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Cheating in stock making? adding gelatin...

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Today I took about 2 gallons of decent homemade stock and reduced it by 2/3 just to see what would happen. Now this is some hardcore stock concentrate it's a fairly dark golden brown liquid that is packed with flavor and I didn't even brown the bones or meat to start. This what a white stock when I originally pulled it off the stove the other day. I know I'm going to have to dilute it in most applications.

So I know how to make a good stock, but what I'm wondering is since the bone's dont really give up much flavor (unless they're browned) has any one ever supplemented their stock with some extra gelatin to give it more body and mouth feel? Next week I wanna experiment with doing a browned stock with half of the bones as this one and adding unflavored gelatin for body and see how it compares with what I prepared today. Fortunately I have a nice local asian market that sells chicken bones for .80/lb. Look's like I might have to get my pressure canner and jars out so my stock can have some shelf life.

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  1. I think it is great you are experimenting with this. Chicken stock is such a wonderful thing to have on hand.

    I shortcut by using the pressure cooker. I do use bones, and I don't roast them. I have decided on a method that goes like this: buy fryer, pressure cook fryer with aromatics for about 25 min. using low pressure, stop cooking, and pour off the contents, adding back the liquid and the picked bones, wing tips and maybe the drumsticks.. Pressure for another 25 minutes or so using low pressure. (I'm still refining my times.) I get beautiful golden stock--what I want--and pretty good flavor. If I am unhappy with the flavor, I fortifiy with solid chicken stock. This method gives me stock and lovely chicken white meat to use in sandwiches. The stock always becomes beautifully gelatinized and is lovely to look at as well. Have fun in your experimentations.

    1. typically i'm too lazy to roast the bones, but it seems like the longer the stock simmers, the more gelatin and such gets released from the bones. just let it bubble away and do its stuff. i put it in the fridge overnight to skim off the fat and am always surprised by how jiggly the stuff gets!

      i don't care for the mouthfeel offered by boxed gelatin.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        I'm suprised you can differentiate the mouth feel between boxed gelatin and gelatin from the natural stock making process. They are literally the same compound. It's just a gelatin to liquid ratio that would change the viscosity aka mouthfeel

      2. Do you crack your bones before putting them in the pot? I found I got a much better gel when I started busting thigh, leg and backbones into pieces before tossing them in.

        1. Add chicken feet and you will not need boxed gelatin.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            Feet are just not to be found around here so I've never had the chance to work with them. I'm curious since I know some people and cultures love eating chicken feet as well as using them in stock. How do you prepare them for stock? Do they need to be skinned or just cleaned well and thrown in as is? We're contemplating having a flock of hens for eggs and meat next year and since feet can be used for stock (sorry, but I won't be eating chicken feet) I'd rather use them than throw them out.

            1. re: morwen

              I made aspic earlier this summer and used a calf's foot and a veal knuckle, both cut up for me by the butcher. The stock was definitely gelatinous. When I use chicken feet in stock, I just throw them in, but I buy them in packets in Chinatown.

              1. re: morwen

                I use chicken feet in stock. I just wash them and add them to everything else in the pot. I agree that they add that great gelled texture you're looking for. Adding wing tips might be a decent alternative if you don't have access to feet (I've been told).

                1. re: morwen

                  We get chicken feet cleaned (they don'g need to be skinned) and ready to go at my grocery store (la14). I slash the feet and lobes a bit to allow more flow of that gelatinous goodness.

                  1. re: morwen

                    I throw in chicken feet with just a washing. But my mom demands that the toenails be cut off --- a job for poultry shears.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      How have this and other of your Mother's similar issues affected your life? Someone asking me to clip chicken toenails might have traumatized me.

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                        That was good for a belly laugh! In truth, whenever I'm in her kitchen and have to snip them, for some odd reason, my thoughts turn to the tales of foot binding that I heard as a wee one.

                        My twitter page is inspired by lessons from my mother.
                        http://twitter.com/pantrycooking

                2. I find turkey wings to be a great gelatinizer for stocks and soups.