more chicken stock ?s
A number of threads have covered making chicken stock, and I just have a few more questions - when making stock using carcasses from roasted chickens, should you roast the bones first? remove the leftover meat and add it later? do you break the bones to get additional flavor? before or after roasting the bones? finally, how long should you let the bones boil? I've read everything from 1 - 6 hours. Thanks!
Be aware that when you are using just a carcass, especially one that has already been cooked, you are not going to get a large volume of stock - it will need to be reduced to the strength you want for soup. Or, you can add some base like Better Than Bouillon - you'll then have a greater volume but a thinner stock that won't fully gel when cooled. If you add some raw chicken - anything from cheap parts to a whole bird - you'll get much more flavor. An economical way to do this is to buy a whole bird, removing the breasts (and legs if you wish) and saving them for another purpose - if that purpose doesn't require skin, put the skin in the stockpot. You can simmer the breaast meat in the stockpot until it is done, then remove it and use for chicken salad, tacos, or to return to the finished soup before serving.
Roasting bones will give you a darker stock but is optional with chicken - it is far more important when making beef stock. I can't remember the reason, but Cooks Illustrated once explained the science and chicken yields more flavor when turned into stock than does beef. You need a lot of meat and bones to make a good beef stock and browning the bones bumps up the flavor.
I'd remove any large pieces of leftover meat to use later. Otherwise, don't worry about the tidbits left after carving. I usually don't bother roasting the bones, but you can and if you do, break the bones after roasting them. The point of breaking the bones is to allow more of the bone marrow to incorporate into the broth which provides the gelatinous quality krisrishere mentions. Go ahead and cook the bones for at least two hours - the longer the better. I've even left mine on a bare simmer overnight (lid on) with fantastic results. If you are looking for a clear chicken broth be sure to keep the liquid from reaching a full boil - this will cloud the broth. Other aromatics to include when simmering the bones - bay leaves, peppercorns, onion, celery, and carrot.
I think everyone has their own method for making stock but here's how I do it: I throw the whole carcass in a BIG pot, not roasted or broken down, with all of my aromatics. I simmer for about 3 hours skimming the fat occasionally, strain, and then put it back in the pot to boil for another hour and a half. This reduces the chicken stock and it becomes more intensified. Strain again and cool to room temp; skim more fat off the top. You know you made a good stock if it's gelatinous. Good luck.