Brown Chicken Stock! (How Come You Taste So Good?) …

It’s stock-making Sunday! On the agenda: A gallon of brown chicken stock, which is one of the most useful things one can have around to make sauces and soups and enrichen dishes where plain old white chicken stock won’t do…so what makes it “brown”? Well, browning … or caramelisation … or for the tech-heads, the Maillard Reaction. Thus caramelised vegetables…

ImageAnd roasted chicken wings …

ImageTo be continued as the afternoon progresses …

UPDATE: Aaaaaand…we’re back! Sorry, that turned into helluva little week there, and posting got overtaken by events.

So where were we? Well, in the bottom of a really big pressure cooker, four or five onions had been thinly sliced and gently caramelised, joined after about forty minutes by a couple hundred grams (about half a pound’s worth) of sliced button mushrooms and a couple of peeled, sliced carrots. Meanwhile the chicken wings were roasting, being turned every twenty minutes or so, in a hot (2ooc) oven. The key in these steps is getting everything brown. That’s where the flavour is.

That’s the complicated bit over. After that, the wings go in – and I deglased the bottom of the roasting pans with a bit of water to get everything up – and about 3.5 litres of water (nearly a gallon). The liquid is brought to a boil, any scum that rises to the surface is skimmed, the lid is sealed, and the pot brought up to pressure …

Stock PressureAnd after a couple of hours burbling away, here’s what we get (after, of course, letting the whole device slowly cool down of its own accord; the pressure cooker, along with the angle grinder, is one of the only things Mrs Prick doesn’t like to be around when its in action):

Stock Done

And after a bit of straining (wet muslin and a fine sieve), all that’s left is to let it settle in the fridge so any remaining fat rises to the top for easy skimming. It’s hard to describe the final result, which is dark and brown and powerful, as well as gelatinous, a product of all the cartilege and other material that’s broken down and something which will make sauces and soups that much richer. After a final strain, it was into the freezer, in containers ranging from 1 litre to 100mls, ready for easy access no matter whether what’s contemplated is just finishing off a quick pan sauce or making a big, rich, mushroom risotto. After all, it may be infernal in Sydney at the moment, but it will be winter soon enough. Be prepared, as they say.

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14 Responses to Brown Chicken Stock! (How Come You Taste So Good?) …

  1. Pogria says:

    Hey, what a coincidence, I’ve been making beef stock over the last couple of days. Still have a couple or three more loads to go.

    We kill a beast once a year and I have the butcher keep all the bones for me. I freeze them and when I have the time, I turn them all into stock. Then I bottle it all and keep it in the pantry. Terrific soups and risotto await, not forgetting great gravy with out the need for waiting ’til you’ve roasted something.

    Browning is definitely the most important aspect of a great stock. I lightly spray the bones with oil then place them under the grill until they are just short of burnt. Makes for a deep brown stock.

    I also save all my goose bones after roasting, makes the best poultry stock I’ve ever tasted, especially if you can add the odd duck carcase as well.

  2. Anon says:

    Anthony Bourdain recommends cheating and throwing a glob of tomato paste onto the beef bones, then dusting in flour, then roasting the bones (you have to turn them to avoid burning the tomato paste). I’ve tried that – it works well.

    It’s about the only thing I made from his Les Halles cookbook.

  3. Pogria says:

    Is that an All American?!?

    My dream pressure canner! sigh……………….

    • chiefprick says:

      Yes it is! It’s an amazing piece of kit. You can get them from Amazon, and they’re cheaper than the pressure cookers you see on the shelves here.

      • Miro says:

        Servings: Makes 4 to 6 servings 1 (2 1/2-pound) fryer, cut up Salt and peeppr 2 tablespoons evaporated milk 2 tablespoons water All-purpose flour Vegetable oil Sprinkle the fryer with salt and peeppr. Pour the milk and water over the fryer and marinate for about 10 minutes. Dip in a bowl of all-purpose flour. Shake off the excess flour. Heat oil to 300b0 and deep-fry (or heat oil to medium and panfry) the chicken. Make sure the chicken is covered with oil at all times. Fry until golden brown. Note: This can be used for pork chops. Nashville: Try the fried chicken, y’all. Southern hospitality wouldn’t be quite so hospitable without corn bread, collard greens, and, of course, fried chicken. If you haven’t already guessed that grease is what’s so finger-lickin’ good, we’ll let you in on a secret: You can spend nearly half a day’s calories on one thigh of this Southern-fried favorite. So make our baked version instead. Servings: Makes 6 servings. 3 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs 2 tbsp paprika 2 tbsp garlic salt 1 tbsp ground red peeppr 2 cups 1.5 percent buttermilk 12 chicken pieces (6 breast halves, 6 thighs), skinless Butter-flavored cooking spray PreparationPreheat oven to 400b0F. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic salt, and red peeppr. Pour buttermilk into a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken in buttermilk, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place chicken, meaty side up, in a large baking pan. Generously coat chicken pieces with cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes or until done. Check internal cooking temperature of chicken with a meat thermometer until breasts reach 170b0F and thighs reach 180b0F.

  4. mrbingley says:

    The Mallard reaction?

    But I thought you were making chicken stock?

  5. Grandma of Canberra says:

    Saw Heston on the telly dust the chicken wings with a couple of spoonfuls of skim milk powder before roasting them – he says the extra protein is good for that Maillard Reaction thing – and yes, it really does work.

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