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Nov 22, 2009 06:41 PM

How much water to add to concentrated chicken stock?

I inadvertently made stock today, while cooking chicken in my slow cooker using this recipe:

When I took the chicken out, there was a dark stock in the pot from the chicken and vegetable juices, but as there was no water in the recipe, I assume it's more concentrated than normal. If (after straining and removing the fat) I ended up with about 1.5 cups, how much water should I add?

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  1. No answer except taste and use you own judgment. But I would probably save it for gravy, or use it to flavor sauteed vegetables. That's precious stuff.

    1. Your stock was dark because of the juice from the vegetables; how much water to add depends on how much depth of flavor you wish your recipe to have.

      1. When I make chicken stock in my slow cooker, which I love BTW, I add two quarts of water in the beginning and that is very luscious.

        1. I'm not really sure if what was left in your crock pot is stock of any kind.
          Isn't chicken stock the simmering the carcass of the chicken and bones in water to produce a liquid of chicken fats and collagen from the bones?

          18 Replies
          1. re: monku

            I think OP was saying that an "error" occurred and is now wanting to turn the mistake into stock. Doesn't seem like a particular problem to me.

            1. re: c oliver

              According to the recipe there was no water added and the only vegetable was an optional whole onion and garlic.
              So you are saying the leftover fat at the bottom of the crock pot is some kind of stock?

              1. re: monku

                OP wound up with 1.5 cups of "something." I assume that "something" could become stock. Stock has plenty of fat. Why not?

                1. re: c oliver

                  In my book fat and water don't mix.

                  1. re: monku

                    Well, I make stock regularly and it absolutely glistens with the fat so I don't get your point, monku.

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Don't you skim off the schmaltz from the top of the stock (or when it's cooled it's solid) and the remaining liquid you see isn't fat but isn't it the collagen from the bones in the chicken?

                      1. re: monku

                        THere is some collagen in it, but it is mostly water, colloidal fats starches and proteins.

                        The colloid/suspension in the bottom of her crock pot is usable for stock.

                        It's also usable for gravy, another colloid that tastes good, or for making a demi-glace, yet another we use. I don't know what you think happens in a stock pot other than water, animal proteins, vegetable starches, and oils and fats from both getting mixed into a colloid.

                        1. re: wallyz

                          I can understand using what was left at the bottom of that crock pot for gravy or demi-glace.
                          My understanding is chicken stock is a liquid almost free of fat colloidal or not. Most of the flavor from chicken stock is from the collagen.

                          1. re: wallyz

                            Chemistry aside and back to the original post. The OP cooked a chicken in a pot with no water and very little liquid. The remaining stuff in the pot is basically chicken fat and spices.
                            Now what' the difference between the leftover in the crock pot and when you roast a chicken in the oven. You're saying the leftover stuff in the pan is concentrated stock.
                            I guess my recipe for making stock would be to remove most of the meat from the roasted chicken, put it in a pot, add some celery, carrots, onion, cover with water and simmer for a few hours skim off the fat and that's stock.

                            1. re: monku

                              Well, your recipe for stock is quite different from mine but that's the subject for a different thread :)

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I thought I was using a basic recipe...chicken carcass, water, onions, celery, carrots, some salt and pepper and simmer for a couple hours, strain it, then chill it and remove the fat.

                                Enlighten me.

                                1. re: monku

                                  I use a whole chicken uncooked, put in the slow cooker, cover with water, no other ingredients. I've read a fair amount here and other places and for stock to be the most versatile, you just want it to taste like chicken. Any other flavors can be addedd later. After two to three hours on low, the breast meat will have reached an internal temp of 160. I remove the breast meat from the bird, put the bird back in the cooker and it goes for many more hours. I periodically use a big wooden spoon or something and break apart the carcass. At the end of that time, the remainder of the meat has given its all to that stock, I promise you :) I strain the solids which go in the trash and refrigerate the stock. The next morning I DO remove the solid fat on the top but that's imprecise so there's still some there. I keep that for cooking other things. That's the version that works for me. I'm planning to make hot and sour soup this week and starting with a base that only has chicken flavor is going to be pretty important, I believe. So long answer to a short question but I could and do just eat that golden, glistening liquid by the spoonful :)

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    If those chicken bones are crumbly when you're done, they're safe for the dogs. And trust me, Gypsy and Woofy think the meat has a little more to give - to them!

                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      Gypsy said it would go nicely with the whole stick of butter she took off the counter yesterday.

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      In your post above you said your stock "glistens with fat", I don't like greasy tasting stock, something about the mouth feel is wrong. If i'm making stock for Chinese cooking then just chicken carcass, water and a little soy sauce. I find it wasteful to boil the whole chicken away when the meat can be eaten.

                                      1. re: monku

                                        I'm relatively sure it was Cooks Illustrated some years ago that tested various ways (of course). Using a carcass with most of the chicken removed gave an inferior product. If I pay $3 for a chicken, have the breast meat for another use and two plus quarts of stock, I don't consider that wasteful in the least. And I don't really care what others do :)

                                        1. re: monku

                                          coming from a jewish family - that boiled chicken meat does not get thrown away. we eat it with horseradish

                                          1. re: thew

                                            Except for the breast meat, mine cooks for eight or more hours. It's hardly even recognizable and is so mixed in with shreds of skin and pieces of bone, I'd be hard-pressed to even separate it --- even if I wanted to eat it. But I know plenty of people do and also plenty of birds aren't going to be cooked for that long.

                2. Just to clarify, there was no visible fat in the final product; I strained the liquid into a measuring cup and stuck it in the freezer to let the fat solidify, after which I scooped it off. I also used a good-sized onion and some garlic, which shrunk down to almost nothing during cooking. So what was left contained juices from the chicken, collagen (the bones had that dried-up look), and juice from the onion and garlic, as well as salt, pepper and spices. I'm unsure of how much colloidal fat there would be.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wasabe

                    After saying you froze what was left and removed the solid fat, then I'll admit you have something that seems like concentrated stock. Cooling the stock in the refrigerator and removing the solid fat is the only thing that works for me.
                    As far as how much water to add only you can determine that by taste.