Chicken Thighs 7% Retained Water For Stock
- Frank Dec 1, 2004 10:54 AM
I Was Making stock and noticed the White Gem Chicken sticker had a note stating that the chicken had up to 7% retained water. What up with this?
Simple stock recipe:
Prep Time, less than One hour,
Cost, Under $15,
Yield, Five Quarts
Sauté 3 onions,
10LB Chicken Thighs cleaved into three pieces, Sautéed Browned, Deglaze,
Sweat Onions and Thighs for 20 Minutes,
Add 5 Quarts Boiling water with Seven Bay leaves, Bring to Boil,
Simmer20 Minutes, If you want Skim the Foam, (I do),
Strain and defat,
Stock to Freezer,
Meat to dog,
Bones to Mulch Pile, (I carefully cover up the bones in the pile),
Skin to Garbage.
What that recipe actually makes is some sort of broth (made with meat and bones, not just bones as for stock). Although it doesn't include celery, carrots, thyme, peppercorns, garlic, parsley stems, and has too many bay leaves for a traditional stock.
In regards to the 7% retained water for the thighs, that indicates that they have been pumped with some sort of brine solution (can contain water, salt, or lemon juice). This makes the chicken weigh more (therefore you pay more for chicken, when all the producer has given you is salt water) and can help the chicken stay juicier if it were to be overcooked. For broth making, your main concern here would be that it would make your broth too salty. Just taste the final broth, and adjust your salting of later dishes made with the broth accordingly.
Incidentally, if you want to make a proper stock, a basic ratio for 1 gallon of stock is 8# bones, 1# mirepoix (50% onion, 25% carrot, 25% celery), to 6 quarts of water, and one sachet d'epice with 3-4 parsley stems, 1 clove of garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, 1/2 tsp thyme. The simplest method is to cover the ingredients, minus the sachet, with water and simmer for 6 hours. Add the sachet in the last hour of cooking.
Technically, for a stock you would use 8# bones to 1# mirepoix, to 6 quarts water, and 1 sachet d'epice.
For broth, you would use 50% bones/50% meat. So, you would use 4# bones, 4# meat, 1# mirepoix, 6 quarts water, and 1 sachet d'epice.
You don't have to be overly careful in the proportions though. Just aim for 50% bones to 50% meat. A little more meat will perhaps result in a more flavorful broth, but might not have as much body (due to the gelatin that is extraced from the bones which give stock/broth its mouthfeel and body).
You can save $15, too, by saving bones. Once the freezer has too many plastic bags'o'bones, it's broth/stock time. Save necks, too. Only works in my house for chicken bones, though. For beef bones--this really grinds me--I end up having to *pay.* Expensive little packets of what used to be gratis from the butcher, fer pete's sake.
that is what I do, too. As a matter of fact, I but ckicken breasts, and take off the meat, getting a boneless breast and a "chicken tender", then I freeze the bones to make stock. I leave some of the chicken on the bone, too. This way I have boneless chicken, and can always pull out the tenders for those young guests who hate everything! LAst week, as I was preparing the stuffing, I froze the tops of the celery. This way, I always have the makings for either a quick broth, or a a stock. It also saves me lots of money on boneless ckicken breasts. I have found that doing this is really not labor intensive, and has just become a part of my food shopping.