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Sep 12, 2008 08:20 PM

Q: Making Chicken Stock?

I deboned and deskinned the meat off of a few chickens.
I usually keep the skin on, but a recipe calls for skin off.
Should I save the skin and add it to the bones to make stock? or just toss it?
It seems like a lot of fat that will end up being skimmed off at the end.

I'm actually tempted to make chicken skin chicharrones, but still up in the air about doing that.

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  1. Chicken skin chicharrones are the best!
    If you do use the skins in your stock, it will flavor it nicely and yes, you can (and should) skim the fat off at the end.
    Whether you soup simmer or fry the skins, definitely save that'll need it for proper matzoh balls.

    1. The professor is right, about the stock, anyway.
      Be sure you simmer the stock, do not boil it. If you boil it the fat will become incorporated in the stock and you can't get it out. If you simmer it will float to the top and you can remove it and the flavor will remain in the stock.

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Old Gal

        Boiling may slow the the fat separation, I doubt if it stops it. A night in the fridge has effectively separated the fat from any stock that I've made.

        1. re: paulj

          The main thing that boiling does is affect the clarity of the stock by affecting the proteins. Refrigerating will indeed bring all the fats to the top for easy removal, no problem. The boiled stock can still be fat free, it just won't be as aesthetically visually pleasing.

      2. If you have a cleaver or heavy knife, chop the raw leg and thigh bones into 2-3 pieces before adding them to the stockpot. This will allow the marrow to add extra richness to the stock - I read this in Shirley O. Corriher's "Cookwise" but have yet to try it because I usually make my stock from uncooked skin plus the carcasses of roast chickens.

        Chicken fat is golden for a reason! ;-) Always keep it and use for sauteeing onions/garlic, home-fried potatoes, making chopped liver....

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          Poultry shears might also work. I usually make mine from carcasses as well, but also cut up the pieces before freezing them.

        2. Thanks for all the tips and keep them coming!

          I wasn't sure if the skin added to the broth besided the fat level which ends up being skimmed, but sounds like the skin does contribute.

          I want to try what Michael Ruhlman did with his T-Day turkey carcass stock - cook in 180F oven for 4+ hours. (


          I have the bones from 3 chickens... should I try roasting one or two for the added flavor?

          4 Replies
          1. re: dave_c

            Count me as contrarian, but I don't like skin in my stock. Just bones and whatever meat is clinging on the bones.

            That said, I am all for roasting the bones. Adds a nice dimension to the stock.

            1. re: dave_c

              I have made Michael Rulman's version a bunch of times with chicken carcasses. It is a lighter stock than the more traditional [to me] stove top simmer. I now alternate depending on what I think I might want to be making in the near future. I find the Ruhlman stock a wonderful addition to dishes that won't be soup,while the stove top makes a more robust stock for something like chicken noodle or rice soup.

              1. re: dave_c

                I sure feel skin contributes. I don't skim off fat unless I'm going to use it up. It makes a great seal and makes the stock stay fresher, longer, in the fridge.

                1. re: dave_c

                  I just tried the Ruhlman stock with my leftover turkey carcass. Put it in the oven for several hours at 180 degrees. Then an hour before I took it out, I put in the aromatics - two onions, carrots, garlic and celeriac and leek (leftover from CSA). Just left it in for about 45 minutes to an hour - didn't time it.

                  It didn't smell too much with just the carcass, but when I added the veggies, the most wonderful aroma filled the house. Yum.

                  As it was pretty late when I finished the stock, I just strained it and put into another stock pot and popped it into the fridge.

                  I've tried the crock pot and the stovetop methods before and this seems to be the way to go - much more controlled gentle heat and the veggies didn't break down and disintegrate. It was a very light stock and it made a ton! - Maybe a little under 3 gallons?

                2. I've been making stock all day (chicken and beef)

                  I didn't opt to roast, and picked up 2 carcases with necks for 2$ at the market and a package of chicken feet. came out great.

                  Don't add your mirepoix until you've skimmed a couple of times...about maybe 30 minutes-1 hour in....much less cloudy of a stock from what I'm told. I pretty much followed the CIA recipe with the exception of adding my mirepoix a little earlier.

                  Also, make sure you start out with cold water, and bring it to a boil slow, and then just a lowwww simmer.

                  I strained, put pot in the fridge, and will skim the rest of the fat tomorrow before freezing.

                  if you'd like to see pictures ( i have many many) of the process go to my albums.


                  i made some other things today too so you might see some other pictures.