How to clarify stock ?
- ciaolette Nov 17, 2004 07:12 PM
I know there is some technique of clarifing stock, in my case chicken, with an egg white, but I don't know how. Can anyone give me tips??
the clarifier isn't just egg whites. a traditional clarifier or raft is ground meat and vegetables mixed with egg whites to form this wierd looking substance that eventually floats to the top of your stock to form a raft. it clarifies as it is simmered to the top. some well known chefs have been known to just use cleaned egg shells for clarifying. they contain some albumin that the egg whites contain. ofcourse, make sure you don't crunch them up and strain it through a fine mesh seive. i just tried posting the url and it won't do it so i copied and pasted it for you:
ground lean meat, vegetables, and egg whites are mixed to form what is professionally referred to as a clarification or raft. This rather unappetizing mass is responsible for the success of your consommé. It needs to be first completely mixed into the cold stock. This murky liquid is then placed on a moderately hot burner and slowly brought to a boil. It is important to periodically stir the bottom of the pot to insure that part of the raft does not stick to the bottom and burn (which ruins the consommé). As the liquid heats up, the "raft" will start to coagulate which means that it will start to come together and slowly rise to the surface. Once the raft begins to form and rise, it is imperative that it is not stirred as this could break the raft which could then in turn ruin the consommé. Once the consommé comes to a bare light boil, reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the quality of the stock you start with. Let me explain why this murky raft creates such a perfectly clear soup. As the raft comes together and rises, it cleans up the stock by trapping all the impurities in it. Once the stock has come to a boil and the raft has risen to the surface, the soup should already be perfectly clear. The consommé is then gently simmered as long as it takes to intensify the flavor. Longer cooking intensifies and deepens the flavor. Sometimes, the entire clarification procedure is repeated in which case the consommé becomes a double or triple consommé and is then accordingly more intensely flavored. When the stock is cooked long enough, it must be strained. This is particularly tricky as the consommé must be gently ladled from the pot without disturbing the raft any more than is necessary. The ladled consommé must be strained through a strainer lined with a coffee filter or clean cloth napkin. This will ensure that the consommé is perfectly clear. If there is fat floating on top of the consommé, it must be removed (easily done by chilling the consommé and simply removing the solid fat from the top). Consommé can be garnished with a wide array of solid ingredients (garnishes) just prior to serving.