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Reusing chicken stock?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering... do any of you people sometimes use chicken stock more than once?

For example: tonight I want to poach chicken breasts in chicken stock. Once the breasts are cooked and I pull them out, can I re-freeze my chicken stock and reuse it later for more poaching, or a risotto or a sauce or whatnot? Or is all the flavor gone into the chicken breasts?

Still pretty new to poaching...

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
Sure you can use it again, as long as you know it's not too old. On the contrary, after poaching your chicken, your stock should be even more flavourful.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Great! Thanks for the comment!
post #4 of 10
I agree - think of the Chinese 100 year old Master stock. Now that's been used more than once :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #5 of 10
In a restaurant I worked once, we used the same pan of au jus for weeks on end for our prime rib. Every time one got a dunk in it (when someone wanted it cooked beyond medium rare) it picked up that much more flavor...
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Youtube channel: TheMetalChefOnline

The classics, presented irreverently with a healthy dose of slapstick and loud music.
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post #6 of 10
25 years ago i worked in a restaurant where the stock pot was topped up every day. There must have been stuff in there since 19oatcake. Anyway, UK EHO has put a stop to that and now we have to work at it.

i'm resigned to the "right way" and re-heat twice then it goes out. I miss the ubiquitous kitchen stock pot, even tho i'm a conformist.

Worked with a chef once who made a beef stew... Next day the leftovers were a steak pie. OK... next day the leftovers were a curry.Hmmm... next day the leftovers were curry puffs :eek: NEXT DAY the leftovers were ground together, ( including pastry)deep fried and sold as spiced patties :eek::eek::eek:... The punters loved them. Hope they had cast iron stomachs
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #7 of 10
Peas Porridge in the pot... nine days old! :bounce:
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The classics, presented irreverently with a healthy dose of slapstick and loud music.
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Youtube channel: TheMetalChefOnline

The classics, presented irreverently with a healthy dose of slapstick and loud music.
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post #8 of 10
The really crucial thing if you're going to do this is to work on cooling technology. You've got to cool off your stock relatively quickly so it doesn't rot. But if you cool it in the fridge and there's a significant quantity, you'll warm the fridge and cause other problems, and if you cool it covered -- in or out of the fridge -- you're asking for rotting because of the warm trapped moisture in there. So you have to cool it out of the fridge, uncovered, but you've got to do it relatively quick. And if you're going to be doing this often, you're going to want to work out a system.

I suggest two things.

First, keep a washable Tupperware or something like that, one that seals very well, in the freezer. Fill it about 3/4 of the way full and freeze solid. When you go to cool your stock, just float this thing in the pot.

Second, stand the pot in a roasting pan and dump ice cubes around to fill it right up, then add cold water to fill most of the way. Between the ice inside and the ice around the outside, you should chill your stock pretty quick. Once it's cool -- like room temperature or so -- just cover it and stick it in the fridge and it'll be fine for 2-3 days.

When you take the stuff out of the fridge, be sure to scrape off the frozen fat on the surface. Note that you can use that as cooking fat if you like, though it will sizzle a bit when heated because there's always a little water in there.

One thing to pay attention to, if you start doing this every few days, is that the stock is not only going to get intensely flavorful but also extremely gelatinous. Once it's pretty firm and rubbery when cold, taste it straight at a gentle simmering temperature. Note the feeling in your mouth. If it is gummy, the stuff is too gelatinous and needs to be diluted before using as a sauce, but it should be fine as a poaching liquid. If it is so gummy that it's noticeably thick when hot, you may want to very gently simmer it in a small saucepan, stirring often and paying close attention, until the bubbles change shape and it looks like you're cooking dark maple syrup. That's now very close to glace de viande, and it should be poured into a flexible heatproof container, left to cool, and then chilled in the fridge. Turn it out -- it'll be hard, like rubber -- and cut it in coarse cubes, then put these in an OPEN container in the fridge and ignore them for a few days while they lose their last traces of water. Use a cube or two in any soup, stock, sauce, poaching liquid, etc. And then start over with your poaching liquid process.

By the way, if you're cooking salted things in this, it may at some point become unpleasantly salty and you'll have to dilute it. I suggest that you don't salt anything until AFTER it has been poached.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks for all the tips. My cooling system is simply to fill a sink with water, throw a bunch of ice cubes, and float the stock pot in that. Steer the stock, steer the ice water, etc.... within about 15mn the stock is colder than room temperature, and at that point I cover it and place in the fridge for 24 hours - then I have a solid whitish fat layer at the top that's pretty easy to remove.

Then I pour whatever stock I'm not using that night or the next in containers, and freeze.

I've never made glace, I really want to try - maybe when I do a veal stock (all I've done so far is chicken stock).
post #10 of 10
That cooling system is just fine. If you get it cool that fast, you're all set.

As far as making glace de viande, the thing is that if you avoid salt here, you're really making a kind of classical coulis, from back in the early 19th century. It's just that instead of doing it efficiently and taking all the good stuff out of the meat in each round, you're doing it inefficiently and only extracting some good stuff. Of course, your method leaves you meat that's worth eating, which the other way basically doesn't. In the old system, it took four very concentrated cookings to produce coulis, a thick sauce that is the prototype of demi-glace; your way will take weeks of doing it every few days, but again, you'll get meals out of it.

The reason I mention this is that once your liquid has gone past sauce thickness --- thus the gumminess test --- you are past half-glaze (demi-glace) and toward full-on glaze (glace de viande). You may not have the intensity of flavor that would come from using roasted meats, but because you're using meat instead of bone to make this it will be much better than most restaurants ever produce. Having gotten that far, just start reducing it in a small slope-sided saucepan, and you'll have glace de viande.

Warning: it can scorch very quickly, because there is very, very little water in it. Once it's starting to thicken well, do not leave it unattended for a moment. Pay close attention! Just keep it moving gently, simmering gently, scraping the stuff down the sides with a spatula or something, and wait until it gets maple-syrup thick.
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