Thursday, June 17, 2010

And Still More Chicken Stock

I was just about out of chicken stock. I like having 1 cup containers of stock. A little good stock tends to improve a dinner. I made a variation of my cavetelli with sausage and broccoli last week. Usually it is all tossed in a bowl. This time, I made a quick roux, thickened the chicken stock, tossed everything together with some mozzarella cheese and put it in the oven to melt. It was pretty good.

Instead of just throwing together a stock by feel, I decided to follow Ruhlman's ratio for stock. 2 parts bones, 3 parts water, and then about 20% by weight mirepoix. I had the bones from 4 chickens in the freezer weighing in at just over 6 pounds. A pint is a pound the world I needed 9 pounds of water...9*16=144ouces of H2O. Into the big pot that is really a roaster and not a stock pot.

That's 11:58 in the morning-I'm not crazy enough to start making stock at midnight. Well, I am but I didn't do it. The bones thawed as the water reached a simmer. Then there is the yeeecchhh you have to get rid of.

Once the yeeech had subsided and everything was at a good simmer, the lid went on and the roaster went into a 200 degree oven. This is a great idea. It was around 1:00 when it went into the oven. After 5 hours of completely hands off simmering, I added 2 pounds of rough cut mirepoix and about a tablespoon of tomato paste.

And then back into the oven for 2 more hours. I strained it through a colander and then again through some cheesecloth. I keep an ice packed filled with water (lesson very learned) in the freezer. Once that went in, it kind of created some weird swirls.

Once cold, I put it in the fridge overnight. Skimmed a little fat off the next day and set up small packages of stock. The small ziplocks have 1 cup of stock. The containers hold about a cup and a half.

With this 3:2 ratio, the stock became viscous when cold but did not gel up. I think I was probably closer to using a 1:1 ratio earlier. The stock has a very nice flavor. There is no salt in it, I have to remember to account for that when cooking. I once made a very bland pot of soup. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a salt shaker though. So currently there is the meat from 3 chickens in the freezer along with a little over a gallon of stock. Should last a little while.


  1. I am so glad you put this up. My stock of stock has been depleted, but I couldn't face a boiling pot in my kitchen for hours in this weather. I'm psyched to give the oven method a shot.

    Are there any local butchers you'd recommend for bones?

  2. I have some places's I'd try, but I have never bought chicken bones. I buy the whole chickens and break them down. Here's apost on how I do it:

    Watching a video Chef Pardus put online helped a lot.

    But If I were to guess about a place that would have chicken bones...The first would be Sahrs Poultry in Rotterdam. Gabriels Market or Gruelich's (I probably spelled that wrong. I know Roma's in Latham sells veal bones. They might also sell chicken.

    Unfortunately, most places probably never see the bones. They just buy packages of prepared meat.

    Good luck with the stock. I love having it in the freezer.

  3. The Kosher butcher in the Central Ave Price Chopper sells packs of Kosher chicken bones, but they're $2+/pound, at which cost you might as well buy a roaster.

  4. $2 a pound for bones seems crazy. Plus you don't get the skins-there is a lot of gelatin in the skins. Whatever fat they add skims off.