Chicken Stock Recipe

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This recipe follows on from the science behind making stocks. If you’d like to know more about the factors that affect the flavour of your stock, click here.

A chicken stock forms the base of many soups and sauces in classical french cuisine. It consists of chicken bones or meat gently simmered with a bouquet garni and mirepoix. A mirepoix is the term for a mix of finely diced vegetables, whilst a bouquet garni is the term for a mix of herbs.

The mirepoix in this recipe consists of leeks, onions, celery and carrots but other vegetables can also be added.. To maximise flavour extraction, just make sure that the mirepoix is finely diced. The bouquet garni in this recipe consists of thyme, rosemary, parsley, and bayleaf. You can of course use whatever herbs you want. Some people add whole peppercorns for this stock and I have occasionally added whole red peppercorns as well for an additional spice. Common spices added include cloves and garlic.

As mentioned in my previous post, the flavour from a stock comes from the flesh and meat of the chicken. The bones themselves do not contribute to flavour, and you are actually relying on the little meat left on the bones to flavour your stock. This means that the best flavoured chicken stock will be that made from pure chicken meat. The recipe below therefore calls for chicken wings instead of just chicken bones, but chicken bones will work as well, but yield a less flavourful stock. Chicken wings are probably the most cost effective cut of meat for making chicken stock, but is still pricey. The meat from the chicken wings should be tasteless after making the stock, but can still be used in sandwiches etc.

You can clean the chicken wings or bones and remove their blood by soaking them in water for 2 to 3 hours. Alternatively, as chicken bones/wings are not as delicate as fish bones, you can blanch them in boiling water to clean them.

There are two main kinds of chicken stock, white chicken stock and brown chicken stock, with the main difference being that brown chicken stock’s meat and vegetables have been roasted in the oven beforehand. This post will have recipes for chicken stock variations.

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Traditional White Chicken Stock

  • 1kg of Chicken bones or chicken wings
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Medium sized onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Stick of celery
  • 2000ml of Water
  • 1 Bouquet Garni (2 sprigs of rosemary, parsley and thyme, 1 bayleaf)
  1. Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken bones/wings to the pot and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Drain out the chicken bones/wings and wash with cold water.
  4. Finely dice the vegetables.
  5. Add the chicken bones/wings, vegetables and bouquet garni to a clean pot with 2 litres of water.
  6. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours, skim off scum that rises to the top occasionally.
  7. Strain the chicken stock before use.
  8. The meat from the chicken wings can be used for sandwiches. Alternatively, transfer the chicken wings to a fresh pot of 2 litres of water and the same amount of new vegetables. Repeat the process to make a second stock that is significantly weaker.

Slow Extraction White Chicken Stock

  • Same ingredients as traditional chicken stock
  1. Add all the ingredients to a pot and heat at 70°C for 10 hours.
  2. Strain the chicken stock before use.

This variation of chicken stock is relatively new but also very time consuming. It is used in ramen restaurants in Japan (compared to the traditional French recipe above), and is possible due to the keep warm function in some induction cookers. The flavour extraction of this method is super gentle and yields a wonderfully golden and concentrated chicken stock. It take many hours before the fat in the chicken starts to render. The fact that it is made at such low temperatures means that very little scum rises to the top and it can easily be all strained off at the very end. It is a low effort but time consuming stock that yields amazing results.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock

  • Same ingredients as traditional chicken stock
  1. Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken bones/wings to the pot and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Drain out the chicken bones/wings and wash with cold water.
  4. Finely dice the vegetables.
  5. Add the chicken bones/wings, vegetables and bouquet garni to a pressure cooker with 2 litres of water.
  6. Close the cooker and allow to pressurise. Cook for 45 minutes.
  7. Allow it to cool to room temperature to naturally depressurise before straining or skimming the fat.
  8. Alternatively, use the pressure-release valve to vent the steam to depressurise. This reduces the quality of the stock as you are allowing a lot of flavourful vapour to escape. However, this is sometimes done when under time constraint.

Traditional Brown Chicken Stock

  • Same ingredients as traditional white chicken stock
  1. Bring a pot of water up to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken bones/wings to the pot and boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Drain out the chicken bones/wings and wash with cold water.
  4. Finely dice the vegetables.
  5. Add the diced onions to a non-stick pan and caramelize on low heat until evenly well browned.
  6. Add the chicken bones/wings, vegetables and bouquet garni to a clean pot with 2 litres of water.
  7. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours, skim off scum that rises to the top occasionally.
  8. Strain the chicken stock before use.
  9. The meat from the chicken wings can be used for sandwiches. Alternatively, transfer the chicken wings to a fresh pot of 2 litres of water and the same amount of new vegetables. Repeat the process to make a second stock that is significantly weaker.

Oven Roasted Brown Chicken Stock

  • Same ingredients as traditional white chicken stock
  • 20g of Tomato Puree
  1. Finely dice the vegetables.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  3. Place the chicken wings/bones in a tray and rub with half the tomato puree.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to 200°C and add in the remaining vegetables and tomato puree.
  6. Mix and roast for 15 minutes
  7. Add the contents of the tray to a clean pot with 2 litres of water.
  8. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 3 hours, skim off scum that rises to the top occasionally.
  9. Strain the chicken stock before use.
  10. The meat from the chicken wings can be used for sandwiches.

Pressure Cooker Brown Chicken Stock

  • Same ingredients as traditional white chicken stock
  • 20g of Tomato Puree
  1. Finely dice the vegetables.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  3. Place the chicken wings/bones in a tray and rub with half the tomato puree.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Lower the heat to 200°C and add in the remaining vegetables and tomato puree.
  6. Mix and roast for 15 minutes
  7. Add the contents of the tray to a pressure cooker with 2 litres of water.
  8. Close the cooker and allow to pressurise. Cook for 45 minutes.
  9. Allow it to cool to room temperature to naturally depressurise before straining or skimming the fat.
  10. Alternatively, use the pressure-release valve to vent the steam to depressurise. This reduces the quality of the stock as you are allowing a lot of flavourful vapour to escape. However, this is sometimes done when under time constraint.

Notes:

  • Never boil you stock or it will go cloudy.
  • The recipe doesn’t include salt because you usually season the final dish or sauce that the stock is used in. If you season the stock now perfectly, it would become overly salty if you were to reduce it down to a sauce.
  • You can skim off the chicken fat that rises to the surface with the scum if you want. Alternatively, chill the stock in the fridge overnight and remove the solidified fat the day after.
  • Chicken stock can be frozen almost indefinitely.

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