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Tell Me About Making Stock

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I joined Rouxbe and have tried their dark and light chicken stocks and didn't care for the results. Likely I'm messing it up. Are there any books or video instruction that really focus on stock making? I'm going to try the French Laundry book next. I don't know, it tastes blah to me. Is it supposed to taste great? 

post #2 of 17

An affordable benchmark is to get the More than Gourmet stocks and follow the instructions.  That's how it should taste.

 

Stock is not a finished product like many people think.  It should be near salt free and have a good aroma and feel rich in your mouth.  It should also hint at sweetness  but you should not taste sweet.

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdecoy1 View Post

Are there any books or video instruction that really focus on stock making?

 

IMO you're getting some of the best video instruction from RouxBe already, there's no need to get anything else. You should also ask questions to your teachers, they're ready to help you!

 

I had that issue when I first made chicken stock. I later realized that the problem wasn't my chicken stock, it was my expectations of how it should taste. As kuan said, the chicken stock is a nearly-salt-free product that is a base to build upon. It's not supposed to have a lot of taste, it's supposed to be a subtly flavored water that you can reduce to intensify the tastes or use as is for soups, or to cook rice etc. 

 

It takes a bit of experience to be able to judge the taste of a salt-free product. At first I always thought my chicken stock was just bland, but now I'm used to tasting chicken stock. 

 

If you're still struggling, pour a bit of stock in a cup and add a bit of salt so it tastes more like a broth, then taste it. After a while you won't need to resort to such tricks to taste your stock. 

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

An affordable benchmark is to get the More than Gourmet stocks and follow the instructions.  That's how it should taste.

 

Stock is not a finished product like many people think.  It should be near salt free and have a good aroma and feel rich in your mouth.  It should also hint at sweetness  but you should not taste sweet.

 

I must admit my interest was peeked when you mentioned a good/affordable Stock.  

 

Anyone's opinions on that stock?  Not trying to hijack the thread or anything.

I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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I am a beginner in the world of cooking.  If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way.  Advice is always appreciated.

 
 
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

I ordered some of that thanks, I need a baseline. Also I've compared from various sources and some use as much miropoix as 3 to 1 where others use, much, much less. Some don't bother with boquet garni. Some insist on blanching bones first, others say it doesn't matter. So confusing this is.

post #6 of 17
More than Gourmet is a good product in general. As to affordable, that's a different question that depends on your budget and how easily you can locate the product. When you figure in the time it takes to make your own stock, you understand the pricing better.

Do read the ingredients and make your judgements. The chicken and beef products I found quite good. The turkey base gets more salt for some reason and that limited its usefulness somewhat, at least for my purposes.
post #7 of 17

Always thought stock was something you added to a recipe instead of h2o for a little more flavor??  Also always thought of it as a bit of a "no-brainer"... bones, onion, celery, carrot, some herbs, water and a nice long simmer.  Totally agree with HOLD the salt as much as possible.  If you ever reduced canned/boxed stock... say by half... can become a salt lick.

 

Last weekend, cooked my Thanksgiving left-overs?!?  Whole turkey breasts were $1.99/lb instead of $4-5/lb like they were back in November and December.  Once turkey was roasted, had lots of nice brown "gunk" in the pan to make some nice gravy.  Once I pulled both sides off, the bones went into a big pot with onions, celery, and carrots.  Now I have 2-3 containers (couple cups each) in freezer to use... a lot of different ways.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdecoy1 View Post

I ordered some of that thanks, I need a baseline. Also I've compared from various sources and some use as much miropoix as 3 to 1 where others use, much, much less. Some don't bother with boquet garni. Some insist on blanching bones first, others say it doesn't matter. So confusing this is.

IMO the only way to get rid of the confusion is to experiment. Try a chicken stock with only chicken, no veggies, no herbs. Try one with chicken and veggies, no herbs. One with chicken and herbs, no veggies. Etc. See which ones you like best for which applications. 

 

I used to think of chicken stock as this mysterious perfect ratio you had to achieve. Now I know that it's all about your taste, and the application. I sometimes make stock with chicken only. I sometimes add ginger, mushrooms, asparagus, etc.... again depending on the application. 

 

As for the 3 to 1 ratio, I'm not sure what-to-what that ratio is comparing, but if you have 3 times more veggies as chicken then you're making veggie stock with a subtle chicken after taste - not chicken stock.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

3 to 1 chicken to mirepoix. Tonight I pan fried chicken breasts and took some of that stock I made and reduced it. It just tasted like weak watered vegetable soup with some hint of chicken. No flavor of boquet garni anywhere. So I then deglazed the pan with it added some salt and pepper. It was all right but nothing amazing. What should I have done different?  

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdecoy1 View Post

3 to 1 chicken to mirepoix. Tonight I pan fried chicken breasts and took some of that stock I made and reduced it. It just tasted like weak watered vegetable soup with some hint of chicken. No flavor of boquet garni anywhere. So I then deglazed the pan with it added some salt and pepper. It was all right but nothing amazing. What should I have done different?  

 

Well next time try more chicken, and more chicken meat (vs bones), less veggies, more bouquet garni. Some stock recipes are trying to achieve a rather neutral result, while others are trying to make the stock more concentrated in flavor. So you have to tweak to your taste. For reducing in order to make a pan sauce, you'll want a strong flavored, concentrated stock with a meaty taste. So add more meat, less veggies. 

 

I recommend keeping a little bit of that stock you've already made on hand. That will allow you to compare your new stock to the old one, and hopefully detect the differences. It's usually easier to compare two different stocks than to evaluate the taste of a single stock. 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

More Than Gourmet came today. Their light chicken stock didn't impress me that much more than my own which felt good. I must be learning something. But their dark stock just blows mine out of the water. But both of them have a very nice sheen and texture where mine seems like kind of slightly greasy water. Not sure what to think.....

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdecoy1 View Post

both of them have a very nice sheen and texture where mine seems like kind of slightly greasy water. Not sure what to think.....

 

Make sure you never boil: nothing should move in the pot and you should only see one or two bubbles once in a while. And keep clarifying to remove impurities and fat, especially at the beginning. 

 

For your brown chicken stock, add a bit of tomato paste on the bones before you roast them. Make sure you roast everything to a dark brown color, making sure nothing is burnt though: the meat, the bones and the veggies. 

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks yeah I know boiling is the biggest no no. I'm just not sure if I should keep adding water every time the level drops, I wonder if it would be more potent.

post #14 of 17

Pressure cooker stock... now that one will make your head explode.  Doesn't follow many of the 'rules' but works out very well.

 

And is quick!

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #15 of 17

For a sheen, glaze texture, sieve and filter several times. I end stocks and sauces with coffee filters (cloth).

Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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Gebbe Got uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichen und schönen Tod. Joseph Roth.
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post #16 of 17

Another thought:

 

 

FF :"Make sure you never boil: nothing should move in the pot and you should only see one or two bubbles once in a while. And keep clarifying to remove impurities and fat, especially at the beginning.

 

For your brown chicken stock, add a bit of tomato paste on the bones before you roast them. Make sure you roast everything to a dark brown color, making sure nothing is burnt though: the meat, the bones and the veggies."

 

 

Always start with cold water as it will help extract collegen from the ones which will produce a better stock with more body. This applies to all stock made with bones (especially veal or beef bones).

When you add tomato (paste , puree, etc) to the bones , it not only gives great flavor to the stock and color but the acid in the tomato helps dissolve the connective tissue in the bones, the end result is the gelatin.

 

@ Ordo: finishing it off like that is a great way, not everyone does it though.

 

Liquid will always evaporate, just add water to make sure the bones are covered.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(161 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(161 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #17 of 17

I don't add water, I just make sure I use the right pot (tall and narrow) and simmer very low, so I get less evaporation. The more water you use the less concentrated the flavor will be. Bones do not need to be 100% immersed. 

 

For brown stock I also leave the peel of the onions in - for color. A tip I learned on this forum here. 

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