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18 February 2009

how to make chicken stock (a video)

My goodness, everyone. Thanks for all the love about the video last week, when the Chef showed you how to break down a chicken. Your comments were lovely and made the Chef feel excited about doing one of these every week. He giggled hard when he found out that The Guardian newspaper, in the UK, named his chicken video one of the 5 most interesting links on the internet last week.

(Goodness, Great Britain. You've certainly been treating us well lately. Yesterday, the London Times named this little site 1 of the top 50 best food blogs in the world. Wow.)

But what meant the most to us both were the letters from those of you who braved the new and broke down a chicken this past weekend. The triumph! That's what we want — that you will feel comfortable enough in the kitchen to attempt a task that has intimidated you in the past.

And so, today, based on your requests (and as a follow-up to last week), the Chef shows you how to make chicken stock.

A few notes:

-- For the two different pots of stock, we used 10 pounds of chicken bones. In this case, they are chicken backs, but you could also use leg bones or wing bones. If you break down a few chickens, having learned the process, you can throw the carcasses in the freezer as you go. When you have two or three carcasses, make a big pot of stock.

-- You'll hear Little Bean chattering in the background in the first half of this video. Please don't worry that she's crying. She's talking along with her papa. At a certain point, she grew hungry, so we stopped to feed her and put her down for the nap. That's why you won't hear her in the second half.

-- We tried to show the entire process, but we were disrupted by guests (a welcome interruption) and the appliance repairman (our oven has stopped working, and we're still not sure why. Yikes!). So, if you have any questions, or anything that didn't feel clear, shoot us a question in the comments.

-- By the way, we both got haircuts yesterday. Thank goodness. As you can see from the video, the situation had grown rather desperate.

Here we go.


At 12:08 AM, Blogger Janel said...

The Chef on these videos is like having a personal teaching lesson and you can go at your own speed! Genius...time to make some chicken stock!!

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Janel said...

One more question - will there be a side link to all the videos? Bit like a Chef library where you can check out Chef's skills whenever you need one :)

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Bree said...

Another great video! I really liked that you showed a simmer, I'm always a little confused about how much bubbling there should really be.

I do have a question though, for the "everyday" chicken stock why do you have to skim off the foam and fat when purifying the bones if you are going to drain and rinse them? Won't all of that get washed down the drain?


At 3:53 AM, Blogger frkjensen said...

Hello! Happy reader for a while here. One question - how about salt? During cooking? After?
And also: The interaction between all of you in the video is adorable. So sweet!

At 4:03 AM, Anonymous Susanna said...

This was great. Thanks so much. One question, what do you do with all the chicken and veggies left in the pot afterwards? Do you just toss them?

At 4:33 AM, Blogger Jacki said...

I am so happy for these videos!

I received your book from Wiley Press last week and am half way through it. I have dog-eared and highlighted several is wonderful! I hate having to put it down.

I do not have husband and 4 1/2 year old daughter do...but it has helped me understand the physical pain and suffering they went through before they were diagnosed.

And, of course, as a fellow foodie, I love reading about your love for food.

At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any adjustments to do if one desires to do this in a crockpot/slowcooker?

At 5:34 AM, Blogger Hannah said...

Perhaps roasting a chicken next?

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Jessmeca said...

Love it, thanks so much!

Just one more question, what do you do with the left over veges???



At 6:03 AM, Anonymous StuffCooksWant said...

Like a personal cooking school here in my chair. I LOVE it! Chef's explanations are in terminology that I can understand and I think I even learned something how to say mire poix. :) Very helpful. Thank you so much!

Now...what shall I make with my stock? Hmmm....

At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Sho said...

Goodness gracious! You will have no time for this web site when the chef gets his own TV show!

My only wish is that my computer would be faster. I never got to see the whole video.

At any rate, how do you brine a turkey?


At 6:59 AM, Blogger mnmmom2k said...

This is a wonderful idea. Thank you, Chef (and GFG)! I have attempted to make chicken stock and it never came out right - now I can also make GOOD chicken stock.

I was diagnosed with Celiac two year's ago. I left the Dr. office feeling happy because FINALLY I knew what was wrong and I could take control of my health. I have to admit, I was also very overwhelmed. I found your site the same night as the diagnosis, and your "can do" attitude gave me the optimism I needed.

I have read your site ever since.

Thank you!

p.s. I agree a side-bar of "chef videos" would be helpful.

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shauna and Chef,

I can't help myself. I just feel so proud for you.
I have been working on a huge project for decades hoping, wishing, waiting for a true helpmate. Alas, 21 years after divorce He still hasn't arrived. I still keep plugging away, pushing that peanut forward with my nose. Your relationship is so very precious and it inspires me. You know: feel, smell, taste what you want so it can be recognized when it comes along. (So, after 21 years how's it workin' for ya, kid? um er....)
Your relationship helps me to keep on keeping on. A true partnership. Wow. Based on love and shared goals and mutual respect. Wow. People STILL have that these days. Thanks so much.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Bonnie said...

How fun!
My kids are going to be late for school now because we couldn't stop I think they won't turn their noses up when I serve soup next time!

I roasted buffalo prime rib bones last weekend and made a stock from that. Oh man, did the house smell WONDERFUL!

Future video idea...preparing fish. Deboning is a nightmare around here!

Thanks, Bonnie

At 8:41 AM, Blogger Milk Jam said...

when i make stock i fill up ice cube trays with it and stick it in the freezer that way the little doses are ready to go whenever you want! :-)

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Cove Girl said...

Great follow up on how to cut a chicken! I can't wait to do both:)

My question is why were the veggies cooked for the roasted stock, and not roasted for the blanched stock?

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous excelsior said...

A friend of mine puts chicken feet in her matzoball soup for extra chicken flavor. She learned from her Polish Catholic grandmother that it adds richness to the broth, and, oy, does it!

She buys the chicken feet in Chinatown.

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Delicious House said...

I was thinking that hair was a little wild :) Thankyou for this video! I have a ton of bones sitting in my freezer for stock, I just haven't, you know, figured out how to yet. Now I feel empowered! :)

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Okay first of all- thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been cooking my entire adult life (uh, a long time) but I've always been very intimidated by chicken stock. The first time I tried to make it, it came out as this unappetizing grayish-green gunge, and I've been using the box stuff ever since. I have a few questions:

- On the non-dark stock, why do you bother skimming the fat off during the initial cooking if you are just going to dump that whole pot of liquid and rinse the chicken bones?
- On the dark stock, you mention roasting the chicken bones. In the video it seemed like you were just "pan roasting" the bones? Would you just want to cook them enough as if you were going to eat them? Do you want to remove the bones and clean out your pot before continuing on?

Again, thank you so much! I have long wanted to try my hand at making my own stock. You have given me the confidence to do it.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger sweetpea said...

I am bowing, very low and with great reverence and an abundance of gratitude. I am spot on it for Monday and I am never throwing out another bone! Danny, your headed for fame! I do have a few more questions about your bones. So, ideally I would freeze all my left over chicken bones from what ever until I had enough to forge ahead. However, if I needed some immediate gratification, like on Monday, with nothing in the freezer, what would you suggest doing. Should I get a whole chicken, and use the whole thing (then what would I do with the meat) or should I get legs and thighs and just use them? I am probably putting way too much though into all of this. And, when your straining why not just let everything fall into the strainer. You seem very particular about not letting that stuff get into the strainer, should I exercise the same caution? I love the idea of a roasted stock, did you roast the mirepoix in the oven or on the stove top? Did I miss the amount of time you roasted the bones? Your on a roll, now a brown stock (veal and beef please). Sending lots of love your way.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I have a question about the bones. If you break down a chicken as the Chef showed us how to do, how to you break down the carcass? Also, how many chicken carcasses would I need to make stock? 10 pounds sounds like alot.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger melissa said...

I LOVE these videos! And this particular one made me really excited because as soon as my poor Thanksgiving turkey (that never got used) thaws, it is getting roasted and I'll make turkey stock with the carcass. Yuuuum.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Jenn Sutherland said...

Watching the Chef on video just makes me smile. Thanks for brightening my day. And I love getting the professional low-down on stock...I've been making my own for 10 years, but I can see the Chef has some refinements to the process that I've never seen.

I also use chicken legs in my stock as well...they add so much flavor, and all that lovely gelatin from the legs make for a nice jiggly stock when cooled.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger kate said...

These really are great videos. I can see not only how much you both love good food (and how much you clearly enjoy each other!), but how much you both love sharing good food with the rest of the world.

I've always wanted to know what the difference is between a dark stock and a light one- now I know! I also know that my instinct to skim the scum has been right all along! I've always been worried that I was taking away some sort of essential flavor element, but now I know that this is what you're supposed to do. Excellent.

Thank you so much for making these videos for us. It's such a pleasure to share a little bit more of your cook-joy (there should be a word for that, I think!).

At 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to speak for Shauna or the Chef, but my guess is that you need to skim the scum off otherwise the taste of the impurities could be absorbed into the bones and make the stock taste not-so-nice.

I would think you want to omit the salt altogether in this and only add it to the final product where you will use the chicken stock.

Last, I think you cook the veggies for the roasted stock to caramelize them as that would enhance the color and flavor you're looking for. For the other "plain" stock, added color and caramel/sweet flavor is not what you're going for.

At 6:17 PM, Blogger Allison the Meep said...

I love love love your video tutorials. This was so helpful and I'll definitely be making my own stock from now on. I also love the dialogue between the two of you, it's so sweet.

Where do you buy the plastic cubes that you put your stock in? Just a regular restaurant supply store?

At 8:21 PM, Blogger momcan'tdance said...

Gotta say...I love this new video series. Such fun. And it just tickles me to hear other people making funny sound husband does the same thing. And the little one doing the "voice over"? Pure delight!

I'm seconding the noodle making video. I am so, so sensitive to most store bought items that I make almost everything from scratch!

Thanks again...the videos really are genius!

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

Thank you, everyone! We're so happy that you're enjoying the videos, because we certainly enjoy making them.

Now, here's the Chef to answer your questions:

Will there be a side link to all the videos?

Yes. We're in the middle of designing that and other new features for next month.

Why do you have to skim the foam from the blanched bones?

Skimming the scum encourages more scum to rise. Doing this action repeatedly will give a clear stock with a clean taste. If you don't skim, all the impurities will just settle back on the bones.

How about salt in stocks?

Never. I don't use salt because the more you reduce a stock, the saltier the stock will be. That means you don't have the freedom to season the food for which you're using the stock. Stock doesn't need salt to bring out the flavors.

What do you do with all the chicken and veggies left in the pot?

Toss them. They have given their all.

How about in a crockpot?

Follow the same procedure. That's what a crockpot is for -- slow cooking.

Why were the veggies cooked for the roasted stock, and not roasted for the blanched stock?

The regular stock requires a clean, light color. The roasted vegetables bring out a different depth of flavor for the roasted stock, as well as adding color.

On the dark stock, you mention roasting the chicken bones. In the video it seemed like you were just "pan roasting" the bones? Would you just want to cook them enough as if you were going to eat them? Do you want to remove the bones and clean out your pot before continuing on?

You can remove the bones if they are too dark before adding the vegetables. But you are wasting flavor if you clean out the pot. Roast them until they have a nice, dark color to them, before they burn.
I pan-roasted the bones because our oven isn't working at the moment. But it's good to know there is another method.

Should I get a whole chicken, and use the whole thing (then what would I do with the meat) or should I get legs and thighs and just use them?

You can use a whole chicken. Plenty of flavor there. If money is a concern, just get the wings. Any parts of the chicken would work, really.

You seem very particular about not letting that stuff get into the strainer, should I exercise the same caution?

You can let them fall into the strainer. I've just been doing this for so long that I don't want to make a mess.

I love the idea of a roasted stock, did you roast the mirepoix in the oven or on the stove top?

I would much rather do it in the oven (our oven is on the fritz). Set a timer, however. It would be such a drag to burn the vegetables. Walk by and keep stirring them. Whatever you burn will go into your stock and ruin it.

Did I miss the amount of time you roasted the bones?

Until they are done.

If you break down a chicken as the Chef showed us how to do, how to you break down the carcass?

If you have a big enough stockpot, you don't need to break down the carcasses. If you really want to break them down more, use your hands.

How many carcasses for a stock?

Three or so.

Where do you buy the plastic cubes that you put your stock in? Just a regular restaurant supply store?


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Elana said...

Great video --I nominate it for Slow Food Video of the Year Award (if that existed) :-)

I have been meaning to post my recipe for chicken stock for several months --however it is nowhere near as "pro" (as my boys would say) as yours.

I love that the whole family participates in this video, though my favorite part was hearing your deep and hearty chuckles.

I also think it is great that people can see that you cook in a regular kitchen, which shows everyone that there is no real need for fancy equipment and "stuff" when it comes to making good food!

At 7:02 AM, Blogger M said...

I loved this. Thank you Shauna and Chef!

At 11:07 AM, Blogger AAAndrew said...

Good video and nice, clear instruction. It will help me improve my stock.

My question is about the fat. I understand the scum and getting that off the top, but I'm wondering why you talk about fat and stock not working together? My diet is a carbohydrate-restricted, high-fat diet so I'm always interested in saving the fat in my foods whenever possible, and rendered chicken fat is some of the hardest to get in a good form. I usually end up adding butter to chicken dishes to up the fat content.

So, why does the fat not work with the stock, and is there a good way to recover it from the remains of the scum?

Thanks again!

At 7:51 AM, Blogger Jenny said...

Yah, For chicken stock. I cannot wait for more of Chef's cooking lessons!

At 10:34 AM, Blogger GREEN KEY said...

This is so great! Now I know why my chicken stock is always cloudy! I love these videos. Great idea.
Thanks a million!

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Balu said...

I have to admit that I thought you'd lose the flavour when dumping the first water.

How long can you store the self made stock e.g. in the fridge?

At 4:17 PM, Blogger EuroMom said...

Oh no....what happened to the video? There is a message that says no longer available...sniff, sniff....

At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That was great! Little Bean in the background just made it that much better! You guys need a show!


At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Vanessa said...

Can I use the bones left from a roasted chicken i made?? Would this count as the ''roastes'' stock?

Thanks! Can't wait to make my first pot of stock!

At 10:50 AM, Anonymous Diane said...

Love it! This is one of those tasks I think everyone should know how to do. It makes a great, flavorful base for cooking, and is CHEAP as all get out. Plus it makes the house smell good. I always put a parsnip in my mirepoix...


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