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Where am I going wrong? Chicken Stock.

(15 Posts)
CherryChoc Mon 08-Jun-09 20:05:30

I decided to make chicken stock for the second time ever tonight. Last time I made it I followed MN advice (carcass in a large pan, chuck some water in, herbs/salt/pepper/onion/garlic/spare veg lying around, boil for an hour or 2) and it didn't seem to make enough so I added some more water and left it, it reduced! I ended up with about 1/4 pint of stock.

So I tried again tonight and switched off earlier. But then got distracted by DS and left it to cool in the pan without straining, now the chicken bones seem to have reabsorbed all of the liquid!

What am I doing wrong? Am I expecting too much? Should I do it in the slow-cooker instead?

daisydotandgertie Mon 08-Jun-09 20:07:43

Are you keeping it on a fast boil for the whole time?

lambanana Mon 08-Jun-09 20:16:20

I usually boil it all up and then simmer for 3 to 4 hours, skimmimg every so often.

Turn off the heat then leave it for about 10 mins.

Drain through a fine sieve. I start off with a good 3 pints of water and find that I am usually left with about a pint.

I use:-

chicken carcass
celery stalks
bay leaves
salt and pepper

Make sure you use cold water.

I did it today then made a lovely chicken risotto. Just try simmering it for longer next time. If you want more stock then I think you would have to use 2 carcases and double up your water.

Overmydeadbody Mon 08-Jun-09 20:19:20


Here's a tohught. Jut add more water. If it reduces, add more. The flavour will all still be there.

Or, put a lid on it.

CherryChoc Mon 08-Jun-09 20:22:26

I am putting a lid on it. OMDB the problem is that it reduces within about 10 minutes if I add more water. And then I can't use it in a recipe if there's not enough liquid there.

Possibly too fast a boil, I did turn it down to simmering last time but it still reduced much more quickly than I expected.

cookielove Mon 08-Jun-09 20:25:25

this is clearly why i will always use stock cubes, or fresh stock from the shop

notcitrus Mon 08-Jun-09 20:27:10

Heavier lid! It shouldn't manage to reduce if there's a lid without a hole.

I cover the carcass, bring to a boil, and as soon as it's boiling turn it down to minimum, and strain after another 30 min=1 hour.

daisydotandgertie Mon 08-Jun-09 20:31:41

I bring mine to the boil on the hob and then put it into a warm oven for a while. I cover a chicken with a couple of litres of water and whatever else I can find to chuck in.

I read somewhere it shouldn't boil, it should just 'bloop' gently. That gives a clearer stock apparently. The oven method is handy for that.

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 08-Jun-09 20:39:54

Message withdrawn

CherryChoc Mon 08-Jun-09 20:42:11

But all my lids have holes in blush - is that really why? <feels stupid> I only have 3 saucepans and I don't know if any of them are big enough to put enough water in to cover the carcass and not boil over.

You can make it in a slow-cooker though, right? That sounds like it might be easier. Although even my slow cooker has a very small hole in the lid! Shall I plug it with blu-tack or something?

daisydotandgertie Mon 08-Jun-09 20:46:19

I think a slow cooker is worth a go. I've not tried it, but the theory is good. Cover the carcass with water, bring it to the boil and turn it down to a very gentle boil.

duchesse Mon 08-Jun-09 20:49:39

After you bring it to the boil, you can turn the heat right down and let it simmer. Yes, the slow cooker is a very good option, especially if you have economy 7 electricity and can leave it overnight (on simmer/ warm rather than fast heat). Also, even though the water will have boiled away, the nutrients will still be there, so topping up with water and reboiling will be fine.

LadyG Mon 08-Jun-09 20:52:33

The slow cooker works brilliantly-just cover carcass with boiling water from kettle and go. Have just made pork ball ginger and roasted pineapple Chinese noodle soup with my last lot. If I don't have home-made stock the M & S chicken stock concentrate in a jar is fab.

CherryChoc Mon 08-Jun-09 23:02:36

I usually use shop-bought stock, but just thought - I'm going to throw the chicken carcass away, I don't lose anything and potentially gain some nice home made stock from it for soup etc!

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Jun-09 23:08:33

If your stock has reduced to say a half of what you expect - of course you can use it in a recipe. It will be twice as strong so just add an equal quantity of water.

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