Clear, deeply flavoured homemade chicken stock is a pleasure to make, with endless possibilities. Once you understand the Do‘s and Don’t‘s you will see how easy the process can be and will try it at home.
My recommendations come from lessons learned in Culinary School, and I have applied and tested them all at home.
1. DON’T Boil the Stock. Boiling will cause all the impurities to become dissolved in the liquid, making it cloudy. Instead, simmer your stock. Skimming helps this as well, if you have removed most of the impurities, when it boils it is less likely to become cloudy.
2. DON’T Stir your stock. Similar to boiling, stirring will cause you to have a cloudy stock.
3. DO use good quality, fresh bones. Old bones which have discolored or have a funny smell will result in a stock with a funny taste, and after all your hard work…
4. DON’T use warm water. Only ever add cold water to cover your bones, or more cold water if you need more water. Cold water will allow the impurities to slowly rise to the surface so you can skim them.
5. DO wait until you have done a few good rounds of skimming before adding your mirepoix (vegetables) or bouquet garni (herbs and spices). Otherwise it is much harder to skim that foam!
6. DO cool it quickly. Because you have such a large volume of hot liquid, it can hold it’s heat for a long time. In order to make sure you have a stock that is safe to eat, try cooling it in a metal container or pot in a sink of cold or ice water. Stir it regularly and it will cool down quickly.
Ready to make some stock? This recipe for making chicken stock will give you clear, flavourful stock every time.