Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Taste Test Tuesday: White Chicken Stock Vs. Dark Chicken Stock

I know, I know. I was a complete slacker yesterday. I was planning on posting this last night but I fell asleep on the couch at 8pm and didn't wake up until 1am. By the way, I never fall asleep on the couch so I must have been extremely tired! We are going to chat about stock today. But, first I am going to tell you the difference between broth and stock. Most of you might already now this, but I thought we better talk about it just in case.

Chicken broth is made when using a whole chicken with the meat still attached or a whole chicken that has been cut up with the meat still attached. Since the meat is still attached and will more than likely be used for something else (pot pie, soup, etc.) then the cooking time is generally shorter (45 minutes to an hour). Broth can be used just like stock it just won't have quite as much flavor as stock as it has only simmered for about an hour.

Chicken stock is made using fresh bones from the chicken (no meat). Normally, the backs and necks are used but any bones will make a good stock. I buy whole chickens or split chicken breast and remove the meat (to be cooked later) and use all of the bones from the chicken. Three things that are important to remember when making stock: use COLD water, do NOT bring to a boil, and skim off the fat/impurities during the entire process, and do NOT stir. Chicken stock is simmered for at least 4 hours which makes it richer than chicken broth. You NEVER want to bring stock to a boil. Bringing stock to a boil will make the fat and impurities emulsify into the stock and will never be completed separated. This will make your stock cloudy. Other than the simmering time and bones vs. meat, broth and stock are made the same way.

Dark chicken stock is something I have never heard of until recently. This last year for our anniversary, I got a membership to online cooking courses. It is wonderful. This is where I learned about dark stock. When making dark chicken stock, you caramelize the bones and vegetables before placing them in the cold water to simmer. Also, dark stock is usually simmered anywhere from 6-10 hours. The last difference is that you add a small amount of tomato paste to dark stock. Dark stock is used to add a darker color and deeper flavor to dishes and sauces. You can also make dark chicken broth. Before you start simmering the meat in the water, you would caramelize it in a skillet making sure not to cook the meat all the way through. You would do the same with the veggies. You can caramelize them in the same pan as the meat.

I made white and dark stock this week. There is a HUGE difference in the color and the flavor. I am very excited that I have over 20 cups in my freezer, half white and half dark. I don't know exactly which I will choose for certain recipes. I will have to let you know. I guess it will just depend on the color and flavor that I want and the recipe that I am using. I am going to post the instructions for the white and dark stock today. I hope all of this makes sense! Making stock and freezing it will save you a lot of money!


carlyn said...

thanks for the culinary lesson!! i didn't know any of this. you need to try making veggie stock next. i made it over the summer with pieces and parts from garden veggies. i roasted them first so i guess i made a dark veggie stock. I strained a pureed the veggies is used for it and made a creamy of vegetable soup. Oh, do you know anything about beef stock?? I haven’t made it before but I have a ton of recipes that call for it.

Talia said...

I keep thinking about trying veggie stock but just haven't. I will definitely have to try it. I love that you made dark veggie stock and didn't even know it!

You can make beef stock the same way that you make chicken stock. You can use oxtail, shanks, knuckles, necks or backs. I've never bought any of these so I don't know the cost or even if you can find them. I've thought about calling around to grocery stores/butchers and asking what they do with these. I will eventually make some and post about it. You can also make white beef or dark beef stock. You just follow the same instructions as you would for chicken stock. Here are the only differences. You simmer it for a minimum of 8-10 hours. Some do it overnight. I'm not sure if I could leave my stove on overnight living in a townhome. Also, you want to cut the veggies large...1 inch to 1.5 inches. Other than that, the recipe is the same.

Dark stock is the most common made. Make sure to mix the tomato paste in with the veggies after they are roasted and not to spread it on to the bones cause it will burn quickly. Apparently, veal stock is made in a lot of restaurants and used for all meats...chicken, beef, lamb because it has a neutral flavor. Interesting. Unfortunately, veal shanks are 8.99 a pound.

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