use the stock, this may not be an issue at all.
pan drippings usually have a fair amount of fat in them, that should float up and be skimmed off.


On December 01, 2008 at 06:00 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Turkey stock
Big Dog wrote:
I am going to make turkey stock in the morning. I would like to know if the pan drippings
from the bird can be used? They have been in the fridge and seem to have gelatinized.

Yes, you can add the turkey drippings to the broth you make with the left over bones.


On December 29, 2008 at 07:19 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Tampopo ramen!
Your recipe is great. I've used it for chicken stock, and I am about to use it for turkey stock. But as an aside, what I really wanted to mention is how freakin' awesome you are for mentioning the movie "Tampopo". It's fantastic, and hilarious.


On January 12, 2009 at 07:20 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: first time making stock
hi michael,
i love your site! i'm a newbie in the kitchen and trying to learn the basics. i roasted a 7lb chicken last night and saved the carcass, skin, giblets and all the leftover bones. i have been trying to figure out how to make stock and what parts of the chicken i'll need. some stock recipes call for the giblets. why don't you use them? would you use the skin? also since i have a bigger sized chicken do i need to use more carrots, celery and onions? is there a certain ration of "bird" to veggies? and lastly can you explain why you would reduce the stock down? what does that mean when i got to use it in a recipe later on? do i need to add water to it?
i know i'm totally overanalyzing this, but it would help me tremendously to know the background. thanks!


On January 12, 2009 at 11:12 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: first time making stock
Anonymous wrote:
i have been trying to figure out how to make stock and what parts of the chicken i'll need. some stock recipes call for the giblets. why don't you use them? would you use the skin? also since i have a bigger sized chicken do i need to use more carrots, celery and onions? is there a certain ration of "bird" to veggies? and lastly can you explain why you would reduce the stock down? what does that mean when i got to use it in a recipe later on? do i need to add water to it?

I usually use the giblets for gravy. You can certainly use them in the stock along with the skin. I'd probably brown all the meat and skin first in a pan before adding it to the stock to promote flavor. I don't think you'll need to adjust the vegetables (that's something for you to experiment with in the future).

I reduce the stock for storage purposes. It's also really really good as an undiluted soup (just add a little salt and pepper when heating it for soup) since the gelatin content is so high. So "regular" broth applications you can either use it full strength (for more flavor) or dilute with water (up to your discretion). Since broths often taste different (homemade vs. bought - brand vs. brand), the specific taste will be different if you use full strength vs. diluted, but again you'll need to experiment to see what taste you prefer.


On March 22, 2009 at 04:46 PM, Terri Tepper (guest) said...
Subject: Turkey Stock
Thanks for this site. It's very helpful. Why do recipes for making stock suggest you keep the lid off? Is there an advantage to having to keep adding water? Wouldn't keeping the lid on keep the liquid from evaporating? Some recipes call for keeping the lid off a crack. Why not leave the lid on completely?

Thanks,
Terri


On March 24, 2009 at 02:53 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Turkey Stock
Terri Tepper wrote:
Thanks for this site. It's very helpful. Why do recipes for making stock suggest you keep the lid off? Is there an advantage to having to keep adding water? Wouldn't keeping the lid on keep the liquid from evaporating? Some recipes call for keeping the lid off a crack. Why not leave the lid on completely?

I can't speak for other recipes, but I keep the lid off because it's easier to keep the stock from boiling (which can break up too much material and result in a cloudy broth).


On March 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM, The Brutal Gourmet (guest) said...
Subject: Stock
I have been making my own stocks for years, and cannot recommend it enough. I usually buy whole chickens and butcher them myself since I like my stock to have raw bones, but I have also worked with pre-roasted poultry, beef and lamb bones to wonderful effect. In my experience, there is no amount of roasting which leaves an edible product and still excludes good stock making. Whole chickens are also very cost effective when you do not throw out large portions of them unused.

I usually put just the poultry in the pot and simmer it for an hour. Then I pull the solids out, pick the bones clean and return them to the pot. Then I make a chicken salad sandwich and save the rest of the meat in ziploc bags for adding to soup, or enchiladas, or whatever. Once the clean bones are back in the pot I add the aromatics: herbs, carrots, onion and celery. 7-11 hours later, I pour it through a fine sieve, chill asap and freeze in 1/2 cup, 1 cup and 3 cup pieces (for sauces, soups and risoto as needed). For the smaller increments I use 9 oz plastic cups which I freeze and then store in large ziploc bags until needed.

As for clarifying stock: If I am making Chinese soups (which traditionally call for a very clear stock) I will clarify them with 4 egg whites per 5 cups of stock (yes, that is a lot. I rarely bother, but if I am going to be presenting my final product to someone critical, it is what works). After chilling and skimming the fat from your stock, whip your egg whites to a frothy but less than peaked state. Stir them gently into your chilled, defatted stock. Slowly bring your stock to a simmer, and simmer for ~30 minutes. Then pour it through at least a cheesecloth-lined collander, or if you want crazily clear stock, pour it through a paper coffee filter. It tastes about the same so like I said I rarely bother. Very pretty though.

I also find that if I add about 1/4 to 1/2 of the salt I would expect to use in any recipe, the flavor of the stock holds up better in the long term. If you add no salt at all, I tend to find subtle skunky flavors after long-term freezing (6 months or more, not that that happens often), but a teaspoon or so of kosher salt per quart heads that off.

Finally, Mr. Chu: I have been reading your site for some time and it kicks all kinds of ass. Kudos, and I hope you carry on.


On March 29, 2009 at 11:13 PM, The Brutal Gourmet said...
Subject: One more detail...
I cannot stress enough the importance of using good water in your stock making. There is a certain amount of concentration involved, and if you use tap water which tastes like crap, your stock will taste like concentrated crap. I am fortunate in that my city takes some pains to provide good tap water, but if yours does not you should definitely use bottled water. After all, the vast majority of your final product is the water you used...

This may even be more true for stock than it is for home-brewed beer, which has a fairly insane amount of stuff added to it in the form of sugars, oils and other good stuff.


On April 22, 2009 at 10:27 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: No mention of an immersion chiller?!
All these comments from engineers, many on the subject of how to cool down your broth, and not one mention of an immersion chiller?! Are there no brewers here? For those of you not familiar with this piece of equipment, an immersion chiller is basically a big coil of copper tubing. You connect one end to your faucet via a hose, and run a hose from the other end to the drain, then you immerse the coil in the liquid you want to cool, and run cold water through it. The temperature drops crazy fast (to get technical about it).

If you were really nuts, you'd use a counterflow chiller, but that might be a bit much for stock...


On May 03, 2009 at 05:41 PM, The Brutal Gourmet said...
Subject: Immersion chiller
You make a good point. I generally would not use my beer chiller for stock though, just because the amount of fat involved would make it hard to clean. I love chicken fat, and I love my beer, but I don't much want to mix them (despite the classic recipe in the Modern Homebrewer's Bible for beer made with a whole chicken -- don't blame me, it was not my idea...). I am just not so concerned about the speed with which my stock cools to go quite so far as to contaminate my beer equipment with it. I never use my stock without boiling it first, so it is really excess prudence to chill it super quickly. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you...


On August 13, 2009 at 04:51 AM, jpatti (guest) said...
Subject: other stock ideas
Broth is a big part of my cooking.

I keep a large tupperware in the freezer, so whenever I am chopping onions, garlic, celery, etc, I put all the scraps and peelings in there for making stock. Also, whenever something looks like it might "go" (celery that's gotten soft, for example, but nothing actually *bad*).

I always add a glug of vinegar to extract more goodness from the bones.

There are only two of us I cook for regularly, so often I have small batches of bones to make stock with. When that is the case, I make it in the crockpot as it's easier to do small batches without having to watch to keep the water level up. Throw it in, turn it on, cover and come back whenever it's convenient to do so, doesn't matter if it's 6 hours or 12.

For turkey stock, I don't bother with a stockpot. After Thanksgiving dinner, I cut the leftovers off the carcass, and put the roasting pan on TWO burners of my stove, add water and veggies, and make the stock right in it, with all the leftover drippings and whatnot. It's very flavorful because you have all the seasonings from the stuffing, etc. And it nearly gels while still hot! We usually have pumpkin pie and coffee several hours after dinner, by the time the cleanup from that is done, the stock is ready to be strained.

For chicken stock, I prefer a whole raw chicken, with the neck and giblets, for the most flavorful broth. I freeze the meat in 2 cup portions to use in recipes calling for cooked chicken (chicken salad, stirfries, casserole type dishes).

Not that I'll "waste" a chicken carcass from a roasted chicken; that gets turned into stock too.

I've found that making it from breasts or wings doesn't work as well, just doesn't taste very good, it's bland.

It works pretty well with leg quarters and since these go on sale for ridiculously cheap prices sometimes (I can pick up a 40lb package for $.29/lb - a stock-making bonanza!), they're great for making a big batch of stock, and again just freezing the meat for recipes.

When I plan to freeze the meat for recipes, I don't want to have to sort through and pick soggy onion peelings and disintegrated celery leaves and whatnot. So what I do is take a big piece of muslin and put all the veggies in it, tie if off, and throw it in the stockpot. That simplifies the process when the stock is done, you only have to sort through the meat and bones.

For beef broth, I always roast the bones first. If I've slow roasted short ribs, the leftover bones get used to make stock. If I'm just planning to make stock, I roast shank bones, then scoop the marrow into the liquid. To me, the flavor when you've roasted the bones first is much improved with beef stocks. This doesn't gel as well as the other broths, but is yummy.

I've never yet had enough ham bones to just make stock; I only do a whole ham once or twice a year. The stock gets made immediately into one of several soups I just love and canned.

When doing big batches at once, I either freeze stock in square quart containers (they use freezer space better than round ones) or can it in quart jars. I've never considered storing in smaller batches because there's no way I won't go through a quart in a few days anyways.

I have a quart or two of stock in my fridge all the time, I prefer it to water for cooking brown rice, beans, kasha, small pastas, etc.

I also just heat a cup to drink a few times a week. It makes a nice hot drink, a change from just coffee and tea all the time.

I also make "instant" soup by putting a cup of broth and any random leftover meat or veggies or grain in a big mug and nuking it.

Broth is just awesome stuff.


On November 25, 2009 at 03:12 AM, chef (guest) said...
Subject: why cool your stock and roasted vs non roasted bones
You cool your stock down in an ice bath to prevent food borne bacteria from multiplying to unsafe levels. You have six hours to cool your stock to 41 degrees or less. Bacteria goes fastest between 125 and 70 degrees, in fact it double by division every twenty min in that temperature range. Your refrigerator was not designed to cool foods just to keep cold foods cold. So foods placed into a fridge without proper cooling can remain in the danger zone for days allowing for dangerous levels of bacteria.

The difference between roasting your bones or not is related to the finished color of the stock. A roasted bone stock is called a brown stock and non roasted stock is called a white stock. Both are good but have different uses in the kitchen.


On November 27, 2009 at 02:42 AM, davidwat (guest) said...
Subject: Cooling stock?
Stock simmered for several hours covered should be virtually sterile. It certainly won't have any of the Salmonella associated with industrial poultry production. If you bring it back to a simmer after straining, you could then cool it down, covered and unmolested; and put it into ziplock bags for freezing with minimal risk of bacterial contamination. I have cooled it on the patio before.


On January 10, 2010 at 10:33 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Stock
HYPER FLAVORFUL & NUTRITIONAL STOCK:

After simmering stock 6-14 hours I add more herbs (1-2 tsp: thyme, parslely, powdered poultry seasoning; 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp tumeric) and simmer for another 15 - 20 minutes. This is to retain the maximum flavor of the herbs which begins to boil off after this time (aromatic oils are very fragile and boil off easily). Of course, this can be done when making soups from the stock.

The pot is covered during the simmering process so that the aromatic oils from the seasonings are not lost and condense back into the stock. Some people actually use condenser lids (lids in which ice can be placed) in order to achieve maximum condensation of aromatics which are nutritious and very flavorful.

Vinegar (1 T) and/or lemon juice (I add both), and I have read even parsley, all facilitate the removal of calcium from the bones in addition to the first two significantly enhancing the flavors of the stock. The lemon juice will also remove calcium from the shells of simmered poultry egg shells. Though, most store bought chicken egg shells have been washed in toxic chemicals. Simmer 8-17 hours, stirring every hour to half hour.


Optional - I add a little tumeric (1 tsp) to yellow the stock. This is very traditional. Peppercorns (berperine) will facilitate the absorption of most of the healthy elements from the tumeric. Tumeric can have an odd flavor if too much is added.

Adding dulse will hyper boost the mineral content and, adding powdered poultry seasoning will wow with flavor (sage, thyme, onion, cumin, marjoram, celery seed, pepper, red pepper).

I do not remove all of the fat from the stock because fat facilitates the absorption of some nutritional elements (e.g., fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K). So, if you were to add vegetables to the stock for a soup, simmer a bit, you would absorb more of these vitamins. In addition, FAT is THE FLAVOR ENHANCER of any dish.


On January 13, 2010 at 11:22 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I just realized that all the pan juices from my Christmas turkey (!!!) have been in the fridge in a stainless steel covered pot. I heated it on the stove to make it easier to dispose of, and it smells delicious. Is there any chance it is still ok to eat? It had no discernible mold, or anything.

Thanks!
jk


On January 13, 2010 at 11:23 PM, Dilbert said...
safer is better than sorry - chuck it.


On February 10, 2010 at 08:03 PM, guest (guest) said...
Great ideas, all.
The gelatin and other nutrients in bones are best recaptured by cracking them and covering with COLD water, then simmering.
I have used this method when starting with raw wings and thighs, and also when recycling that turkey carcass.
BTW, roast that carcass at 400F for an hour, or until it turns golden. Let cool before making stock.


On February 11, 2010 at 02:47 PM, Chicken Stock Mom (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken Stock
I only use chicken feet for chicken stock. The stock becomes a pot of gelatin after it cools. (Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle, LOL!).


On February 22, 2010 at 10:48 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: pan drippings
I too have had pan drippings sit in the refrigerator for a few weeks and when I reheat it looks and smells fine. I see where someone said better safe--pitch it. What is the worst possible outcome? Is it bacteria? If so, wouldn't boiling it take care of it? I really hate to throw this stuff out. It's such wonderful flavor. Thanks,
guest karen


On February 22, 2010 at 11:38 PM, Dilbert said...
poultry is rather infamous for
- listeria
- e. coli
- salmonella

listeria is the most prevalent baddie, but is 'under recognized' as it very rarely causes anything more than a case of diarrhea.

e. coli and salmonella have more impact - especially in the young, elderly and compromised individuals. infrequent but not unknown complications include odd-ball infections that can result in death - especially when the problem is not recognized / treated in a timely fashion.

all that said, yes - a good ten minute boil _should_ kill the nasties - if they are present.

"a few weeks" is certainly pushing the limit for "not foul tasting" - at least in my experience.


On March 05, 2010 at 04:32 PM, Sharon60137 (guest) said...
Subject: Chicken feet in stock
Hi,

I have been making stock for the past 6 months or so and have been experimenting with various techniques and ingredients. I recently used the carcasses of 2 roasted chickens along with a bunch of chicken feet that I purchased at an international market. The carcasses had been roasted first. To prepare the chicken feet, I boiled them for 5 minutes, then chopped off the claws (at the first knuckle). I then threw all of the bones and feet in the slow cooker and continued as usual (a little vinegar, and onions, carrots, celery and herbs for the last hour).

The stock gels beautifully but the taste is just ... different. It has a very slight bitter flavour to it. Could this have something to do with the chicken feet? They were not roasted before hand. Any ideas or suggestions?

Thanks,
Sharon


On October 22, 2010 at 04:45 PM, sylvia (guest) said...
Subject: turkey stock
I simmered the Turkey bones only. strained them into a lage pot.
left it in the fridge for 10 days. it has layer of fat on top. plus a lid. how long is it safe to keep before using?


On October 22, 2010 at 06:21 PM, Dilbert said...
>>left it in the fridge for 10 days.
>> how long is it safe to keep before using?

you're past the usual guidelines at 10 days.

reheated to a boil for several minutes (killing some nasties) but taste may suffer.


On November 21, 2010 at 11:02 PM, akabezer (guest) said...
Subject: my turkey stock is gelatinous, is this normal??
I made turkey stock for the first time yesterday. I used 5 lb of turkey wings (the centers) along with chopped onion, celery and carrot along with some dried seasonings; the wings were browned prior to going into the pot followed by the veggies (after being sauteed in the same oil as the wings were browned it). They were then covered with water and 'simmered' for roughly 7 hours. I occasionally skimmed the surface as I checked the simmer level.

At first I had a slow boil which became a non-simmer (a film appeared across the top of the pot) which then, for the majority of the cooking, was, what I call a fast simmer; there were small bubbles coming to the surface.

The stock sat at room temperature for a few hours before going into the fringe. I just pulled it out of the fridge to remove the top layer of fat to find that under a thin layer of yellowish fat was a big bowl of gelatinous goo. IS THIS NORMAL??? I was expecting a liquid under the fat, not goo. Is this the result of boiling out the collagen from the bones??


On November 21, 2010 at 11:24 PM, Dilbert said...
>>under a thin layer of yellowish fat was a big bowl of gelatinous goo. IS THIS NORMAL???

a-yup. totally "normal" where the scraps have given up their gelatin.


On November 22, 2010 at 07:16 PM, Michael Chu said...
Dilbert wrote:
>>under a thin layer of yellowish fat was a big bowl of gelatinous goo. IS THIS NORMAL???

a-yup. totally "normal" where the scraps have given up their gelatin.

Not only would I call it "normal", I would say that that is a sign that your stock was a success. It's all that gelatin (from denatured collagen) that thickens your soup into a Jell-O consistency. This gelatin is what sets homemade stock from store bought and give it that extra richness and unctuousness that makes soup so good.


On November 23, 2010 at 03:50 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: time in freezer
What is the absolute longest, you can keep the stock frozen, w/o it going bad?


On November 23, 2010 at 08:16 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: time in freezer
Anonymous wrote:
What is the absolute longest, you can keep the stock frozen, w/o it going bad?

In theory, they can be held indefinitely before going bad (especially if kept in deep freeze like a chest freezer as opposed to a self-defrosting freezer). In reality, off flavors might be detectable after six months to a year. There should be no health risk, just flavor/taste alteration.


On November 23, 2010 at 08:45 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: stock in freezer
Thank you, appreciate it!!! Happy Thanksgiving!


On November 24, 2010 at 06:11 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: How long to cook stock
I have Turkey stock simmering in a 20 qt. stockpot and chicken stock in a 24 qt. I followed the normal ratios for stock. How long should I let it simmer. thx Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!


On November 24, 2010 at 06:15 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: How long to cook stock
Anonymous wrote:
I have Turkey stock simmering in a 20 qt. stockpot and chicken stock in a 24 qt. I followed the normal ratios for stock. How long should I let it simmer. thx Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!!

How much time do you have? The longer the duration, the more collagen you will be able to convert into gelatin and add richness to your stock. If you have 8 hours, I would let it simmer for 8 hours. After that, I don't think you'll be able to extract much more.


On November 30, 2010 at 03:28 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Is it safe to cook the stock for two + days in a crock pot? I didn't do this, but my boyfriend did and now we have 4 quarts of stock in the fridge.

Thanks


On December 04, 2010 at 09:33 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Turkey broth'
Had no room in the fridge for a big pot, so I covered the pot and stuck it in the snow. Worked great!!!


On March 04, 2011 at 02:47 AM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: poultry stock
Can you use parts of chicken and poultry carcasses together to make stock?


On March 04, 2011 at 06:37 AM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: last message mistake- poultry stock
I meant to ask if it works to use parts of chicken and turkey together in a stock. I have some of each, but not enough of either one to make much stock individually.


On March 04, 2011 at 07:07 PM, Dilbert said...
in a word, yes - they can be mixed.

I rather suspect one would be hard pressed to taste a distinction between "pure" and "mixed - especially if it is used as a base for another dish.


On April 18, 2011 at 03:34 PM, Suanie (guest) said...
Subject: Note of thanks
... for this recipe. I first used it for making chicken noodle soup, then I just used it again to make proper chicken stock. Followed your amount of ingredients etc, don't think I got even 1 gallon though. But it's definitely a good recipe.


On June 15, 2011 at 10:31 PM, Isabel (guest) said...
Subject: Make Pre-measured frozen "stock muffins"
PLEASE don't heat up plastic. It leaches chemicals--no doubt about it. Instead of pouring warm stock in plastic bags, here is a better and more convenient way: Pour half cup portions into stainless steel muffin pans and then freeze. That way, you'll have pre-measured portions for later use. Put the frozen "stock muffins" in a plastic freezer bag.

As far as putting a frozen plastic bottle in hot stock to cool it down... DON'T! Just let it cool and then put in fridge:

http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080130/heating-plastic-bottles-releases-potentially-harmful-chemical.htm


On June 16, 2011 at 04:05 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Make Pre-measured frozen "stock muffins"
Isabel wrote:
PLEASE don't heat up plastic. It leaches chemicals--no doubt about it. Instead of pouring warm stock in plastic bags, here is a better and more convenient way: Pour half cup portions into stainless steel muffin pans and then freeze. That way, you'll have pre-measured portions for later use. Put the frozen "stock muffins" in a plastic freezer bag.

As far as putting a frozen plastic bottle in hot stock to cool it down... DON'T! Just let it cool and then put in fridge:

http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080130/heating-plastic-bottles-releases-potentially-harmful-chemical.htm

I have to agree. This article was originally written many years ago and using water bottles is now not a recommended way to shock down stock.


On November 23, 2011 at 06:53 PM, Richard M. (guest) said...
Subject: chilling center of stock without plastic
As an alternative to a plastic bottle, I just put a small stainless steel mixing bowl, about half-full of ice water, in the center of the stock pot, as it cooled down in the exterior ice water bath in the sink. I considered using a tall glass, but decided not to since I wasn't sure if my glasses were thermal shock-resistant, and I didn't want it to break in my soup. One of those tall metal cups like those used by ice-cream restaurants for milkshakes might also work.


On November 25, 2011 at 02:48 PM, Dickiedog said...
Subject: cooking stock
I had about six necks two wings and a whole turkey carcass in a 15 quart pan and used the recipe for the stock but when i took it out of the fridge it was completely solid from to much gelatin is this good or bad? it must be really concentrated.


On November 25, 2011 at 07:07 PM, Dilbert said...
that's a good thing.

warm it a bit so you can easily strain out the chunks . . .


On December 16, 2011 at 05:20 AM, IAmNotACook (guest) said...
Subject: Frozen Stock Safe to Reheat in Microwave?
I've just recently discovered the Joys of Stock. I could kick myself for the number of chicken carcasses we've discarded over the years after having a roast chicken for dinner or worse yet, buying them at the store. Probably hundreds by now.

After making stock with the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers and finding it delicious, this past week I did a chicken stock. I immediately made chicken soup with about 1/3 of the stock, and froze the rest.

Two days ago, I took the frozen stock out of the freezer and it's been thawing in the fridge. We keep the fridge quite cold, so today the stock is still like a "chicken slushy", although some of it is now more liquid than it was yesterday.

Tonight I reheated a bowl of the thawed-ish stock for a quick snack, and since I didn't want to dirty an extra dish I just scooped some stock-slush out into a bowl and reheated that in the mikey. Was this a dumb thing to do? I cooked it for 6 minutes and high and it wasn't hot enough, cooked it for 6 minutes more, and then tested the temp with a meat thermometer and it said it was at the "poultry" level (180 degrees, if I recall). But in the back of my mind I remember something about keeping the stock at 180 degrees for a certain period of time when it was cooking - is that necessary when reheating too?

Thanks, oh ye fellow over-analyzers of cookery!


On December 17, 2011 at 07:54 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Frozen Stock Safe to Reheat in Microwave?
IAmNotACook wrote:
Tonight I reheated a bowl of the thawed-ish stock for a quick snack, and since I didn't want to dirty an extra dish I just scooped some stock-slush out into a bowl and reheated that in the mikey. Was this a dumb thing to do? I cooked it for 6 minutes and high and it wasn't hot enough, cooked it for 6 minutes more, and then tested the temp with a meat thermometer and it said it was at the "poultry" level (180 degrees, if I recall). But in the back of my mind I remember something about keeping the stock at 180 degrees for a certain period of time when it was cooking - is that necessary when reheating too?

If the stock was chilled and promptly frozen (no contamination) after you made it, there's no need to bring it up to 180F or anything like that. We make the stock at 180F to provide an environment hot enough for the collagen in the bones to rapidly denature/hydrolyze into gelatin and enter the cooking liquid without bringing the stock to a boiling level which can break up chicken bits and cloud the stock. That's why 180F was chosen for cooking temp.

The reason why it took so long to heat was probably due to the ample amount of ice (slush) which does not absorb energy from microwave radiation as readily as liquid water.


On December 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM, KitchenBarbarian (guest) said...
Subject: Pressure cooker - the only way to go
Sorry, but after several unsuccessful attempts to make stock sans a pressure cooker, I'm going to have to break down and buy one. There's no joy in spending hours simmering something on the stove only to end up with the pale, wobbly, not fully gelatinized stuff that comes out of my stock pot. And yes, the bones are cooked to the crumbly point. Whereas I used to turn out stocks you could cut with a knife when using a pressure cooker.

I'ma have to buy a new pressure cooker. *sigh*

NOTE: For those who want to try this at home: You will need a pressure cooker twice as big as the amount of stock you want to make. You can't fill a pressure cooker up over half full. But at 20 or 30 mins to make stock compared to a whole day - it's worth it to make it in more than one batch, or to make smaller batches more often.

And I've never seen this "grey foam" of which you speak - what is that???


On December 30, 2011 at 01:47 PM, Michael Chu said...
WaTsOnBrYn wrote:
Sir, your site is fantastic, and this was another smashing article. But I was wondering, I have heard that true stock must be made using uncooked bone, so that the gelatin is preserved, and that using cooked meat is for broths. IIRC this was from one of Tom Colicchio’s “Think Like a Chef “. Am I off on this?

There is still plenty of collagen/gelatin in the bones even if roasted. Once the stock is reduced, you'll find that it will solidify at refrigerator temperatures - this is due to the gelatin content.


On January 18, 2012 at 10:23 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Thank you for your guidance. My first pot of chicken stock turned out very nice. But, I have some questions:
1. After removing and straining I simmered without the lid until the stock was reduced by maybe 10%. Still has nice flavor.

2. Now, I would like to pressure can the quart jars of stock. What steps should I take to make sure that my stock does not turn bitter during the high heat canning process? During the process of reducing the stock, I did notice a change in flavor and could see how easy it would be for it to turn bitter. I don' want that to happen while canning. What are your thoughts on this?

3. I never let my stock boil--it did simmer and I could occasionally see bubbles forming below the surface, but they hardly ever popped the surface. I got very little scum, and I did not get any gelatin. How did that happen? I used organic uncooked chicken (I roasted the bones first in the oven and poured the drippings into the stock pot). How do I get gelatin for my pates, etc.?

Thank you again for your many hours of thoughtful instructions. I have been coming to this site for several years now. Best,


On January 19, 2012 at 12:31 AM, Dilbert said...
well..... heat has a habit of changing things.

you might want to consider just freezing the stock. I do that in 2-cup "bags" - good "size" for later "all around" use.

the gelatinous 'goop' should be rendered out in the simmer stage.
simmer the carcass, cool stock = gelatinous mass.

I wonder if the 'roasted bones' bit made a difference?
not gone the roasted chicken bones route meself....


On January 19, 2012 at 05:42 AM, Michael Chu said...
Anonymous wrote:
3. I never let my stock boil--it did simmer and I could occasionally see bubbles forming below the surface, but they hardly ever popped the surface. I got very little scum, and I did not get any gelatin. How did that happen? I used organic uncooked chicken (I roasted the bones first in the oven and poured the drippings into the stock pot). How do I get gelatin for my pates, etc.?

The gelatin from the chicken should be dissolved into the stock. Are you trying to extract the gelatin from the stock for use separately? If so, there are various techniques to do so. The first that comes to mind is to boil down (or simmer down) the stock until well reduced (maybe so only 25% of what you started with is left). Then refrigerate the whole thing so it will solidify. The gelatin percentage in the reduced stock should be high enough that you'll get something like a savory Jell-O. Place a cheesecloth (folded a few times) into a large sieve / strainer and put that over a large bowl. Scoop the refrigerated stock jell-o into the cheesecloth and return to the fridge. Over time, the stock will separate leaving solids in the cheesecloth and a liquid in the bowl (the liquid is consomme and the solid is gelatin). Then, heat the gelatin and filter it again to remove particulates from it and get a purer gelatin. You can then use this gelatin for other applications.


On February 02, 2012 at 02:02 AM, rkz53 said...
For Thanksgiving (and other times), I will debone four turkey breasts to tie into roasts, season and smoke for the family gathering (great eating for another topic). I will save and freeze the deboned carcasses. On a cold, dreary Saturday in January when there is nothing to do, I will defrost the carcasses, roast the bones in a 400 degree oven for an hour, then make stock from the roasted bone much like your recipe. I put the stock in dated Ziplock bags and freeze for later use. This makes the best chicken and okra gumbo you ever ate and beats throwing away all those perfectly good, flavorful turkey bones.


On February 28, 2012 at 06:26 PM, KitchenBarbarian said...
Subject: Pressure cooker - still the QUICKEST, but ...
After more experimentation (read: accidentally falling asleep while cooking stock stovetop sans a pressure cooker) it turns out that the fault is not in the stovetop method, but in the idea that you can do this effectively in 4 hours, or even 8.

Simmering for 12 hours at the minimum has netted me the results I want. I now get a beautiful, golden brown, thickly gelatinized stock. This is not from cooking down, I cover my stock pot always.

As for boiling, I don't boil it but I do BRING it to a boil then reduce to a very low simmer, tightly covered to reduce evaporation. It doesn't make my stock cloudy, not that I can see at any rate. I also still have not seen this gray foam of which you speak.

I'd still FAR rather do this in a pressure cooker. Whoda thunk they'd get so expensive in the last 30 years. :shock:


On February 28, 2012 at 06:42 PM, Dilbert said...
nothing wrong with an accidental success (g)

>>As for boiling, I don't boil it but I do BRING it to a boil then reduce to a very low simmer, tightly covered to reduce evaporation. It doesn't make my stock cloudy, not that I can see at any rate. I also still have not seen this gray foam of which you speak.

one theory is that boiling too hard breaks up the little bits into really really little bits that float around and make the stock cloudy.

the foam - it's proteins that the simmer brings out. if this was another go with roasted bones, any protein matter may have cooked enough from the roasting it does not make for the foam.


On March 06, 2012 at 05:33 PM, Sick Cookie (guest) said...
Subject: Cooling stock
I'm making stock today to feed the common cold, and I'm referring to your recipe and the accompanying comments. I noticed nobody suggested what we do here in Maine to cool stock. We have plenty of snow during the chicken soup months, so take the whole pot of stock and leave it in a snow bank for 15 minutes...Voila!! cooled stock :-)


On April 09, 2012 at 04:37 PM, James Achilles (guest) said...
Subject: Bad smelling stock.
My stock had a very sour odor and bitter almost vinegary taste. Dumped the whole thing. What might have caused this


On April 09, 2012 at 04:55 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Bad smelling stock.
James Achilles wrote:
My stock had a very sour odor and bitter almost vinegary taste. Dumped the whole thing. What might have caused this

Was the chicken cooked or raw when you started? How old was the chicken? What was the temperature of the stock as you simmered it? (If you didn't have a thermometer, was the stock strongly bubbling, lightly bubbling, or not at all bubbling during the cooking process?) How quickly did you cool the stock - quick chill in ice water, uncovered cooling on range or counter, or covered?


On June 20, 2012 at 06:18 PM, Abruzzi (guest) said...
Subject: Cooling down the chicken stock
Immersing the stock pot in ice or cold water after cooking is done in order to minimize or eliminate the possibility of bacteria forming in the stock. You cannot let the stock sit on the stove or on the counter to cool on its own. You have to get the temperature of the stock to drop quickly. I used to own a restaurant and the city health inspectors were adamant about the cooling down of stocks, sauces, etc. They even had procedure placards that we posted in the kitchen for the staff to follow. The best method we found was to fill a tub or sink with cold tap water then add a bunch of ice to the water. During winter months is was even easier and faster - leave it outdoors to cool.


On July 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM, El Jay (guest) said...
Subject: Canned Stock
We are butchering our chickens this weekend and then I'll be canning stock for the first time ever using backbones, neck, wing tips, some giblets (not courageous enough to try feet yet). Unless I missed it, I'm not finding any comments about canning the stock. Does anyone have any advice that would help me along on my "maiden voyage"?


On July 19, 2012 at 04:38 PM, Dilbert said...
there's making the stock, then the canning bit.

the major trick in making stock is not to keep it at a hard boil - a very gentle simmer. the hard boil can break up the proteins and the stock will be cloudy.

it has meat in it - you should be using a pressure canner

see
http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html
for the latest recommendations


On August 18, 2012 at 07:47 AM, obsessed with food (guest) said...
Subject: what is the foam? Can you reuse the cheese cloth?
What is the foam? Why skim it? My Chinese mother said that it's the "dirty stuff". There are times that my broth has very little foam, but I find that the longer the bones/meat had sit in the fridge before I made the broth, the more foam I will have. I wonder why...

Also, can you reuse cheese cloth/soup socks? How do you effectively clean them or are they for one time use only?

Thanks again for the site. I love the multi pot idea. Thinking now to ask for one for Christmas!


On February 11, 2013 at 11:07 PM, topjob66t (guest) said...
Subject: Two mentions about pressure cookers!
I have a 6 qt Presto Pressure cooker. Very old one having no bells or whistles attached. This to me is the absolute way to create stock.
I break up the turkey carcass into as small of pieces possible after picking all the white and dark meat. That meat gets placed in freezer bags.
I pour enough water to cover all the bones and when the rocker start a rockin' I reduce the heat to a gentle rock and leave it for about an hour.
Pour the contents through a colander into another pot. The bones quickly dry and are brittle to the touch. There is nothing left but bleached bones. (I once used the scraps of meat left but it was rather tasteless so I never did that again for a soup.) But I never added vegetables or garlic before! Certainly will try those ingredients next time. I cool down the liquid outside on the deck then freeze the whole pot. Then I scrape off the fat, reheat and decant into plastic square containers with lids, and refreeze.
My family thinks my soups are the best.


On February 12, 2013 at 04:29 PM, Jim Cooley said...
Subject: Re: Two mentions about pressure cookers!
topjob66t wrote:
I have a 6 qt Presto Pressure cooker. Very old one having no bells or whistles attached. This to me is the absolute way to create stock. ...

I pour enough water to cover all the bones and when the rocker start a rockin' I reduce the heat to a gentle rock and leave it for about an hour.


I do the exact same thing and must say the result is excellent and preparation easy-peasey.

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