Consider the chicken
January 12, 2015 10:53 AM   Subscribe

 
Huh... I use chicken broth in a lot of my slow cooker recipes, and this has got me thinking about trying my hand at making my own chicken stock. Hmmmm :)
posted by surazal at 11:02 AM on January 12, 2015


I make it and freeze it in ice cubes to add to everything I normally cook with water like rice or sauce.
posted by bq at 11:06 AM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


the $5 rotisserie chickens at your favorite grocery store/costco make great stock, it's a three-fer - at least two meals from the chicken, and a 3rd from the stock. Though I'm in the camp where you want to extract the gelatin from the carcass -- I like stock to gel when it's in the fridge.
posted by k5.user at 11:08 AM on January 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


Scraps of bones and carcasses is exactly what I do for my stock. I've been known to roast a chicken for no other reason than my wanting to make stock with the bones.

I also wrestled the carcass of the turkey out of my brother's hands last Thanksgiving when he was getting ready to just throw it out, pleading, "but makes such good stock! Let me do that for you!" And the rest of the family just sort of rolled their eyes and left me to putter around in the kitchen, simmering up a turkey stock and packing it away in the fridge, after the rest of them had all gone off to bed.

But then the next day, when we got an unexpected visit from a whole passel of cousins and their kids who had been visiting their respective in-laws on Thanksgiving proper, and my brother was starting to say something about "we should get some lunch going for everyone, what should we make?" I was able to smile big and say, "lemme just make y'all some soup with that stock I made from that carcass you were gonna throw away." And I warmed up some stock, cooked up some pasta, and threw that in along with some chunks of the turkey and some of the leftover vegetables from Thanksgiving, and fed everyone and tweaked the nose of my brother a bit in the process.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:09 AM on January 12, 2015 [47 favorites]


This is also a good trick for using up leftover chopped parsley. Throw it in an ice cube tray, pour water over it, and then you've got parsley ice cubes for all your future sauces and soups.
posted by bq at 11:09 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you are able to find a good local butcher, or have an asian market nearby you can get backs, bones, necks and other sundry bones for nil. Its a fantastic way to stretch a food budget.

Mentioned, but not really expanded upon… Chicken feet. Oh my god. Chicken FEET.

You can make an insane chicken stock from chicken feet and aromatics alone. Its thick, viscous, and lip-smackingly good. They almost cost nothing. A couple weeks ago, I paid somewhere around $1.75 for enough feet to make four gallons of sock. When you chill it, it ends up like jello. You could stick a fork straight up and down in it. You almost have to cut it with a knife if its too cold.

Its amazing stuff.
posted by furnace.heart at 11:10 AM on January 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


the sautéed aromatics produced the darkest stock (though I should point out that I didn't let them visibly brown at all while sautéing), but it also created a stock with a vegetable flavor that tasted less fresh to me, as if they had been overcooked to the point of murkiness.

Huh. I usually do a high-heat sautee to brown the onions (with a bit of garlic), then add the celery and carrot and get a little brown on them, but not until they're soft. Similarly, I oil and then broil the bones I'm using, to get some Maillard Reaction flavor in there. My stock is conquently always much darker than these.

I can't really imagine using meat in stocks rather than just discarded bones; to me, the main pleasure of making a stock is using up what would otherwise be trash.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:10 AM on January 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


I have been known to carry away the turkey carcass in addition to extra leftovers.
posted by bq at 11:10 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


interesting result, like the ratio he gives at the end.

Dunno if this will be as easy for you as it is for me, surazel, but when I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts I like to trim any weird cartilage-y bit or excess fat off before I cook them. So i throw the trimmings in a little plastic bag and freeze that, and then when I've built up a few of those I make stock. Do the same thing with wing tips or back or neck bits if I'm breaking down a whole chicken to butterfly it or fry or something too.
posted by Diablevert at 11:12 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stock-making is my Prozac. There's something about transmuting garbage into soup that convinces me the world is an all right place.

I can appreciate the Serious Eats approach, but here's how I do it: over a few weeks/months, gather all bones, spent carcasses, aromatic vegetable peels and ends, old carrots from your fridge, not-so-fresh herbs, squeezed lemons, whatever scraps that have the right flavour profile (no brassica!) into a big plastic bag in your freezer. It becomes a fun game to see what you can rescue from the compost heap. When the bag is full, do one last cleaning of your fridge and dump everything in the biggest pot you got. Throw in salt, pepper, bay leaves, cover with water, simmer a couple hours, strain, cool overnight, freeze. Change your life.
posted by Freyja at 11:12 AM on January 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


Similarly, I oil and then broil the bones I'm using, to get some Maillard Reaction flavor in there. My stock is conquently always much darker than these.

Wouldn't that be making a brown stock rather than the white the article is making? My understanding of the main difference is that brown stock involves roasted bones and white stock involves raw meat and bones.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:13 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been known to carry away the turkey carcass in addition to extra leftovers.

Damn straight!!! I've endured the familial side-eye from just about everyone at a gathering when I'm hacking up the turkey to turn into broth later that night. Turkey carcass with pork neck bones on a dashi base makes a really good, albeit inauthentic ramen broth. That stuff is the best. I've even started asking our neighbors what they do with their turkey bones.

Turkey stock (chicken works great too, lets get real here) also works really, really well when you're making a basic Corn Chowder. If the bird was smoked, even more so.
posted by furnace.heart at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I almost always buy bone-in meats which I debone at home. This way I can save the scraps and bones in a large bag in the freezer, and when the bag gets full it's time to make stock. Meat, bones and aromatics go through a meat grinder (I have a very powerful one I used to use to grind up whole animals to make ferret food) and into a 5-gallon pressure cooker for a few hours. After that, I'll strain the stock into quart jars and pressure can it for unrefrigerated storage. It's like getting food for free (especially if you make a remouillage, which I highly encourage). I usually like to have homemade white chicken stock and brown beef stock in the larder.
posted by slkinsey at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wouldn't that be making a brown stock rather than the white the article is making?

I had no idea the two were different! You need to understand that the extent of my culinary knowledge is feeling proud that I know the term "stock" rather than just calling it "bird trash water"
posted by Greg Nog at 11:19 AM on January 12, 2015 [83 favorites]


I just made my first stock last night! My husband and I earned enough grocery store points for the seasonal free turkey, but we spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families back home, across the state. So we had a New Year's turkey instead (and didn't have to share any of the leftovers). The carcass went into the freezer, next to a bag of veggie scraps that I've been collecting for a couple of months, like Freyja suggestes. Yesterday we dumped it all into a pot, covered it with water, and let it do its thing for a few hours. It turned out pretty well, considering we had no idea what we were really doing. And soon there will be soup in our future!
posted by alynnk at 11:21 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The trick to chicken stock at 95% of the restaurants I've worked at: Chicken Base (a.k.a. chick paste) and water. People love it. At one place, we got complaints after we switched to house made stock for our soups.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:21 AM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's worth noting, by the way, that bones by themselves have effectively no flavor. They (usually) contribute minerals and gelatin, but not flavor. Rather, it's the meat on the bones that gives flavor to a stock. Don't believe me? Try scraping away every little scrap of meat from some bones and making a stock with just those bones. You will find it practically flavorless. This is why the best and most flavorful stocks are always made with meat. The economical trick is to use cheap (feet, trotters, etc.) or otherwise unwanted (scraps) meat.


Also... broth and stock aren't the same thing.
posted by slkinsey at 11:24 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was surprised that the broth made from chicken breast had the best flavor. That was unexpected.

It was nice to read a side by side comparison of the different cuts used. I tend to just save bones and carcasses and throw them in the pressure cooker for awhile. Sometimes I get a beautiful stock, sometimes a weak one, and I'm not always sure why. I think I might need to get more meat in there!

From the same site:
Ask The Food Lab: Can I Make Stock in a Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker?
posted by kanewai at 11:25 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's worth noting, by the way, that bones by themselves have effectively no flavor.

Are we still talking about just chicken bones? Because thick marrow-y beef bones absolutely have flavour.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speaking of saving leftovers for stock, a great, simple and quick veggie stock is just using corn cobs after you've trimmed the corn off of them. Throw then in a pot, cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. This is a great way to make a stock for corn chowder or anything else using corn.

Another incredibly easy stock is save the bodies and heads off of shrimp (or any crustacean), cover with water and boil 15 minutes. Makes an incredibly rich stock. Here's a great recipe to use it with.

Pet peeve: bones are apparently trendy now. You can now buy Tetrapaks of chicken "bone" broth. Like, what the hell else have they been making it with? Gets my goat just like all the "gluten free" corn chips I keep seeing.
posted by misterpatrick at 11:27 AM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


the $5 rotisserie chickens at your favorite grocery store/costco make great stock, it's a three-fer - at least two meals from the chicken, and a 3rd from the stock. Though I'm in the camp where you want to extract the gelatin from the carcass -- I like stock to gel when it's in the fridge.

We do this quite a bit as well, but you have to be careful because if you get a highly flavored rotisserie chicken, it can impart all of those flavors into your stock and thus into your soup. Sometimes it's kind of a nasty surprise.
posted by NoMich at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why do I keep seeing beverages advertised as gluten free. Why is this a thing that exists.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The majority of our freezer contains bones and carcasses. I make a lot of stock.

Based on some advice from Ruhlmann, I switched up how I make stock. Previously, I would throw everything in a big pot and simmer overnight. Turns out that you get maximum extraction from the meat after about 5-6 hours, and from the vegetables after as little as an hour. Any more time in the pot and you just turn it all to mush, which is difficult to strain out. Now, I simmer only the meat and bones for about five hours, and then throw the veggies in for the last hour. (Fresh) herbs go in for the last 15-30 minutes.

Not turning everything to mush means you can extract more color and flavor from the solids by collecting them in a strainer and squeezing them. After all the solids have been removed, I reduce the stock by about 1/3 to 1/2 overnight, and then refrigerate and scrape the solidified fat off the top. After all that, I can the stock and it stays shelf stable until I need it.

Chicken carcasses are really good for stock because after you've removed the legs, wings, and breasts, the rest of the carcass still has a ton of meat on it. A combination of pork bones and chicken carcasses is also good, because the pork gives more collagen and the chicken gives a good amount of flavor.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:30 AM on January 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


>>It's worth noting, by the way, that bones by themselves have effectively no flavor.

Are we still talking about just chicken bones? Because thick marrow-y beef bones absolutely have flavour


Marrow has flavor. The bones do not particularly have flavor.
posted by slkinsey at 11:31 AM on January 12, 2015


I was surprised that the broth made from chicken breast had the best flavor. That was unexpected.

That was interesting to me as well, especially since much home stock making is seen as a way to use up leftovers (see this thread), not as a primary use for chicken breast meat. I doubt I'm going to run out and buy up a bunch of chicken breasts to make stock, because that seems wasteful, but it's interesting to think that I might want to.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:32 AM on January 12, 2015


(Fresh) herbs go in for the last 15-30 minutes.

I think this is pretty important. Like tea that has sat too long, I find that putting herbs in too long leaves the stock bitter. An hour is definitely too long. This includes most greens like carrot tops.
posted by bonehead at 11:33 AM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Stock is a wonderful thing--it is also the thing that makes it really hard to be an informed vegetarian in many restaurants.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:41 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


At Casa Gelatin, roast chicken is one of our standard weekend meals -- it's delicious, wholesome and relatively easy to make, not to mention a comfort food for all of us -- and I always put the carcass on with a garlic clove or three for stock as soon as we're finished eating. It usually becomes soup by the end of the week. (The occasional rotisserie chicken gets the stock pot treatment too, yes.)

Great tip on using corncobs for vegetable stock, as I need to cook vegan more and more as time passes.
posted by Gelatin at 11:42 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


slkinsey: "I have a very powerful one I used to use to grind up whole animals to make ferret food"

Whole animals... for ferret food. How many cows do you have to grind up to feed a ferret? Or are you like, I dunno, "the ferret lady" with a billion ferrets in your house?
posted by boo_radley at 11:43 AM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


That ferret's dynamite!
posted by Gelatin at 11:44 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Whole animals... for ferret food. How many cows do you have to grind up to feed a ferret? Or are you like, I dunno, "the ferret lady" with a billion ferrets in your house?

Whole chickens and whole rabbits, for the most part. The grinder attachment for the KitchenAid just wasn't cutting it (or grinding it, as the case may be). And yea... why have one ferret when you can have three?
posted by slkinsey at 11:47 AM on January 12, 2015


Every chicken bone that enters our house exits after being used to make stock. That includes: rotisserie chickens, bones people have gnawed on at the dinner table, grilled legs, take-out chicken wings.

If they have connective tissue and/or marrow, I see no reason not to simmer them for hours and extract that goodness. And mostly, if you've removed the skin, you've removed most of the BBQ sauce or whatever else was on it anyway.
posted by mikewebkist at 11:50 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's a quick question. I occasionally get BBQ ribs, has anyone made stock from the leftover ribs?
posted by misterpatrick at 11:52 AM on January 12, 2015


And I warmed up some stock, cooked up some pasta, and threw that in along with some chunks of the turkey and some of the leftover vegetables from Thanksgiving, and fed everyone and tweaked the nose of my brother a bit in the process.

This is my version of "dropping the mic". I'd be all shouting and applauding here.

Also, If you make a nice tasty chicken, you need not add anything to the water except carcass. So cook the chicken and make it tasty, and the broth will be easy enough.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:55 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


@misterpatrick: yes. if they're dripping with BBQ sauce, lick it all off first, then throw them in the pot.
posted by mikewebkist at 11:55 AM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, you know how every whole chicken usually has that baggie of "stuff" tucked inside? The neck, the heart, the gizzard, that stuff? I consider that "something for stock".

Turkey carcass with pork neck bones on a dashi base makes a really good, albeit inauthentic ramen broth.

MAY YOUR NAME BE SUNG IN VALHALLA. (I make a LOOOOOOOT of ramen this time of year.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:56 AM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have made lamb stock from the remains of a rack of lamb. Said lamb stock was used a few days later for a shepherd's cottage pie that was fantastic.

The hardest part of making stock is the smell. I can't help but endlessly snack when that wonderful smell is filling the kitchen.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:59 AM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


ghostboyfriend insists on cracking every bone before stock entry to facilitate marrow extraction.

i think my main issue with stock is i always do soup and i'm not creative enough with its uses.

i wish i had a fowl carcass right here right now!
posted by ghostbikes at 12:00 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The giddy sense of freedom when you realize you don't have to bith with pinning back and serving the wings on a roast chicken that no one eats anyway and you can just cut them off and save them for stock is amazing.

Also life is too short to make a consommé.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, you know how every whole chicken usually has that baggie of "stuff" tucked inside? The neck, the heart, the gizzard, that stuff? I consider that "something for stock".

Oooh, I've never put the giblets in stock before--that'll be something to try the next time I get around to roasting a chicken. (Usually they go to the dog, who views them as a delightful snack.)

I'm of the opinion that making stock serves not one but two purposes: one, as people have mentioned, to use up all the bones, but also two: making stock makes it MUCH easier to pick all the meat off the bones than it is to pull 100% of the meat off a roasted bird. And then you can throw the boiled meat BACK in the stock for soup. Everyone wins! (I have to say, I take a certain tactile pleasure in feeling for the difference between bone, cartilage, meat and bits of fat when I do this.) I really like the feeling that I have eaten every scrap of muscle that was available for eating on a given bird. Makes me feel thrifty.

I also cannot imagine households which just throw out turkey carcasses after Thanksgiving--we have always, as far back as I can remember, made stock out of ours. It's a good way to use up extra turkey, plus the ensuing soup freezes well so you can have a bit of Thanksgiving in February, when you have forgotten how sick you were of turkey during the holiday season.
posted by sciatrix at 12:07 PM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also life is too short to make a consommé.

Totally easy to make in a pressure cooker!
posted by slkinsey at 12:07 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Making stock makes it MUCH easier to pick all the meat off the bones than it is to pull 100% of the meat off a roasted bird. And then you can throw the boiled meat BACK in the stock for soup.

Stock making is supposed to be an extractive process. Generally speaking, if you finish making stock and there is any flavor whatsoever left in the meat, you aren't doing it quite right. My cat will eat a paper towel without blinking an eye, and yet has no interest whatsoever in spent meat from making stock because the paper towel has more flavor.
posted by slkinsey at 12:10 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


That ferret's dynamite!

In case anyone missed this comment, in its entirety, upthread, I'd like to post it again here. This three-word-phrase i filling me with an almost euphoric sense of joy, and is the best thing in my Monday.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:12 PM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The first time I made stock was a little tragedy. This was back in my parental home in India, and I must have been 13 or 14 years old. I was already a fairly good cook and was enjoying expanding my repertoire beyond Indian dishes. I had been reading about the proper way to make stock and decided that I was going to make a chicken stock that involved simmering the chicken vegetables for approximately 14 hours (!). I don't remember where I got the recipe from -- I have a feeling it was eGullet. It also made a really enormous quantity -- my plan was to make a lot and then reduce it down so I could store it in the freezer. I started pretty early in the morning but the rest of the household was already asleep by the time the stock was done simmering. I had to let it cool down enough to put it in the fridge so I waited some more. I think it must have been 2 am when I decided it was cool enough to be put in the fridge. I cleared space on the bottom shelf for the enormous stockpot. And then, catastrophe! As I was manoeuvring the pot into the fridge, I somehow overturned it, spilling the precious golden liquid all over the kitchen floor. I think I nearly cried.
posted by peacheater at 12:12 PM on January 12, 2015 [9 favorites]



Totally easy to make in a pressure cooker!


PRECIOUS COUNTER SPACE (plus I'm home like alllll day and I have excuse not to except lazy)
posted by The Whelk at 12:13 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


involved simmering the chicken vegetables for approximately 14 hours (!)

You definitely need to cook it less than that; the vegetables are the most tender part of the chicken.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:14 PM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I can't really imagine using meat in stocks rather than just discarded bones; to me, the main pleasure of making a stock is using up what would otherwise be trash.

Yes!! As someone who habitually trawls freebie sites and keeps a running tally of her proudest items acquired for free, getting stock from veggie trimmings and poultry carcasses is a true culinary miracle. It's like discovering you can stick your pizza crusts in a jar on the counter and suddenly have a new batch of sauce, or dump a load of old holey socks in the dryer and have them come out as a fabulous blanket!

Loaves and fishes have NOTHING on chicken stock.
posted by DingoMutt at 12:14 PM on January 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


i think my main issue with stock is i always do soup

We use stock for just about everything. Any time you would normally throw water into something, reach for the stock instead. Deglazing pans, making gravies, simmering anything, braises, anything. Risotto is a good way to use stock. So is pilaf.

I won't boil pasta in it, but that's about the only time I'll pick plain water over stock.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:14 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think I nearly cried.

I think your story actually did make me cry
posted by surazal at 12:14 PM on January 12, 2015


The neck, the heart, the gizzard, that stuff? I consider that "something for stock".

Oh but the hearts are great to save up in a separate bag to flash grill on kebabs with a spicy sweet glaze of your choice! Wonderful little snack, chicken hearts.
posted by The Whelk at 12:15 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wonderful little snack, chicken hearts.

I've heard that when you eat the heart of a chicken, you gain all of its strength

/Ok I will stop now :)
posted by surazal at 12:18 PM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


the hearts are great to save up in a separate bag to flash grill on kebabs with a spicy sweet glaze of your choice!

I've tried experimenting with chicken organ meats in other uses (pate, etc.) and it's actually way more economical for me to use them as a stock enricher, because I'll actually eat them that way.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:18 PM on January 12, 2015


Yes, you can put chicken giblets in your stock pot, but leave out the liver (make paté instead, or give it to your cat/dog). It doesn't stand up to simmering and will give you cloudy stock and off flavors.
posted by letourneau at 12:23 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Easy Chicken Pate.
posted by The Whelk at 12:25 PM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Owl droppings are a good source of bones too.

Lets see you freaks make stock out of THAT.
posted by dr_dank at 12:25 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I make a LOOOOOOOT of ramen this time of year

If you have not already, check out the tonkotsu recipe. It's quite a bit more work that a simple dimple chicken stock, but damn is it tasty.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:26 PM on January 12, 2015


bq:
"I make it and freeze it in ice cubes"
Heh, me too. I make lots of stock and I have this whole elaborate system to simmer and condense it down to 1 cup per ice cube after I deem it done. I have made 2 measuring sticks. One that tells me how many cups I have in my stock pot and one that tells me how many ice cubes' worth of liquid I have in a much smaller pot. Takes a while but I slowly reduce the stock and migrate it into smaller vessels until I end up where I need to be. Then freeze and use as needed.

ghostbikes:
"i think my main issue with stock is i always do soup and i'm not creative enough with its uses."
Do you have a rice cooker? Use stock instead of water sometimes. It's awesome and kinda like making Hainanese Chicken Rice.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:30 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nthing Minor's Chicken Base, it really is better than any stock I've ever made, and basically every commercial kitchen in the US uses it, although you may want to add aromatics and herbs. I guess it doesn't give you the satisfaction of transforming trash into liquid gold but it does give you satisfaction of another sort. The tasty, umami sort.
posted by dis_integration at 12:30 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


bq: This is also a good trick for using up leftover chopped parsley. Throw it in an ice cube tray, pour water over it, and then you've got parsley ice cubes for all your future sauces and soups.
You

... have become like unto a god to me.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:37 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


My life is annoying me today, and I think the solution is chicken pate
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:38 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, you know how every whole chicken usually has that baggie of "stuff" tucked inside? The neck, the heart, the gizzard, that stuff? I consider that "something for stock".

I simmer it while the chicken roasts and use the resulting broth to deglaze the roasting pan, straining the result to make a light and clear gravy. Anything left over from that goes in the simmering stock pot while The Dogs get the giblets, which they love (though not the neck, of course).
posted by Gelatin at 12:44 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The first time I made stock was a little tragedy.

The first time I made stock, I simmered and seasoned it perfectly and then when it was ready I poured it into a strainer and right down the drain because I forgot to put a bowl under it. I'm quite certain I did cry!

I was really surprised about the chicken breasts. I still 50% don't believe it. Although, I will say that when I poach chicken breasts (skinless, bone-in) I get the most amazing stock ever. But I simmer them in broth to begin with, so it's like super-fortified double plus chicken broth.

The main use of stock in our house is risotto. I use the Swanson cans of Chinese chicken broth (I am particularly fond of the little ball of fat that floats on the top) for a lot of things that normally call for water, but for risotto, you really taste the difference with good homemade stock.
posted by looli at 12:47 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


My last couple of stock experiments came out so-so at best, so I am reading this with interest.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:52 PM on January 12, 2015


slkinsey: Marrow has flavor. The bones do not particularly have flavor.
That's a pretty fine, cellular distinction. The cartilage forming the end-caps of the leg bones, for instance (which most people would call "bones") adds rich texture/mouth-feel to the stock.

If you are making stock from cloned cells, however, you are quite correct: don't bother vat-growing the bone cells.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:54 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think the solution is chicken pate

My favorite recipe. It yields a pound of pate and only keeps for a week so be sure you have a way to use it all up quickly.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:58 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Based on some advice from Ruhlmann, I switched up how I make stock

The best part of his advice (can't remember if it was in Twenty or Ratio) was to stop complicating it: use what you have, throw the veggies in at the end without doing any prep beyond cutting them into chunks and just let go.

My problem with turkey stock is you can't use it for anything other than next year's Thanksgiving gravy or turkey soup. It's too strong to use for most dishes (or maybe I'm screwing it up).
posted by yerfatma at 12:59 PM on January 12, 2015


slkinsey: Marrow has flavor. The bones do not particularly have flavor.

That's a pretty fine, cellular distinction. The cartilage forming the end-caps of the leg bones, for instance (which most people would call "bones") adds rich texture/mouth-feel to the stock.


That stuff contributes gelatin but practically no flavor. People have actually tried making stock out of bones with all the meat scraped off. The resulting stock had very little flavor.
posted by slkinsey at 1:02 PM on January 12, 2015


I'm loving this thread (apart from the stock-losing stories; those are tough to read). With the possible exception of learning how not to destroy an egg poacher (for the uninitiated: put water in the bottom), replacing supermarket stock with home-made has improved my cooking more than anything else I've learned to do in the kitchen.
posted by Zeinab Badawi's Twenty Hotels at 1:04 PM on January 12, 2015


At Casa Gelatin, roast chicken is one of our standard weekend meals -- it's delicious, wholesome and relatively easy to make, not to mention a comfort food for all of us -- and I always put the carcass on with a garlic clove or three for stock as soon as we're finished eating.
posted by Gelatin at 11:42 AM on January 12 [2 favorites +] [!]


Eponisterical!
posted by bq at 1:28 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've scalded my hand with stock and broke a Pyrex measuring cup in the ensuing flailing and screaming. That was fun. Now it's two hands on the stock pot handles at all times. On the upside, I lost little stock in that mishap. Just some skin.

have made 2 measuring sticks. One that tells me how many cups I have in my stock pot and one that tells me how many ice cubes' worth of liquid I have in a much smaller pot.

Brilliant!

For packaging up stock, I put a freezer baggie in a tall glass with the edge of the bag folded over the outside (like a garbage bag in a bin) and put elastic around the rim to keep it from falling in. Then I pour off a specific quantities into the bag (using a measuring cup as a ladle - remember the scalding?), fasten it with a twist tie, and put it in the freezer. I usually do 2-cup, 1-cup and half-cup quantities.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:34 PM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


mandolin conspiracy, thanks for that advice, you have changed my life. I can't believe I haven't thought of it myself, but there you go…
posted by mumimor at 1:38 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since we're sharing tips, sometimes I freeze stock in baggies in glass loaf pans so that when it's frozen, I can take it out and stack it.
posted by bq at 1:43 PM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I saw a tip someplace that suggested that after you're done making stock and you've strained out all the bones and veg, take an immersion blender to those vegetables and use them as a base for a tomato soup. Never done it, but it sounded like a great idea.
posted by Jacob G at 1:50 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I freeze stock in baggies in glass loaf pans so that when it's frozen, I can take it out and stack it.

Now MY life's been changed. Just over a year ago, we moved into a place that didn't have room for our little 5 cubic foot deep freeze, so I sadly had to part with it. With that thing, I could just pile up the bags in the bottom, no problem. But since we're without that now, making stock causes a real estate problem in our fridge freezer, and consequently I only make stock when we don't have much stuff in the freezer. So, not as often as I want to or like. This loaf pan mold-and-stack method solves that. Thanks bq!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:57 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I paid somewhere around $1.75 for enough feet to make four gallons of sock.

I see what you did there.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:07 PM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Scraps of bones and carcasses is exactly what I do for my stock. I've been known to roast a chicken for no other reason than my wanting to make stock with the bones.

Scandalous! That's like making coffee from used coffee grounds, it works, but only sort of. The best chicken stock doesn't use any added water, either. Put the chicken and the vegetables in as above, lay some lettuce over the top to keep the steam in, and warm it up slowly. The chicken and vegetables will sweat off enough liquid to make high-potency broth. Start with more vegetables for more liquid. You can always water it down later for economy.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:16 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think stock lasts long enough in my house for me to NEED to freeze it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:17 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Lets see you freaks make stock out of THAT.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:22 PM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


the ice cube trick always confused me because what is everyone cooking that only requires, like, two tablespoons of stock? Or are you supposed to dump in half the tray each time or...?
posted by kagredon at 3:12 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since we're sharing tips, sometimes I freeze stock in baggies in glass loaf pans so that when it's frozen, I can take it out and stack it.

That's a great idea! I usually just freeze stock in empty soda bottles. This is also how I preserve iced sun tea. Because they're the same color, thawing out some iced tea for a refreshing drink can sometimes take on the nature of a Russian Roulette game.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:16 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


What a piece of work is a chicken! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:18 PM on January 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


The part where they sacrifice the chicken to the old gods was unexpected.
posted by clvrmnky at 3:23 PM on January 12, 2015


Every recipe I've seen for stock says just to use the bones which has led to some very flavourless stock for me. So for those of you saying that you need meat, how much, exactly. We generally use most of the meat for sandwiches etc after we have roasted a bird do it would be good to know how much I need to save.
posted by Jubey at 3:26 PM on January 12, 2015


My problem with turkey stock is you can't use it for anything other than next year's Thanksgiving gravy or turkey soup.

Turkey stock makes great French onion soup.

So for those of you saying that you need meat, how much, exactly.

The meat that sticks to the carcass and can't be sliced or torn off for sandwiches is sufficient.

Also, I like my chicken stock to have some color, so I put the brown papery onion skins in with the quartered onions.
posted by caryatid at 3:33 PM on January 12, 2015


the ice cube trick always confused me because what is everyone cooking that only requires, like, two tablespoons of stock? Or are you supposed to dump in half the tray each time or...

After they freeze, I bust them out of the ice cube trays and put them in a freezer bag. The extra step helps the stock thaw faster in the pan when you want to use them, as a solid pint of frozen stock takes a lot longer to thaw than 12 ice cubes of stock.
posted by peeedro at 3:44 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Every recipe I've seen for stock says just to use the bones which has led to some very flavourless stock for me. So for those of you saying that you need meat, how much, exactly. We generally use most of the meat for sandwiches etc after we have roasted a bird do it would be good to know how much I need to save.

I usually use the carcass after picking it clean. It may be that you're using too much water or not cooking it long enough. A good stock will jel when you refrigerate it. Also, one doesn't add salt when making stock so you really do have to season it before eating. The big benefit of a good stock is the extra body it adds.
posted by bq at 4:00 PM on January 12, 2015


I love these giant ice cube trays for freezing stock (and also that unused part of tomato sauce that is always in the jar).
posted by Lycaste at 4:21 PM on January 12, 2015


You guys make such a big deal out of a pot of stock.

(Stock-potting™)
posted by Danf at 4:23 PM on January 12, 2015


Whole roast chicken is in weekly rotation at our house, and we've been hucking the carcass in to a pot with some savory veg for as long as I can remember.

I once picked the meat off a chicken carcass for enstockening...right after watching David Cronenborg's Existenz. That was awkward.
posted by hearthpig at 4:34 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


nestor_makhno: “The trick to chicken stock at 95% of the restaurants I've worked at: Chicken Base (a.k.a. chick paste) and water. People love it. At one place, we got complaints after we switched to house made stock for our soups.”
I'm a bad person, because I hardly ever make my own stock, but I use the home version of this all the time.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:50 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but all those chicken base/paste products have tons of sodium and extra ingredients...

When I run out of stock (which, despite my best efforts and frequent chicken roastings, happens very often when you have an inveterate soup-eater in your house), the best-tasting and healthiest store-bought substitute I've found is Pacific Food's low-sodium broth. Granted it's not concentrated - or as good as my own, *ahem* - but it's ready-made and relatively inexpensive.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:42 PM on January 12, 2015


And if you want to make really REALLY clear stock, then Heston Blumenthal's method is the way to go. It takes a while to do but it's pretty fool proof.
posted by ninazer0 at 5:49 PM on January 12, 2015


Also life is too short to make a consommé.

Welcome to gelatine filtration.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:55 PM on January 12, 2015


I gotta tell ya, I'm a little amazed (and more than a little pleased) that this post has generated this much interest, along with good tips and conversation. I'm encouraged to hear that plenty of people are still doing good basic cooking like this. (Take a look at the shrinking flour section of your grocery store and you will see that fewer and fewer people must be BAKING from scratch these days.) Thanks for the post and all the tips shared!
posted by spock at 5:59 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


i think my main issue with stock is i always do soup and i'm not creative enough with its uses.

When I have a chicken carcass with enough skin and fat and meat on the bones to make a couple cups of meat or so and also a good bit of schmaltz, I make broth in the evening and then refrigerate so the next day I can skim off the schmaltz and make creamed chicken gravy over schmaltz biscuits. Heaven.
posted by drlith at 6:01 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh yeah, I absolutely save the schmaltz and freeze it until I have the time to make matzoh balls.
posted by bq at 6:02 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


i think my main issue with stock is i always do soup and i'm not creative enough with its uses.

- gravy
- highly reduced, becomes demiglace
- base for sauces
- poaching liquid for anything (NB: vegetables cooked in stock go bad faster than veg cooked in water)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:04 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stock talk is great! It's how you turn garbage into food, it's a great a great in death conversational topic and full of variants for everyone! You can talk veggie stock, home stock, assisted stock, practical stock, making something with the idea of making stock after ( duck comes to mind!) stock storage and use and preparation.


STOOOOOOOOCK.
posted by The Whelk at 6:10 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you are able to find a good local butcher, or have an asian market nearby you can get backs, bones, necks and other sundry bones for nil.

Ah, goyishe butchers. You know how this would fly where I shop?

"JIA, would you like the back and the neck for stock?"
– Sure, how much?
"Oh it is free based on something on Metafilter."
– Great! I will take a dozen please.

NEXT WEEK
"JIA, would you like the back and the neck for stock?"
– Sure, how much?
"Ten dollars a kilogram."
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:31 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also from Serious Eats: my go-to roast chicken recipe.

Butterflying the bird really does work as well as advertised — you get fully-cooked legs before the breasts get overdone, and the quick stock/sauce from the spine is amazing (especially with the glutamate hit from the couple teaspoons of soy sauce).

I will never roast a whole/trussed chicken again. If and when we end up hosting Thanksgivings at chez spitefulcrow, I will insist on doing the turkey the same way.
posted by spitefulcrow at 8:09 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, all the butchers I've been to in Australia are well aware of the fact that the random bits of chicken are desirable for stock/soup, and price accordingly. (There is no little bag of giblets inside the chicken, either.) It's also hard to get beef scraps because not only are they coveted for soup, they can be ground up and sold as fresh pet food here.
Maybe it's just that I tend to live in neighborhoods with a high density of little old European ladies with large families and thrifty habits, rather than an all-Australian thing.
posted by gingerest at 8:57 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Chiming in with the other Aussies that we don't really have the surfeit of scrap meat apparent in America. As a tangent, I read US recipes about cheap shoulder cuts for smoking etc and just shrug. There aren't any cheap cuts really (well, some offal is quite inexpensive, though it is finding new culinary fans too).
Traditionally in Oz we would have a Sunday roast chook, and scour the bird frame for skerricks of meat that would find a home on a toasted sandwich later that night.
I occasionally make stock if we have roasted two birds and have a bit of waste like the wing tips, neck etc. but usually there is very little meat left to offer much flavour.
posted by bystander at 11:57 PM on January 12, 2015


Turkey stock makes delicious risotto. My daughter-in-law now saves the bones and makes chicken stock, so there is hope for home cooking.
posted by theora55 at 12:57 AM on January 13, 2015


Chiming in with the other Aussies that we don't really have the surfeit of scrap meat apparent in America.

Big beef bones can be as or more expensive than the choicest cuts of the beef itself here in Korea which is crazy expensive to start with. We eat very little meat, mostly chicken. Not much goes to waste.

I am particularly amused by the pojang-macha (mobile food carts that come out at night, but less than they used to, more's the pity) that specialize in ddalk ddong-chip, which literally translates to 'chicken poop house', which is precisely the bit of the chicken you'd expect it to be.

Pretty pretty pretty good. If you're three sheets to the wind, anyway.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:25 AM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


One other thing you can do with chicken stock is to make hainanese chicken rice. The basic idea is to substitute your rice cooking water with chicken stock, so you end up with tasty tasty (if slightly oily) rice. One of Singapore's heritage dishes, and rightly so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hainanese_chicken_rice
posted by appleses at 4:16 AM on January 13, 2015


I use chicken stock to make black beans in the crock-pot. A 2/3lb of dried black beans, four cups of stock, a quartered onion, some salt, some pepper, some garlic powder or a couple of smashed cloves of the fresh stuff, some hot paprika, two bay leaves. Pick out the onion and garlic carcasses and the bay leaves, serve as-is or add some fresh chopped red onion and a splash or two of red wine vinegar for brightness. Unbelievably creamy and rich, an ideal breakfast if cooked overnight.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:50 AM on January 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:25 AM on January 13 [1 favorite +] [!]

Eponychickenical
posted by Dip Flash at 6:11 AM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This has all convinced me now to try to make some stock out of a couple of tired-looking carrots that I was trying to figure out what to do with. One veg stock, one chicken. Whee!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:39 AM on January 13, 2015


There's this great essay by John Thorne in his book Outlaw Cook called "Taking Stock" [Google Books]. It's about stock, and is kind of anti-stock even:
Stock speaks of a time when the good housekeeper served the tops she had cut off from the turnips and the poached beef out of which she had made her broth, and then she scraped the serving platters clean. She cut away the bits of meat that might make up a shepherd’s pie and divided the rest between the stockpot and the dripping jar.

Our kitchens do not see this kind of wastage. Today, the disposal of such garbage is not put into our hands. Except for fruit and the most durable vegetables, everything we now buy has already been trimmed of nature’s generous lagniappe. The appeal of meat stock or broth has always been that it is a richness come from nowhere , made from scraps and bones that the careless throw away. Although its public face is frugality, its private one is glee: something good for nothing; meat for free.

This is no longer true. Decent meat is relatively cheap and we can get as much of it as we want. We are stock poor because we are so meat rich. No self-respecting butcher in America today would sell the meat you need to make a true bouillon, and, even if he would, he’d be hard pressed to find any. Genuine mutton, real stewing hens, tough old goat: none of this exists except for those who raise it. Many markets refuse even to carry the unfamiliar, tougher cuts— tail, neck, feet, tongue— of the tender animals we eat.
It did make me rethink the way I feel towards stock, even though I still make it often and always have cubes of chicken/pork stock in the freezer. I don't usually build up enough leftovers to make as much stock as I tend to use, so most of the time I'm buying chicken carcasses from the supermarket. And as such, a certain meaningfulness in the stock is lost; I'm not creating something out of nothing anymore.

Another thing that is mentioned in the book (another essay I believe) is that sometimes we over-use stock. I think it was the essay where he was talking about making a vegetable soup, and he found that almost all recipes called for the addition of chicken stock to the soup. He found that when you use stock, you get a soup that tastes better... but it tastes of the stock. The purity of the vegetable is a bit lost, even though the soup is delicious. Which is true; having stock in everything might end up making everything taste a bit the same. The same logic is probably why a lot of modern food is all about focusing on the natural flavours of the ingredients.

Nevertheless, stock is still really useful and it's always good to make it, especially when it's free!
posted by destrius at 8:08 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you make a vegetable stock for vegetable soup, though...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:24 AM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are so many great dishes that are basically leftover stew. Look at bouillabaisse and cassoulet.
posted by bq at 2:01 PM on January 14, 2015


So, I did just as I mentioned sometimes doing above - I bought a chicken last night and roasted it, and am supplementing it with some chicken feet to make stock tonight. And some tired vegetables I have rolling around in the crisper will go into that, and maybe a vegetable stock too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:36 AM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Basically this means I bought an entire chicken just because I want to make ramen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 AM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Everyone has been saying that they just add odds and ends of whichever vegetables to their stock, but can you really do this with all vegetables? What about the ribs from kale, or the ends of tomatoes? Or avocado peels? Or is it pretty much carrots and celery? I suspect that the answers to these questions are obvious to anyone with basic cooking intuition, but I'm lost unless I follow a recipe.
posted by Henrietta Stackpole at 1:17 PM on January 18, 2015


What goes in stock?
posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Henrietta - there are a couple vegetables that are pretty strongly-flavored and which would not be great for stock, but they're kind of easy to guess - things like kale or broccoli or mushrooms. (You know how kale can smell kind of strong when you're cooking it? Imagine that smell as a taste, and imagine it overpowering your stock.). Tomatoes are also things to avoid because they'd mush up in the stock too much. Mind you, even here you can cheat if you know you 're going to be making a soup with those flavors - is you'll be making a lot of mushroom dishes, say, then mushrooms in the stock would be fine.

For a general, basic stock, though, you want vegetables that are more team players. Carrots, celery, and onion are standard, but I've also added leeks, parsnips, potatoes, bell peppers - I even have a vegetable stock that DOES include a tiny bit of mushroom for an extra depth of flavor.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:51 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Turnips also work well in soup, and so does kohl rabi. You can even use radishes, which give you the taste plus a bit of a bite.

Here's a tip that really does work: if your soup is too salty, put some thick slices of raw peeled potato in, and remove them when they're cooked. I don't know how they absorb the salt, but they do and they're quite yummy.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:08 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about the ribs from kale, or the ends of tomatoes? Or avocado peels?

No, yes, no point.

Tomatoes add umami and depth of flavour. Kale is bitter (in a lovely way) but long-cooked is going to be unpleasant.

Mushrooms are absolutely standard in many types of stock, especially certain dashi, for their earthiness.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:02 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean it's really difficult to come up with a hard and fast rule about what is good in stock and what isn't, but here's a short list:

- EVERYTHING allium: garlic, leeks, onions, shallots, etc
- mushrooms
- fennel (will impart a specific flavour so think about future uses)
- carrots
- celery
- many but not all herbs, added last minute; parsley yes, tarragon no; rosemary and thyme are classic but too much of the former and it tastes medicinal
- parsnip

Basically, think of vegetables that still taste lovely after long slow cooking.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:26 PM on January 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, my list was meant to be more suggestion than edict; sorry if It came across as such.

Basically, what you want is a medley of flavors - an ensemble cast, if you will. If you're looking for a basic vegetable stock, then go easy on vegetables that have really strong flavors is all. And, by the same token, if you WANT a particular strong flavor, add more of that vegetable.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 PM on January 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I freeze my stock in a silicone form for four mini loaves and then bag them. (I have an identical form for making bars of soap.)

Really the hardest part of making stock is enduring the plaintive meowing of the Hungry Cat while I strip the roast chicken carcass for usable bits of meat for noodles or something.
posted by salix at 2:34 PM on January 23, 2015


« Older The future was then   |   "It’s hard to stay away from religion when you... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments