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Old 02-16-2011, 12:17 PM   #31
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In my experience, I've found that the key to a great stock is connective tissue and a high ratio of said tissue to water. While the strict definition says bones, you don't just want dry bones - but also the connective tissue that tends to be all over the bones (which binds the meat to the bones). As many know, low and slow heat turns the collagen in the connective tissue and bones into gelatin - which is why cold stock looks like Jello. In addition, having bits of meat all over the bones lends the stock flavor.

To let my stocks serve as the base for various cuisines, I keep it simple with bones/tissue, salt, and water... no herbs or aromatics (something that I have evolved to over years of making stock - I used to do the traditional French method with a bouquet garni, mirepoix, yadda yadda) . I generally use 8-10 pounds of bones/tissue per gallon of water, along with a scant tablespoon of Morton Kosher salt. Some people like white stocks, but I always rub the bones/tissue down with a bit of canola oil and roast in a 450ºF oven until they're brown and yummy. Then I deglaze into my stock-pot.

In a pinch I will use low-sodium Swanson Chicken Broth when the broth isn't the focus of the dish, but it's definitely a broth and not a stock. It has decent flavor, but none of that rich mouth-feel of a good homemade stock (it's even still liquid after a night in the fridge). I've never had a good packaged beef or pork stock. I even went so far as to buy a dozen or so brands one weekend for a taste test session.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #32
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When I make stock, like yesterday, if it isn't saved meat it goes in the pot. All those boinging things. The giblets (other than liver).

I stuck the neck of the duck on the roaster rack after my second turn of the duck (starting the third hour of roasting) to get it all nice and roasted as well. It was tempting to pull the meat off the neck as I love neck meat, but I sacrificed for the good of the stock.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #33
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Actually, I prefer a mix of roasted and raw parts when making a stock. I seldom roast a chicken whole. I usually either half or quarter it so it cooks more evenly. That leaves me the backbone, wing tips and bagged parts as raw parts to add the the roasted bones I have been saving in the freezer.

When I can fill a 20-quart pot, I spend the day making stock.
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:20 PM   #34
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I have read so many variations on which is broth, and which is stock, from so-called expert chef's, not to mention publications that should be reputable authorities, that I use the common sense approach. Stock means something that you keep on hand to do things with. In electronics, stock means resistors, micro-chips, solder, etc. In the auto industry, it means mufflers, shock absorbers, engine parts, etc. So in the kitchen, or pantry, stock means to me a liquid made from water, meat, and bones, or vegetables. It is a component that is kept simple so that it is the basic ingredient from which other things are made, similar to how a mother sauce is the basic sauce that the derivative sauces are made. A chicken stock to me would be chicken parts boiled in water with salt to taste. It is strained and preserved either by bottling or freezing. A great stock should have extracted enough collagen from the meat connecting tissues, cartilage, and bones to gel when cooled to room temp, and the hardened fat should be removed after chilling. The stock can be used to make broths, consume, soups, sauces, gravies, and aspics.

I have made successful stocks from poultry, meat bones, ground beef, or ground pork, etc. As long as I can obtain sufficient flavor and texture from the stuff I put in the water, I'm happy. Oh, and to get best results from bones, they should be broken, or split, and cooked with something slightly acidic, like celery, to extract all of the nutrients, and collagen from the bones/tissues. In many Asian countries, stocks made from bones, cartillage, and connecting tissues are prized above all others, for their nutritional value, flavor, and texture qualities. I feel the same way.

Hope that helps.

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Old 02-18-2011, 11:12 PM   #35
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So I decided to make some stock.

14# of chicken backs.
1.5# wing tips
1.5# feet

All simmering in a 20QT pot. The smells wonderfully.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:48 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
So I decided to make some stock.

14# of chicken backs.
1.5# wing tips
1.5# feet

All simmering in a 20QT pot. The smells wonderfully.
A new one...feet that smell good!
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:49 AM   #37
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I think it is everything taken together that smells good.
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:10 AM   #38
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A new one...feet that smell good!
Good one!
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:18 AM   #39
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Isn't it funny how a 'simple question' leads to pages of answers?

Here is my method. I buy a bag of leg quarters when they are on sale--10 pounds for $4 or $5. I put them in my big pressure cooker, and add a couple big onions, 5 or 6 stalks of celery and 3 or 4 big carrots. I leave the onions whole, and cut the rest of the veggies into chunks--no need to dice.

I bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 10 or 15 minutes, cool it down in the sink, and take the onions and the leg quarters out. The meat is thoroughly cooked, and I pick it out to save for other recipes. The bones, skin, etc. go back into the pressure cooker for another 45 minutes or so, or until the bones are crumbly.

The stock is clear and full of gelatin, and absolutely delicious. No skimming, no cooking for hours, so you save energy.

I pull the onions out, because the bones and veggies go to the dogs, and I understand that onions are not too good for them. I don't feed them too much at a time, because it can lead to digestive upsets. Sometimes I put the leftover stuff flat in a ziplock in the freezer, then I can give the dogs a 'chickensicle' by breaking off bits.
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:21 AM   #40
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Kayelle, the KA has a grain mill attachment. You know it is only a matter of time.

Oh that man of yours and his "attachment" to Lucille.

Kayelle, you know it is true!

If the current stock tastes as good as it smells, it is going to be unbelievable. In fact, it will be so good that I am giving it a magical name of VooDoo Stock. (Anyone who could peek in the pot while it was cooking will understand why!)

BTW, chicken feet SWELL up when in a pot. Just saying!
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