Chicken Stock Summary
1. Whole chicken rinsed, submerged in cool water in stock pot.
2. Heat to 180 degrees, cook for about 3 hours.
3. Skim off anything that comes to the surface, especially at first.
4. Remove chicken, add vegetables, possibly herbs, cook for 1 hour.
5. Strain, cool and store in small containers in freezer.
1. Foil pressed to top of frozen stock, no air, no flavor exchange.
2. Shrimp stock stored in "fish" cup
3. Hard to see mark on cup indicating "1.5 Cup" level, some are 2 Cups
4. Drip from frozen coffee ice cream cake that melted a little
Chicken Stock Details
- Get a whole chicken, remove the neck and giblets which are placed inside the cavity. Give the chicken a rinse to knock off any of the little "junk" that might have come along for the ride, including rinsing the inside.
- Put the whole chicken into a large pot and fill with COOL water, to cover the chicken.
The 12 quart pot shown below is a great bargain at amazon for only $69.
I'm sure I paid twice that much for my small pot years and year ago.
- Put the heat on medium high, but DON'T let the water boil. It should come to 180 degrees, at which you'll see just a slight shimmer on the surface of the liquid from the heat.
I stick in a long-stemmed thermometer that clips to the pan.
- Use a spoon, slotted spoon, small strainer to SKIM anything that rises to the surface. It's more important to do this a few times early in the process than later, to keep the scummy stuff from influencing the flavor of the stock.
- Cook the stock at this temperature for 2 to 4 hours.
On the other hand, the more you skim, the cleaner, clearer taste you'll get from the stock.
As Ruhlman says, "generally speaking, you can't skim too much".
- Remove the chicken using kitchen tongs and place pieces in a bowl to cool. The chicken will likely fall apart as you remove it.
OK, chicken cooked for hours in hot water will be a little, well, overcooked.
But, if the water never boiled (remember 180 degrees) it will be better than you'd expect.
I pull the meat off the bones and make a batch of chicken salad.
My recipe: shallot, celery, tarragon, mayo and sour cream.
- To the stock pot, add 3 ribs of celery, 3 carrots, 1 large onion, about a dozen whole black peppercorns.
- Cook the vegetables for ONE HOUR or less.
- Drain the stock through a large strainer, or ideally a chinois (see below). You potentially could be done at this point, if you skimmed well earlier. But the standard method is to strain the stock one more time, running it through cheesecloth or paper towels placed in the large strainer.
I can hardly emphasis enough that a true chinios makes this step SO much easier.
Read my article from last year: Why you want a Chinois, even if you don't know what it is.
This one is 12 qt, on sale at amazon for $69. A GREAT bargain.
Mine came with a turkey frying set, but this long stem
thermometer is perfect for monitoring a stock pot. $12 at amazon.
A sturdy, perforated metal strainer (not mesh).
Long handle and lip (on left side of picture) allow you to rest
the chinois over a big bowl, pot, or even across a sink.
Got it's name in French from a now politically
incorrect and outdated reference to a "Chinese hat".
A little pricey at >$40 at amazon, but a lifetime investment in convenience.