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Chicken Stock or Chicken Broth?
Chicken stock? What’s in a name?
It seems one of the latest crazes hitting the internet these days is broths. But what it a broth? Is it the same as stock?
Quite simply it depends on what you put in the pot. A stock is basically the same as broth with one exception. Broths have no meat on the bone. Clean bones, those with no meat on them, are used to make broths whereas stocks have meat on the bone. Having cooked in professional kitchens I can tell you I never made a broth.
At the Culinary Institute of America I made broths. But that was so the students understood the difference between the two. You can try to get the meat off a bone for a broth. Me…I’m making a stock.
When I cooked in a four star/four diamond restaurant we made stock. Chicken stock, beef stock, mushroom stock, and vegetable stock. Wait a minute! Mushrooms and vegetables don’t have meat on them. That’s right, so technically they’re broths. We didn’t make the distinction based on a name, we just made them as flavorful possible.
Here’s a dirty little secret about stock. In the professional kitchen vegetable scraps are never thrown away. They are used to make stocks. Any carrot, onion, celery, or tomato trimmings are refrigerated and made into stock for further use. You scrub the vegetable, you peel the vegetable, you save the trimmings, you add a mess of this to some bones, you add some water, and you make a stock. Then you use the stock to make something delicious. The chef is happy and life is good.
Classically these trimmings, when used in a certain proportion, are called mire poix (meer pwah) and in a classic stock this is what you would use. Mire poix consists of 50% onion, 25% carrot, and 25% celery. For six to eight cups of water you would use one pound of mire poix.
If you use bones with lots of connective tissue, like joints, you get a gelatinous stock. When it cools it’s like Jello. This is caused by the collagen in the joint. Bad? Only if you are a vegetarian. Collagen adds depth and richness to stocks so in my book it’s a good thing. For richer chicken stock use a lot of wings because there is a lot of connective tissue.
Now here’s a few tips for making chicken stock, or any stock.
- If your ratio of mire poix to water is off by a little bit it’s not going to ruin your stock. Really.
- Cut your mire poix into even sized pieces for best flavor extraction and even cooking
- Do not saute the mire poix. It will make a cloudy stock.
- Use cold water and slowly bring the stock to a simmer. It will make a clearer stock.
- You can use veg scraps that have been frozen but they will make the stock cloudy.
Now here’s the recipe and a video of how to make chicken stock. After you watch the video on how to make chicken stock watch the video on how to cool it quickly for storage. Twenty five minutes max…I guarantee it.