Making chicken stock

Discussion in 'Soups' started by BeachBall, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. BeachBall

    BeachBall Nosey old moo

    If you can make chicken stock, you can make soup.

    Here's how to make the stock.

    1. You will need some chicken bones ... either the carcase of a roast bird, or the bones that are left over after you've had a load of drumsticks and wings. I sometimes buy cheap drumsticks especially, roast them til the meat is done, pick off the meat and reserve it for risotto (which also requires stock ...) and then use the bones for stock.

    2. The bones need to be BROWNED ... so take your bones, with any mean, sinew and skin that remains on them, and put them back in the oven at 180 for 20 - 30 minutes.

    3. You also want some aromatic veg ... a nice mix ideally ... onion, carrot, celery, fennel, celeriac, parsnip, swede ... any of these will do just fine. Peel and chop finely ... we're trying to get the flavours out of them, so we want as much surface area as possible. And that means chopping fine. And chop the onions WITH THE SKIN STILL ON (you're not going to eat any of this veg, and you're going to strain the stock ... and the skins add colour).

    4. Warm a deep pan, heat some oil, and then fry all of the vegetables together over a low heat. We want the sugars to come out and for caramelisation to begin. So keep stirring occasionally to prevent the stuff at the bottom from burning, and use your sense of smell to tell you when caramelisation has begun. The veg should all have a nice shiny surface by this stage.

    5. Take your stock pot (or your largest saucepan) and put a little water in the bottom. Then add all of your veg and the chicken bones, and cover with water.

    6. Cover, and place on a VERY LOW ring on the hob. But ... and here's the important thing ... DO NOT set the pot centrally on the ring. Offset it, so that one side is being heated, and the other isn't. This sets up heat circulation within the pot, and that helps to draw all the flavours out.

    7. You want to try to prevent this ever coming to a hard boil ... a gentle simmer is all it takes. And, generally, two or three heat cycles of 2 - 3 hours will give you a really rich, flavoursome stock.

    8. Once you have a usable stock, you can do one of two things ... you can either strain the whole lot, and either use it all at once, or freeze it in convenient quantities (I freeze it a pint at a time), or you can keep the stock pot going by drawing off what you need, as you need it, and topping it back up with fresh water. The stock you have drawn off should be strained, and any veg or bones in the strainer returned to the stock pot.

    N.B. If you keep the stock pot going, then you MUST put a fresh heat cycle through it AT LEAST EVERY OTHER DAY (and ideally every day) to keep the nasty bugs from finding and breeding in it. Further bones can be added as they become available (but be sure to brown them all first) - but there should be no need to add any additional veg.

    If you draw off the whole of the stock, you should be able to get a second batch out of the same bones and veg, but it will be somewhat weaker and may need several extra heat cycles to get it up to its full strength.

    WHATEVER YOU DO ... DO NOT JUST CHUCK VEGETABLE OR POTATO PEELINGS AND CARROT TOPS INTO THE STOCK POT AND SAY "IT WILL ADD SOMETHING" ... it won't. You should start with fresh veg, specially prepared for the purpose, and fried until caramelisation has started. This will give up FAR MORE in the way of flavor than a load of old potato peelings!

    ENJOY!
     
  2. Ranger

    Ranger Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Similar to the way we used to make a bare turkey carcass feed upwards of 50 folk in the '60s.
     

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