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Cooking At Home & Shopping => Cooking at Home or with friends => Topic started by: Loundry on August 15, 2010, 03:01:49 PM

Title: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Loundry on August 15, 2010, 03:01:49 PM
I've been braying about the $40 roaster oven in other unrelated topics, but I can't forget that the the whole reason I wanted one in the first place was to make chicken stock.  Last night I finally did it.  I put about 3 gallons of water, 3 pounds of chicken wings, and 3 pounds of chicken feet into the roaster and set it at 250.  I later measured the temperature of the water and it came up to 200.5, which I think is just about perfect.  I let it go overnight.

This morning it smelled very chickeny.  I chopped up two onions (left the skins on), 3 carrots, and 5 (old) ribs of celery, and about 20 or so cloves of garlic (bisected) and a few sprigs of thyme that I pulled out of the top of my inverted planters, and added them to the roaster oven.  It promptly started to smell like stock and I got quite excited.  One thing I noticed about the procedure was that there was never any "scum" to rise to the top to be skimmed.  I wondered if this was due to the fact that A) the evil proteins were evilly dissolving into the stock, ruining it subtly, or B) the mixture never boiling never coaxed those proteins out.  I went to chowhound and read the comments about people using slow-cookers to make chicken stock and none of them talked about skimming scum or complaining that the resultant stock tasted bad.  I also noticed that there didn't seem to be much chicken fat sitting on top.

Straining the stock was pretty simple after I got a strong man to move the whole contraption closer to the sink.  It was golden in color.

The stock is now in the kept-at-20 freezer to chill.  I can't wait to taste it!
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Loundry on August 15, 2010, 03:02:31 PM
Here's what it looked like this morning.  Previous photo is when I started it last night.  Best of all?  EASY.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: HaagenDazs on August 15, 2010, 05:13:55 PM
20 garlic cloves?  I haven't used that many in a stock before: does it make the stock more of a garlic/chicken stock or does it just blend in like an onion?  Sounds like a very easy process though, you're right.  I'll certainly have to steal the method from you.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Loundry on August 15, 2010, 08:17:36 PM
So how did it taste?  In a word, bland.  In two words, bland and boring.  Something obviously went wrong.  I think it was the choice of chicken parts I used.  It looks like it has plenty of collagen, but not enough chickenyness.  I think this was because I used skin-on wings (just dumped 'em in) instead of what I usually use (carcass chunks with exposed meat and bones).  I think it will be fine, but it will take some more reducing to get the bang for the buck.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Jmolinari on August 15, 2010, 10:52:59 PM
I think you used way  too little chicken. While the chicken feet add great collagen they add little to no flavor, so don't count towards your ratio.
For 12 quarts of water I would use at least 6 lbs of tasty bits ( backs necks thighs).

You can try reducing your liquid ( makes itneasier to store anyhow) and see if it helps.

This is a great resourse:  http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/25256-stocks-and-sauces-class-unit-1-day1/
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: totm on August 16, 2010, 12:00:47 PM
Did you add any salt or pepper?  Would searing the wings and feet first have imparted more complexity?
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Jmolinari on August 16, 2010, 12:08:21 PM
I dont like adding salt to my stocks b/c it limits what i can do with them later. I like to salt based on use (sauce, soup, stir fry)
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Foodgeek on August 16, 2010, 12:10:41 PM
Did you add any salt or pepper?  Would searing the wings and feet first have imparted more complexity?

That's what I was thinking. I don't believe in salting items that are going into a stock, but I always roast or brown everything for stock. I probably would have chopped the wings in half to allow the meat and bones to be exposed, roasted everything in the oven with the onions and carrots, then simmered it all for stock. I always seem to get good color on the pan juices which makes a richer looking stock as well.

I probably disagree with Jason (and the eGullet method), since I don't end up using a lot of meat for my stocks, though I often use the leftover bones from roasted chickens that we have had for dinner, which is totally inconsistent with my salt comment, since those bones will definitely get some salt from having been seasoned before I roasted the chicken. Overall, however, I think I manage to get stock or broth that is very flavorful, and my matzo ball soup is always delicious.

I'm probably doing it all wrong, but my husband and the other people that I feed haven't told me otherwise, so I won't likely change it.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Jmolinari on August 16, 2010, 12:15:26 PM
Did you add any salt or pepper?  Would searing the wings and feet first have imparted more complexity?

That's what I was thinking. I don't believe in salting items that are going into a stock, but I always roast or brown everything for stock. I probably would have chopped the wings in half to allow the meat and bones to be exposed, roasted everything in the oven with the onions and carrots, then simmered it all for stock. I always seem to get good color on the pan juices which makes a richer looking stock as well.

I probably disagree with Jason (and the eGullet method), since I don't end up using a lot of meat for my stocks, though I often use the leftover bones from roasted chickens that we have had for dinner, which is totally inconsistent with my salt comment, since those bones will definitely get some salt from having been seasoned before I roasted the chicken. Overall, however, I think I manage to get stock or broth that is very flavorful, and my matzo ball soup is always delicious.

I'm probably doing it all wrong, but my husband and the other people that I feed haven't told me otherwise, so I won't likely change it.

About what ratio do you use? Maybe you're getting a lot of flavor from teh roasting. I don't roast, so maybe i have to use more to make up for it.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Loundry on August 16, 2010, 08:49:46 PM
I have always roasted bones when making beef stock.  I do believe that the issue was that the skin (filled with insoluble elastin) was totally encasing the meat of the wings.  Cutting them in half would have helped, but just ripping off the skin (and leaving it in the stock) would have been even better.  I've never roasted chicken stock, but I believe the reason for that was because I read it, and I think the reason why it was written down was because "it will impart a dark color to the stock".

Honestly the best way to do this is to start with whole chickens and to use the leftover parts (neck, back, wings) for stock.  But I was tired of waiting.

Come to think of it, what is the proper ratio of bone to water (in mass)?  And does meat count as "bone"?
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Jmolinari on August 16, 2010, 09:02:45 PM
I use the egullet ratio. 2 parts water to 1 part meaty bits by weight.  I user backs necks and thighs. And feet for collagen
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Loundry on August 16, 2010, 11:07:33 PM
I use the egullet ratio. 2 parts water to 1 part meaty bits by weight.  I user backs necks and thighs. And feet for collagen

Ooh, I don't know if I could use a thigh in chicken stock.  That's my favorite part of the chicken!
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Loundry on August 16, 2010, 11:08:43 PM
20 garlic cloves?  I haven't used that many in a stock before: does it make the stock more of a garlic/chicken stock or does it just blend in like an onion?  Sounds like a very easy process though, you're right.  I'll certainly have to steal the method from you.

Thank you, and to answer your question, it blends in.  Garlic loses most of its characteristic flavor the longer it's cooked.  This is why you need so many -- the flavor becomes very mellow.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Jmolinari on August 17, 2010, 07:48:16 AM
I use the egullet ratio. 2 parts water to 1 part meaty bits by weight.  I user backs necks and thighs. And feet for collagen

Ooh, I don't know if I could use a thigh in chicken stock.  That's my favorite part of the chicken!

you can use them in the stock, then pull them out before they lose ALL their flavor and use them for chicken salads and other good stuff
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: HaagenDazs on August 17, 2010, 07:58:19 AM
And does meat count as "bone"?

To single out that question - no.  Meat alone doesn't add as much flavor to the party as bone does.  That's really the difference between a stock and a broth.  Stock is bone and occasionally meat (or the meat left on the bones/carcass) and a broth is made with meat only.  If I remember correctly.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Foodgeek on August 17, 2010, 08:09:53 AM
I probably use about the same ratio as Jason, with roasted onions, carrots and celery helping to build the flavor in addition to the bones, but I probably don't reduce nearly as much as Jason does. In fact, I usually end up using my stocks very soon after I make them and rarely freeze any of it.

I'm on the same page with Loundry about not wanting to use thighs in stock, and since I don't like to use poached chicken in my chicken salad - I use roasted chicken, usually - I'd be less than happy with salvaging the thigh meat for that use. I do take whatever usable meat there is and put it back in the stock if I'm making soup, if it's appropriate.

It does change the color of the stock if you roast the chicken bones, but I don't mind. My mother used to add turmeric to her turkey and chicken broths to make gravy and things like that, because it made the broth turn yellow. While her soups and gravies were good, I don't want to make mine like that and I'm very distrusting of overly-yellow stocks and soups. I can't stand certain canned chicken broths and soups for this reason. I am capable of making a very clear chicken broth with a much lighter color if need be, but for the soups I generally make, the color of my home made stock is just fine for me. Others may have different preferences, and that's just fine.

I do like turmeric, by the way. I just like it more as a flavoring agent than as a food coloring.
Title: Re: Roaster oven chicken stock
Post by: Foodgeek on August 17, 2010, 08:15:27 AM
For what it's worth: Googling "stock vs. broth" will open up a great big can of worms that is far from definitive or standardized, in my opinion. It's probably a good topic for a thread, but in the end I'm not sure it adds that much in terms of instructions for the home cook.

HaagenDazs seems to have pretty much the right idea, though.