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Feb 12, 2008 12:35 PM

Cloudy Chicken Stock

How do you make homemade chicken stock without it being cloudy and "jelly-like" when chilled.....?????

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  1. Jelly like when chilled is good in my book - means its nice and gelatinous. Is there a reason you want to avoid this? I try to strain my stock enough so that it's not cloudy, but can't be bothered with clarifying it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Straining with cheesecloth or skimming off the top only removes actual bits of particles (e.g. loose bits of meat, cooked blood, etc.). To make a clear stock, simmer the liquid very, very gently on low heat but whatever you do, DO NOT let the stock come to a boil. Boiling produces an opaque stock.

      Hope this helps!

      1. re: DishyDiva

        I agree with MMRuth and DishyDiva. Gelatinous is good and dissolves when re-heated. Stocks get cloudy because of boiling! Always simmer nice and slow. For extra flavor I add ginger, carrots and onions and any other meat bones I might have lying around. Fuchsia Dunlop calls that Chinese Banquet Stock!

        1. re: scoopG

          Stock made from precooked chicken (leftovers) is supposed to be cloudier than one that starts with raw chicken. Also, skim the scum (albumen) off the top as it accumulates early in the cooking process. Add herbs and diced vegetables (that will float) after skimming.


          1. re: paulj

            That makes sense about the precooked chickens - which is what I use - plus whatever wings/feet I might have on hand. Agree about adding the herbs/vegetables after skimming - a tip I learned from JC.

    2. You don’t want the stock to boil rapidly or the soup will turn out murky and cloudy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: speyerer

        Really? So a low simmer will keep that from happening? Interesting. MMRuth, why is gelatinous chicken stock a good thing? I thought it to be kind of gross, but maybe that's b/c I'm so used to the boxed stocks instead of my own....

        1. re: mmuch

          having a gelatinous stock is desireable. The gelatin in it gives a nice mouth feel and is a sign of a good, rich stock. You can probably clarrify it with some egg whites like one would do with consomme and then strain the whole thing through several layers of cheese cloth.

      2. If egg whites can clarify consomme, perhaps they can clarify stock. Unfortunately you cannot avoid the gelling as homemade stock contains gelatin from the natural breakdown in the bones during the cooking process.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JungMann

          Egg whites don't clarify consomme. Consomme is what you end up with when you clarify stock with egg whites and ground meat.

          Stocks turn cloudy when boiled because boiling causes the fat to emulsify.

        2. To clarify stock for clear soup: In order to remove solid flecks that are too small to be strained out with cheesecloth, combine ¼ cup cold water, 1 egg white, and 1 crushed eggshell. Add to strained stock. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Strain again through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.

          1 Reply
          1. re: speyerer

            I strain my broth through a chinoise (sometimes chinois) an extremely fine meshed conical sieve used for straining soups.
            The chinoise is not to be confused with the "China cap", which is a conical strainer made of perforated metal with larger holes than that of the chinoise.

          2. One of my "goals" is to make perfect bullion, one that is clear and clean.
            Did you see the Iron Chef not too long ago, and Morimoto's sous chef had whipped egg whites and put them on the top of the boiling broth. Then he poured the broth over and over the whites. The little floating particles cling to the egg whites, sort of a filter or catch all. This takes time so within the hour of the show he worked hard at cleaning the broth.
            I happen to find great joy in a cup of clear boullion with a few little fresh enoki, small cut veggies and some tiny cubes of tofu..

            If you don't want to go that radical, I use cheese cloth. When cooking the chicken, I really clean the inside cavity. There left behind in the cavity, are bits of liver, or whatever innards and they will murk the water. Spend some time in there, and clean it well.

            Then I put the chicken in a pot and fill it with cold water, covering it almost, witht the breast above the water. Bring it to a rolling boil, then shut the heat off, let it sit for an hour. It will produce a nice broth. Then I remove the chicken and aromatics. If i use pepper, I use a bag with peppercorns and other things that will lend the flavor I'm aiming for. Remove that. Put the chicken on a plate, and use a sieve to remove the largest pieces of scum, and particles. Then I use am seive lined with fine cheese cloth to strain the broth. I do this twice. I'll cover it, put it in the fridge. When its cold remove the fat that has solidified. Sometimes the murkiness is fat floating.
            I will get a pretty clear broth by doing these steps. Yes my husband thinks I'm a little touched. But its worth it for me, I don't care for cloudy broth either.