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Old 11-16-2006, 12:14 AM   #1
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Making stocks/ glace

I've decided I want to learn how to make my own stocks/glace from scratch, because I think it would be a valuable skill to have. The glace we make at the restaurant really adds so much flavor to the various dishes we make, and I'd like to have that resource at my disposal.

So, I don't really know much about this at all. From what I understand, glace is made by reducing your stock... is that correct? Additionally, mirepoix basically consists of celery, carrots, and onions, plus whatever seasonings you decide to use. Correct me if I'm wrong, please, but this is just what I've been able to piece together, having never learned directly what is involved in the process.

It seems like most stock would be made suing the same basic process, and I think I'd like to learn on chicken, because I use quite a bit of chicken here, and they are easy to break down. Hopefully, I'll be able to the process I use in making chicken stock/glace and apply it to beef/veal/duck etc? If this is wrong, please correct me.

So, any info. on where I should start with this, would be great, I'm pretty excited about doing this, and I'm going to buy a bunch of whole birds tomorrow to help me learn how to do this right.

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Old 11-16-2006, 03:43 AM   #2
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Chicken stock is probably the best to start. It seems to me that your ambition for a single method to make stocks from chicken, veal, beef, duck, etc. might be a little unrealistic. I don't know to much about reducing chicken stock to a glaze, although I've done it with beef stock. Veal is virtually unavailable in my neck of the woods. I'm no chef and know what I know, not from any training, but by trial and error, and not gaging or poisoning myself in a fair while. Chicken stock can be as simple as putting a chicken, onion, and a couple carrots and celery stocks in a pot and simmering them for a couple football games, or a very long nap. The technique can be improved upon but your first attempt will almost surely be superior to store bought. I prefer to avoid a lot spices and salt with the idea that I'll season the finished dish. I've got a pot of chicken stock on the stove as I type this.
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:17 AM   #3
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When you say "i'm going to get a bunch of chickens", it is not out of bounds to make stock like this, but often stock is made from leftovers, or from parts of the chicken with flavor and collagen (for the "glace") rather than meat. Making it from whole chickens will also give you meat to use in other dishes. You might consider getting some backs, wings (costs more than the chicken!!!) and feet.
That said, I make my chicken stock from whole chicken--simmmmmmmeerrrrrr. Nice rich rich broth. And for storage space, I usually reduce it. I have not made glace from it. Have done it from pork broth and beef broth.
And there is brown stock--saved bones from rotisserie/other chickens, brown the bones and then make stock. I believe I am correct in saying that with this style, the length of time of cooking is less or the broth will take on a bitter tinge from the bones.
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:44 AM   #4
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all of your basic stocks will be essentially made the same way. because of the the volume needed, most professional kitchens utilize whole fresh vegetables, but the whole point of stocks is to to get the flavor out of what would otherwise just be garbage: vegetable peelings and leftover carcasses.

at your home, if you have some extra freezer space, you can save the following in a large zip-lock bag: celery leaves and ends, onion skins and ends, carrot peels and ends, mushroom stems, tomato peels. these are basics which will generally go with any stock (though you may not want the tomato in a fish stock & other vegetables may add bitterness, or make a stock cloudy, etc). in your day-to-day cooking, throw these into your freezer instead of the garbage. when frozen, they can be crushed compactly. when you amass enough, you can start a stock.

not too many people these days quarter up whole chickens or carve up a quarter of beef, but there's usually no need buy a bunch of whole chickens just for stock. a lot of times you should be able to buzz the people in the back of the meat section at your supermarket and ask for the chicken carcasses or beef bones. at my local market here, i can get a chicken carcass for under a buck, and in the states i'd imagine it'd be rather cheaper.

when you're ready to start, throw everything into a large stockpot (maybe with a bayleaf or two or three), bring it to a boil, turn down the heat, and let it simmer gently for a couple of hours. skim off any scum from time to time. strain it, and then continue to reduce it. how far you reduce it depends on whether you'll be using it as a soup stock or reducing it for a fond.

most people will skim off most of the fat with a ladle and strain it through muslim, but i get nice results letting it sit overnight to let the fats harden and the sediments settle. the fat and remaining scum are easily and completely removed, and the remainder gently strained through muslim, leaving the last cloudy bit out.

further reduction will bring it to where it gels. for your homecooking, i'd recommend reducing it considerably, to where even a chicken stock is rather dark. even gelled reductions can go bad in a more or less short time left unused in the fridge. let it set overnight in a tupperware container, turn it out, and dice into cubes. these can be put in another zip-lock bag, frozen, and then used when needed.

doing this once in the winter gets me through the better part of a year.

let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:06 AM   #5
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College Cook, google e-gullet. They have complete online courses on stock-making, among many other things. It's free and you don't even need to sign up. The course is pretty comprehensive with step by step pictures.
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:22 AM   #6
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Hope it goes well! Here is a copy/paste of the Chicken Stock recipe I use...
Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is the workhorse of the kitchen. Stripped down, it's essential components (like all good stocks) are clean water (filtered if necessary, but not distilled), bones/joints, aromatics, herbs and spices. It's essential that high quality ingredients are used, as the flavors derived are subsequently reduced and condensed which will magnify any shortcuts taken. The mouth-feel of a good stock is created by collagen in the connective tissues breaking down into gelatin. Some flavors and aromatics are volatile, and care must be taken not to boil them away. Boiling is bad not just for flavor, but also decreases the clarity of the final product. If simmered properly, there should be very little evaporation. Frequent skimming is also necessary to remove foam and scum which will reduce the stock's quality if left to break down and suspend itself. Stock should be started cold and cooked at a bare simmer. Cooking time begins once the stock reaches a bare simmer.

10-lbs Chicken Bones (or Wings/Drumsticks)
4-qt +1-C Water
1 Large Onion - Finely Diced
2 Medium Carrots - Finely Diced
2 Stalks Celery - Finely Diced
2 Medium Cloves Garlic - Crushed
1-t Black Peppercorns
3 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Bay leaves

Place the chicken in a large stock pot, and add the water to cover. Bring the chicken to a a bare simmer over medium heat and then reduce the temperature to maintain the bare simmer as necessary. If the water level falls below the level of the chicken, heat some water in a separate sauce pan and gently replenish some of the lost water. Do not completely replenish the lost water, as the stock eventually needs to reduce to 1-gal.

Four hours into simmering add the rest of the ingredients.

After the stock has simmered for five hours, carefully strain it with a chinois or cheesecloth and measure the final volume - the target is 1-gal (4-qts). If the volume is short, add enough water to reach 4-qts. If the volume is large, return the strained stock to a simmer, and reduce until 4-qts is achieved. Chill the stock, and then degrease once the fat has stratified and turned solid.
Good Luck!
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:27 AM   #7
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I'm sorry, I think my first post was misleading- I don't intend to use the whole chickens for the stock- rather I'm going to break them down, and probably freeze the meat that I'll use later on, saving the bones and other meat that I'm unlikely to use in my dishes, and use them instead for stock.

Also, thanks for all the information everyone! I'm heading to the market to pick up things for dinner tonight, as well as some chickens, thogh rest assured i'm not going to be using the whole birds in my stock! I'll revisit this thread and let you all know how it went! In the mean time, I think I'm going to check out some of the links you all have posted, and see what I can learn. Thanks again!
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