Sunday, May 6, 2012

How to Make Chicken Stock; Uses and Tips

My recipe post from last week contained chicken stock so I wanted to give you a recipe to make your own instead of using the store bought chicken stock that often contains MSG and is high in sodium.  Chicken stock is an amazingly nutritious and simple to make.   I make it from fresh chickens and bones or from bones "planned over"  from a chicken that I roasted previously. Both make wonderful stock.  Below you will find some tips and uses for chicken stock and the recipe to make it.

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Take it One Prep at a Time!
Chef Jackie

The Wisdom of Stock, Broths, Soups and Stews  
By Chef Jackie White and Chef Kelli Lewton from Pure Food 2u and Two Unique Caterers

Meat and fish stocks are used extensively in most traditional cuisines worldwide.  Properly prepared meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the nutrient dense extractions in the form of minerals from; bone, cartilage marrow and aromatic vegetables as electrolytes, that is easy for the body to assimilate.  Folk wisdom has been handed down generation to generation touting the medicinal benefits of mineral rich stock/broths from treating the common cold to fighting the ravages of asthma and infectious diseases.   
The secret of good soup and stew cookery is having a good foundation of broth/stock.  In a nut shell the making of broth/stock is the extraction of flavor, water soluble minerals and vitamins from whatever bones, meats and vegetable you choose.  Once you have achieved the fortified base the sky is the limit!

One would be hard pressed to find another finished food commodity that is so sensitive to today’s diverse and demanding lifestyles.  Soup can be the perfect food to accommodate many of our daily life challenges including; budget, health, utilization of leftovers and even the fussiest eaters.  It is the literal “One Pot Meal”  

Soup and Stew Glossary of Terms

Aromatics: Any of various plants, herbs and spices that impart lively fragrance and flavor to food and drink.
Arrowroot: The starchy product of a tropical tuber of the same name.  The root stalks are dried and ground into a fine powder.  Arrowroot is used for a thickening agent for puddings, sauces and other cooked foods and is more easily digested than wheat flour.  Arrowroot is tasteless and becomes clear when cooked.  It should be mixed with cool water or liquid before being added to thicken hot liquids. Arrowroot is gluten free.

Base:  Store bought flavor enhancer (usually in a paste form) you reconstitute with water to produce stock for the purpose of sauces, soups and stews as well as other hot food applications.  (Often laced with MSG and other dangerous chemicals) 
Broth:  A liquid resulting from simmering meat and vegetables in water.
Bisque: A thick rich soup usually consisting of pureed seafood (sometimes fowl or vegetables) and cream.
Bouquet Garni: A sachet bag that contains such ingredients as peppercorns, other spices and herbs tied up in a cheese clothe bag/sachet (I use a coffee filter) that is used to infuse flavor into liquid much like what a tea bag does.
Stock: The strained liquid that is the result of cooking meat or fish bones, vegetables and              other seasonings ingredients in water.
Consomme: A clarified meat of fish stock/broth.
Cream Soup: Usually refers to the addition of a dairy product.
Puree:  Refers to the consistency of soup achieved by grinding, mashing or pureeing your vegetables that were simmered in the stock.  This can be achieved by using a blender, emerson blender or hand wand, food processor or mashing through a sieve or food mill.
Chowder: A thick chunky seafood soup of which clam chowder is best known.  The term is also used to describe any thick rich soup that may contain chunky style foods.
Gelatin:  A protein based substance found in animal bone and connective tissue.  When dissolved in hot liquid and then cooled, it can be used as a thickener or stabilizer. 
Mirepoix:  is the French name for the combination of celery, carrots and onions often referred to as aromatics.  You may also find garlic; parsnip, leek, peppers, ginger, tomatoes, shallot, diced ham and chilies refer to in the aromatic family.  They may be used in various combinations by the cuisine of the dish itself.

Roux:  With its deep culinary roots was once the thickening agent for most liquids.  It is equal part fat and flour cooked to remove the flour taste and to it help keep the starch in the flour from producing long strands or clumps when roux is combined with hot liquid.
Liaison: The mixture of egg yolks and cream that is used to enrich flavor and slightly thicken sauces and soups.    
Stock Tips
  • Rinse all bones, fresh or frozen well, before placing them in stock pot, to remove blood and other impurities that can compromise stock.
  • Pots used for stocks are normally taller than they are wide.  This style of pot creates a smaller surface area so evaporation rate is minimized during simmering.
  • Veggie purees are a great way to thicken soups.
  • Always skim impurities from your stocks.
  • Make a big pot of stock/broth and freeze extra in quart containers or heavy zip lock bags for another days soup/stew adventure.  If space is an issue, reduce your stock by half and freeze as a concentrate adding additional water or liquid at future date of use.
  • Stock is meant to be the sub structure for soup, never use dominating spices.
  • Always simmer stock, never boil as it will cloud your stock.
  • Always date stocks and soups before storage.
  • Always start stock with cold water.
  • Add a splash of vinegar before simmer stock.  This will aid in extracting calcium for the bones and make a thicker stock.
  • Freeze small amounts of stock in ice cube trays.  These can be added to meats and vegetables when sauteing.
  • Never add salt or pepper to stock until it is done.
Uses for Chicken Stock
  • Soups and stews preparation.
  • Saute vegetables and meats in stock.
  • When preparing rice or quinoa replace all or some of the water to make a more nutritious side dish.
  • Pouch eggs in stock to add flavor and nutrition.
  • Boil potatoes and pasta in stock to add nutrition and flavor.
  • As a base for gravies and sauces. 

Chicken Stock
organic chickens, cut into pieces (10-12 pounds) or soup bones, rinsed
chicken feet (if available), rinsed
filtered water
carrots, diced
celery, diced
onions, diced
cider vinegar
bunch parsley stems
sachet bag- ½ tsp fresh thyme, 6 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove (optional)
 Place rinsed poultry, including feet if using, into a large stock pot with filtered water (water should be at least two inches over chickens)
Over medium heat gently bring stock to a simmer (the surface should never break a boil/bubbles), reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 hours skimming surface as necessary to remove the gray “scum”.
Add remaining ingredients and sachet bag; simmer an additional 4 hours.
Strain stock, use immediately or rapidly cool and refrigerate or freeze.
After cooled remove solid fat that may be on top of stock and discard or use for another sauteing vegetables or meat.

Prep ahead:
Cut up chicken and rinse.
Rough chop vegetables.
Make sachet bag- Place ingredients for sachet bag in a clean coffee filter and tie with string. Tie the bag to the pot handle and drop into the pot.
Yield: 1 gallon
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours and 15 minutes
 Author: Chef Jackie White
Allergen Info:
  • Turkey may be substituted.
  • Turkey and chicken bones from carved cooked poultry may be used in place of fresh chicken. Use 4 chicken carcasses or 2 turkey carcasses.
  • Recipe can be frozen.
  • Ingredients amounts may vary so no need to run to the store if you only have 1 onion.

1 comment:

  1. Are you looking for a pure chocolate cake with no white flour or sugar? Gluten free?
    Thanks for the Kudos!