The very versatile, always in demand chicken stock is the topic of this article. Learning how to make chicken stock is an important skill for any chef. It is your base for almost everything. Today we’re going to learn how to make a proper chicken stock. There are tons of websites out there that will give you bad advice about making stock, and will sometimes confuse chicken broth with chicken stock. Chicken stock is easy to prepare and doesn’t take as long as beef stock. The difficulty in making chicken stock isn’t the process, but the preparation required in advance. Buying whole chickens, breaking them down and saving the bones is cost-effective and useful, but can take up much more time than most people have. Making a plan of action on a week-to-week basis can help you keep on top of your chicken stock supply.
Coming away from this article, you will learn how to prepare this delicious stock, store it and even where to purchase it online from.
The problem many people have with stocks are they take way too long and they take up way too much space in the freezer or fridge. While valid concerns, you should always plan ahead if you have a big meal to cook for friends & family and set time aside to prepare your desired amount of stock required.
Chicken stock is used in so much. A good (chicken) stock is the base for a great soup, gravy, sauce, and general flavor. You can use it in place of water for many recipes to add depth and character to your meals. Learning how to make chicken stock isn’t hard. Let’s begin
All stocks comprise of bones. The bones we’re after are the necks and backs of the chicken. If you purchase whole chickens and break them down, then you should have a good source for proper bones. If not, you can usually find them in your local grocery store or butcher shop. They are cheap, and they create a beautiful stock.
You have two options with a chicken stock. You can either roast the bones to caramelize them for a deep rich dark flavor, or leave them uncooked for a light, clear, full-flavor stock. These two differences are called brown stocks and white stocks respectively. They each have their own purpose, strengths and weaknesses. For the purpose of this article (And because a chicken stock is commonly thought of as being white), we will be using the white stock method.
Crack the bones so you expose the marrow of the bones. This will help release more flavor and encourage the development of gelatin that is common in bones (Although chicken stock has a low gelatin content).
Weigh the bones out, and take note of the weight. Then, place the bones into a large stock pot. Once the bones are in place, go back to your weight measurement to determine how much (COLD!) water you should add. A good rule of thumb if you don’t have a recipe is 50% bones, 100% water. If you have 1KG (2.2lb) of bones, you will need 1L of water (32 Oz). Remember to use cold water. Not using cold water in any stock will cause cloudiness within the stock. Cloudiness in a stock is an indication of impurities and can affect your flavor.
Bring your water to a simmer (Never boil your stock!), and skim off any scum that forms on the top of the water.
Once the scum has stopped forming on the top, it’s time to add your mirepoix. Once the mirepoix is added, you can finish with your sachet and let the stock simmer for 4-6 hours. Always opt for as long as you can within that time frame to ensure you get all the flavor into the stock.
Once the time is up, it’s time to strain it through a conical strainer, discard the bones and cool the stock into ziplocks, jars or containers. Cool quickly! Chicken stock has a low acidity that attracts large bacterial growth quite quickly. Chicken stock is safe to freeze for up to 6 months and can using a pressure canner.
That’s it! You can experiment using different ingredients in addition to the mirepoix to help define your very own stock. Many professional cooks have their own recipes they use that gives stocks a distinct uniqueness to them. What you see here is called a base recipe. Build off it, experiment!