Wednesday, January 6, 2010

White Chicken Stock

Also, check out Taste Test Tuesday to read about the difference between broth/stock and white stock/dark stock. There is also a post with a recipe for dark chicken stock.

bones from your chicken
COLD water to cover your bones by about 2 inches
celery with the leaves
leeks (chop leeks first and then put them in a bowl of water to wash off the dirt before using them)
black peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
8-12 stems fresh parsley
2-4 stems fresh thyme

I realize that I haven't put amounts by all of these ingredients. It will really depend on how many bones you are using. The typical rule is that you want a 3:1 ration, bones to vegetables. Some people even prefer a 5:1 ratio that the meat flavor really stands out. How much of each ingredient that you use is really up to you and what flavor that you want. Don't worry too much about it. When I am only using one whole chicken I use: 1 rib celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 leek, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 5 stems parsley, and 2 stems of thyme. Salt is also optional. Do not use anymore than 1 tsp per every 4 quarts of water.

To start the stock, rinse the bones under cold water and place them into a suitable-sized stock pot. Cover the bones with cold water, by about 2 inches. Turn the heat to medium and slowly bring the bones to a simmer, making sure it doesn’t come to a boil and skimming the fat off periodically. In the meantime, clean and chop the mirepoix (onions, leeks, celery and carrots) into about 1/2 inch pieces.

After the stock has simmered for about 30 minutes, skim one more time, then add the mirepoix. Let the stock gently simmer for at least another hour but preferably 4 more hours, skimming the surface as needed. Make sure to add more cold water if you can see your bones sticking out of the water. The bones should always be covered. Also, remember not to stir your stock.

In the last 30 minutes of cooking add the bouquet garni (peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley stems, fresh thyme and celery leaves), making sure to gently tuck it underneath the surface. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the stock has cooked for at least 1.5-2 hours but preferable 4 hours and up to 8hours, you can strain it. First, skim off as much fat as possible from the surface. Then, gently remove the solids and discard. Finally, strain the stock through a sieve lined with a piece of cheesecloth or clean very thin kitchen towel. You can either use the stock immediately or cool it over an ice bath. Store it in the refrigerator for a few days, or portion it out and freeze for several months.

I discovered a great trick the other day for getting the rest of the fat off of your stock. Place your stock in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. After a couple of hours (the fat as had a chance to come to the top), very gently press the plastic wrap down on top of the fat. The fat will stick to the plastic wrap allowing you to scoop the plastic wrap up with the fat trapped inside.


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