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Old 10-26-2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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Stock - Why didn't I think of this before!

As I mentioned in another thread, I've been busy this past week making chicken and beef stock here at home.

I always strain, then reduce, my stock, so that it doesn't take up as much space in the freezer. My chicken stock, when strained, was nice and clear, with a deep golden color. After it hit a rolling boil and reduced (not other food items in it to cloud it), the stock changed from clear to opaque. It tastes good, though.

I realized that what had happened, is that I failed to remove the grease from the stock before boiling, and the fat emulsified a bit to change the color.

When I got to that same stage in the beef stock, I realized I had A LOT of fat on top of the stock. Instead of chilling it to skim the fat, I started pouring the stock into my 1/2 gallon plastic pitcher, allowed it to settle for a minute, then used my 8 oz ladle to skim the fat off the liquid (the ladle barely fit into the pitcher, which helped). I ended up skimming 3 CUPS of fat off my stock! The resulting stock is a lovely brown color, and while not as clear as consomme, is definitely NOT cloudy, nor did it have any emulsified fat in the liquid. It froze beautifully, and the remainder that didn't get froze in the first batch gelled wonderfully in the frige.

I think I'm going to have to change my recipes for basic stock now, to include removal of the fat.

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Old 10-26-2008, 06:40 PM   #2
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Well when you get that recipe down please share!!!!
.... the idiot's guide please....
I end up using 3 pots straining and separating and this and that....
and its still not just right.
:)
please??
:)
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago...

Run a search for "Beef Stock 101", using the quotes. It should pull up a post of mine from 2 years ago. There should be lots of pics, but apparently I deleted those images from my imageshack account a couple months ago. Hopefully the text will give you some insight into how I make stock.

BTW, what size pots are you using, and how much stock are you looking to get out of it?
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:55 PM   #4
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Depends on how many carcasses I have in the freezer to get rid of!
At this point the "saver for a lean day" in me has about 10 to use.

My largest pot is probably about 4 gallons? Maybe 3 1/2..... Never paid much attention to size. The other 2 are maybe 2 and 3 gallons.....

Now you got my wheels churning and I may just have to go find that all out for sure!

Doesn't matter how much I get as long as I get some and don't have to buy it.
:)
Wow, I'm cheap....
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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Ok, good, that's about the same size pots as I use. Actually, I've been known to dirty up ALL of my stockpots for one batch of stock, depending on how much stock I make.

Do you have a "china cap" type strainer? That's actually restaurant equipment. I bought one, and use it pretty much only when I make stock. I like to use it as there is a "lip" on one end that can rest on a pot, and the handle will rest on the other side, holding the strainer up so I can use both hands to lift and pour the pot full of liquids and solids. A stockpot with a spigot on the bottom would be really great, but, that's restaurant equipment, and I doubt there's a pot like that made that's UNDER 60 qt in size.

I've always felt that folks how have large families (like myself) really need restaurant equipment to cook with, just to be able to turn out the sheer quantity/volume of food needed to feed everyone. Now, if I can just afford that Vulcan 6-burner stovetop with convection oven underneath.........

I've always believed that the faster you can take foods through the "danger zone" temperature range, the better-quality food product they are, as well as increasing the storage lifespan if it's refrigerated. I will chill my stock, by stopping the sink up, putting a cake rack in the sink, pan of hot stock on the rack, insert a 2-liter bottle (no label, washed) that was filled with water and frozen, into the stock, then fill the sink with ice and enough water to come about 1 inch below the level of the stock in the pan. Any higher and the pan will float, and possibly tip.

Give it 30 minutes, and it should be cold, around 40 - 50 degrees F. I then use a 4 c measuring cup to ladle out and pour the stock into ice cube trays, and freeze it. Once frozen, I turn the cubes out into ziplock baggies and freeze. I try not to make too much stock at once, as I don't really use it fast, since I only cook maybe one night a week. More than two 1 gallon bags full of stock ice cubes, and the last half bag will get freezer-burnt start subliming even in the bag.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:27 PM   #6
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Ok, here's my updated recipe. You'll notice that in my previous post, I mentioned that I roast the scraps at 500 degrees F. That's because, like you, I usually have around 10 carcasses or so of scraps to roast. However, my recipe only states 350 degrees F, and is geared for a much lower yield. If you feel comfortable cooking at the higher temperature, go for it. Otherwise, roast at 350, but be prepared for it to take longer.

I also do not mention anything about deglazing the roasting pan. I only have those junky, thin, enamelled roasting pans, and I don't feel comfortable putting those on a burner. If you have a heavy-duty, tri-ply roasting pan, feel free to put it on a burner, and add some of the water from the stockpot, or a shot of white wine, to the roasting pan. I've been known to just hit it with the hot water, and scrape as much of the browned, crusty goodness out of the roasting pan as I can.

You'll also notice that I'm repeating a lot of the information that I've already given. I did this so that if you want to, you can just cut/paste the whole recipe to document, save and/or print it, and use it.

Basic Chicken Stock
Yields: about 2 gallons concentrated stock

I make this stock more than any other. Mainly, it’s because chicken is cheaper than most other meats, and I make a lot of things with chicken. One thing to remember, since I cook this overnight, it’s best to ensure that there is nothing that could possibly catch fire in the kitchen. You can also cut the quantity down by half, and make this in a crockpot all night.
I’m also going to give you two methods for the chicken. Read through each, and decide which you’d prefer to do. Lately, I’ve been roasting my scraps, as this provides a richer flavor, and since the albumen is already coagulated, I don’t have to worry so much about the stock being cloudy.
I skim as much of the fat from the stock as I can, as I’ve found that when you reduce the stock, the boiling action tends to emulsify the fat into the liquid, creating an opaque stock.

Chicken bones and scraps from approximately 4 chickens
1 large onion, quartered, with skin
4 stalks of celery, cut into 4” lengths
Cold water
A 18 - 22 qt stockpot
A half-gallon sized pitcher
Something that can withstand hot fat
A 16 qt stockpot, or other large containers to hold hot liquid in
One 2 liter soda bottle, label removed, and washed inside and out
One bag of ice
Ice cube trays

Fill the soda bottle with cold water and freeze it solid. I usually do this a day or so before I make the stock.
Method #1: Place the chicken scraps into the 18 - 22 qt stockpot, and cover with COLD water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. As the water heats, it will coagulate some of the proteins in the chicken, which will float to the top and catch all the little particles that cloud the broth. This will all float to the top and accumulate as “scum” which you’ll want to skim off. This takes quite awhile, but results in a nice clear broth or stock.
Once you’ve skimmed all the foam from the top of the broth, and no more is being generated, and the broth has begun to boil, drop in the onion and celery, and add enough water to just cover the ingredients.
Method #2: Place all the chicken scraps into a large roasting pan. Roast the scraps in a preheated 500F oven until the top of the scraps start to caramelize, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and using a sturdy spoon, stir the scrap around (some of them will probably stick). Return the pan to the oven until the top lay is caramelized again, about another 30 minutes or so.
While the scraps are cooking, partially fill the 22 qt stockpot with HOT water, the onions, and celery. Bring to a simmer. When the scraps are done, pour them into the 22 qt stockpot (carefully!). Using a large measuring cup or other container, fill the stockpot with enough hot water to make sure all the ingredients are covered.
Whichever method you use, at this point, cover the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook gently for about 10 - 12 hours. I usually do mine overnight, getting up once or twice to check it and make sure everything is going good.
When the stock is done, strain out as much of the solids as you can and dispose of them. Place a large strainer over or inside another large pot (the 16 qt, if you have one). If you don’t have a second large stockpot, use as many large containers as you have to hold the strained stock. Carefully pour the hot stock into the pitcher, and allow the liquids to settle for a couple minutes. The fat should rise to the top and form a clean layer. Using a ladle, carefully skim as much of the fat out of pitcher as you can, placing the fat into the heat-proof container. When you are done removing the fat, pour the hot stock through the strainer into the second pot (or other containers) to catch all the remaining solids. Repeat as needed until the 22 qt pan is empty. Set the fat aside to cool and congeal, then dispose of it. Clean out the 22 qt pan, and pour all the stock back into it, if you do not have a second pot big enough to hold all the stock.
Place the now strained stock back over high heat and bring it to a boil. Continue boiling to reduce this stock by about half.
Now comes the fun part. To ensure the best possible shelf-life of your stock, you need to chill it as fast as possible. Here is the best way to do that.
Plug up your sink so that water will not drain out. Find some small pieces of flat wood to lay in the bottom of the sink (I usually use three 2” long pieces of 1x2), or a cake rack, and place it on the bottom. Carefully place the pot of stock onto the pieces of wood or the rack. Get the soda bottle out of the freezer and stick it straight into the stock. Fill the sink with the ice, then carefully add enough cold water to come up the sides of the pot, without overflowing your sink, or causing the pot to float. Stir this around, and let it chill. Stir it every 10 - 15 minutes. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. When the temperature is down to about 40F, you can either place the stock in the refrigerator for storage, or, using the ice cube trays, freeze it.
I like to store my stock frozen, in gallon-sized resealable bags. I’ve found that the best way to reconstitute my stock, is to place 2 cubes of frozen into a measuring cup, and add enough hot water to bring the level up to 1 cup. For more stock, just increase this ratio.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:54 PM   #7
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Ok, back to the original topic a bit. A gravy separater would be ideal for this. I do have one, however, it's a 4-cup model, when I need a 2-qt or 4-qt for this. Anybody know where I can get a gravy separater that big?
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:44 PM   #8
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Wow Allen thanks for all that typing!

lol, I hope you didn't have stock to be tending to!
:)
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:59 PM   #9
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I was looking through my grocery store flyers today and was very excited to see that one of them had "mature chicken stewing hens 95 cents per pound. They don't carry stewing hens all the time and usually bring them out about this time of year and I watch the flyers with anticipation. I got DH, who was shopping by cell phone, to pick up two bags (each contains two hens and the total was less than $8.00.

So I am happy because I love making stock with the hens. I throw them in halved, bones meat and all. Of course the stock is very fatty and you have a lot of skimming, but the taste is uncomparable! I cook it until all the meat is off the bones and I save and freeze it to make stew, meat pies, etc. and use my stock for them as well as soups, etc.
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:52 AM   #10
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Im a big fan of making stock. I try to make it when ever i need it or the scraps provide.

Ive never really ever had a fat or cloudly.

I dont have a china cap or find the need to use one.

Ive found that a collender (sp?) works well. Then i strain it again back into the original stock pot with the collender and a clean terry towel over it. it gets out alot of the soot and particles.

then i reduce.

When making the stock and the reduction. bring it up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. the lower and slower the better.

It usually takes about 3 -4 hours for a chicken stock
7 -8 hours for beef stock
45 minutes for fish stock

I do my veggie stock for about 1.5 hours.

made a rocking veggie stock 2 days ago and when i was reducing it a freind came over and wasnt feeling well. offered to make him some soup and whip bang bam.

10 minutes later he got some fresh home made chicken noodle soup.
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