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Nyonya Delicacies

Chicken Stock

(Newsletter Issue #002)


Preparing Chicken Stock

Stocks, also called broths in some recipes, are essential to many dishes. A great number of soups and sauces are based on stocks. Stews, sautÚs, and daubes are moistened with stocks. Traditional restaurants normally have veal, chicken and beef stocks on hand, but in a home, we could simplify things by using white chicken stock for light-colored and delicately flavored preparations, and brown chicken stock for darker, more robust dishes.

White chicken stock is made with raw vegetables and chicken, and has a light color and flavor. It's used in pale soups and other light-colored or delicate-tasting dishes. Brown chicken stock is made with bones and vegetables that are browned in a roasting pan in the oven before the water is added. Because of this preliminary caramelization, brown stock has a richer flavor and darker color than white stock. Brown chicken stock is used normally in stews and pot roasts.

White Chicken Stock

  1. Combine chicken parts with aromatic vegetables and a bouquet garni.
  2. Add cold water to cover ingredients.
  3. Bring to a gentle simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming off fat and scum from time to time.
  4. Strain, allow to cool and refrigerate to keep.

Brown Chicken Stock

  1. Spread chicken carcasses or parts and aromatic vegetables in a sturdy roasting pan.
  2. Roast at 205oC (400oF) until the parts are well browned, the juices caramelized on the bottom of the pan, and the fat is clear and floats.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a pot.
  4. Spoon off and discard fat.
  5. Set the roasting pan on the stove, pour in water or stock, and deglaze the caramelized juices by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon until all the juices have dissolved.
  6. Pour the deglazed juices over the chicken parts.
  7. Add additional stock or water to cover.
  8. Simmer gently and skim off any froth or fat that floats to the top.
  9. Make a bouquet garni and nestle it in the stock.
  10. Simmer for 3 to 4 hours, skimming off fat and scum every 30 minutes.
  11. Strain the stock and cool.
  12. Chill the stock overnight in the refrigerator to keep.

Kitchen Tips

  • Use chicken carcasses or cut-up whole chicken for stock, or if easier to find (also less expensive), use chicken wings, drumstick or legs.
  • Count on about 2 cups of water per 450 grams of solids. The water should barely cover the meat or bones. Too much liquid makes the stock too diluted.
  • Flavor stocks with carrot, onion, celery and if you like, fennel branches, roughly cut into large chunks.
  • Stocks are degreased by skimming with a ladle while they simmer and then again, once they are chilled, by scraping off the fat that congeals on the top of the stock.
  • A duck stock is prepared just like a brown chicken stock, for a particularly flavorful duck stock, moisten the bones with white or brown chicken stock.
  • Never put hot stock in the refrigerator or freezer. The heat of the stock will rise the temperature of the unit and compromise the other foods in it. Let stocks cool at room temperature for an hour or two before refrigerating. If you're freezing the stock, chill in the refrigerator for several hours before moving it to the freezer.
  • Stocks can be stored normally for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and longer period in the freezer.

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