Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lesson 1 Recipes - White Chicken Stock

Makes approximately 3 quarts.

One whole chicken (about 3 to 4 lbs.), cut into quarters with poultry shears and/or cleaver
2 medium onions, cut into quarters, skin left in tact
2 stalks celery, washed, cut into 1” pieces
2 carrots, washed but not peeled, cut into 1” pieces
3 ½ quarts cold water
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme,
4 sprigs parsley, stems included
2 whole cloves
8 black peppercorns

Place chicken in bottom of tall-sided, heavy-bottomed stockpot. Add mirepoix (onion, celery, and carrots) of vegetables to pan. Add in garlic. Place bay leaf, fresh herbs, cloves and peppercorns on a small piece of cheesecloth and tie into a neat bundle using kitchen twine. Alternatively, you can use a bouquet garni bag, reusable tea bag, or large tea infuser to hold the herbs as well. Place herb bundle on top of vegetable and add in cold water.

This specific combination of herbs and spices, tied into a little bundle is called bouquet garni in France. Securing the herbs and spices makes it easy to retrieve after cooking and helps keep your stock clear. It’s not necessary to keep your herbs in a little bundle as you will be straining your finished stock, but many chefs feel that it does create a clearer stock.

Place pan over medium heat and bring mixture just up to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface. Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 hours, skimming surface as often as necessary. Be sure to keep water level above bones.


Turn off heat and let pan sit for a couple of minutes to allow stock to settle. Using a chinois (China cap strainer), double fine mesh strainer, or colander lined with cheese cloth, carefully strain the liquid into a clean container. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. The next day the fat will have solidified and be easy to remove. Store in refrigerator for up to one week, or in freezer for up to six months.

1 comment:

  1. This method of refrigerating strained stock, then removing solidified fat, is simpler (& possibly more thorough??) than the oven method of spooning off the fat. Is the oven method more flavorful, though, because of the initial roasting? I also have questions about the chicken meat. Would either of these two methods be good enough if the meat were removed when cooked, returning the bones (and skin??) to continue flavoring the stock? I ask because I'd like to use that meat in other dishes; to simmer the meat for hours would render it over-cooked for other applications, yes? I really couldn't throw away meat! Lastly, how about using the bones after an outdoor grilled chicken meal? It seems as though those bones would be even more flavorful than roasted or raw. ** Thank you for this great blog, Allyson!