Low Fat Stock Question.
Is making a stock "low fat" simply refrigerating it and then peeling off the cold layer of fat on the top of the stock? Or would it be better to use a skinless boneless chicken for example?
Peel off the fat. You really need the skin and bones to make a good stock -- that's where all the depth of flavor and the body will come from. IMO, you can make a good stock with just bones, but you can't make good stock with just meat.
I always use a whole chicken carcass, with skin and bones. Or I even use Costco carcass (with the leg meat left intact), and it makes delicious stock. I do refrigerate it overnight and skim the fat off the top. It completely congeals so it's easy removal.
Making stock with boneless, skinless chicken would not give much of a chicken flavor I think.
You're halfway there. Make it with bone-in, skinless chicken, but you'll still get some intramuscular fat.
I believe the skin adds minimal flavor, but it isn't much trouble to defat it by chilling it. I only leave it on when I'm working with an already-cooked carcass whose meat I've served elsewhere.
Skin adds quite a lot of flavor, but, most importantly, it adds an incredible amount of texture to stock. Taking the skin out of stock is like taking chocolate chips out of chocolate chip cookies.
Sekelmaan, if your monitoring your fat carefully, be careful about the vegetables you put in stock, as they will break down into particles and the particles will suspend some fat/prevent it from floating to the top. The amount is pretty negligible, but, like I said, if you're counting every fat gram, it wouldn't hurt to nix the onions and carrots (and incorporate them later in recipes).
In slight disagreement with some posters: use bones (roasted if possible); do not use skin or meat; do use the feet, necks, and heads. Unctuous, flavorful, fully gelatinous when cold stock comes from the roasted bones and collagen in bones, feet, and all the gristly bits. Add the gizzards, hearts, livers, kidneys and the like at the beginning and remove (and enjoy) when ready. Skim the warm stock and/or remove the fat after refrigeration.
The keys are long and slow at low temperature, skimming foam, fine straining, and possibly using an egg white raft to clarify the stock.
Altho I am a devout carnivore, I made some vegetable stock yesterday needed for a recipe my daughter gave me for pumpkin black bean soup. Since you did not elaborate for what use your stock is, would a vegetable stock do for your purpose(s)?
Here's the ingredient list for my stock. Please realize that I am a kitchen experimenter, and have a tendency toward craziness when I cook.
1 medium onion
2 celery ribs
several whole garlic cloves
1 tsp dried juniper berries
1 tsp dried majoram
1 tsp dried fennel seeds
1 tsp allspice berries
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp dried savory
about 3 quarts of water
no salt or ground black pepper
This made about 2 and a half quarts of stock. I did NOT saute the aromatic vegetables in oil before adding all the ingredients. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, the stuff tastes good. Why the crazy seasonings? Because they were there and not being used for anything else.
I did not discard the overcooked vegetables, but i did remove the allspice and juniper berries, and the whole cloves before making a puree with the vegetables. The puree will be used to make a big batch of minestrone that also contains legumes. The minestrone is eaten for breakfast. YES, breakfast! My cholesterol level dropped from over 250 to 111 after 3 months of having minestrone for breakfast every morning. My blood glucose levels are within normal limits.
I simmered the stock for about 1 hour. No, the stock is thin. The pureed vegetables are NOT added back to the stock.
I make enough minestrone for about 12 breakfasts. Some of the ingredients are always used and others, like the vegetable puree from the stock, are used when available. The following has a list of the ingredients. Many of them are not precisely measured. I have an apron that a picture on top of which is the following statement. "I don't need a recipe...I'm ITALIAN." Feel free to do your own thing. My culinary motto is "Cook like a peasant...dine like a gourmet." I belong to the "What if..." school of cooking specializing in "Cuisine Impromptu." That's "Cucina Improvvisata" in my preferred culinary lingo.
Ingredients always used --
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
several hot peppers, minced (seeds not removed)
several garlic cloves, sliced or minced
olive oil to coat the bottom of a large stock pot
2 kinds of dried beans, soaked and pre-cooked (black, navy, garbanzo, etc.)
1 liquid measuring cup of each kind of bean, RESERVE THE BEAN LIQUOR to used in the soup.
12-ounce can of tomato paste (or 2 6-oz. cans)
2/3 cup dry measure lentils
2/3 cup dry measure split peas
2/3 cup dry measure pearl barley
1 head of cabbage, 2 to 3 pounder (the core also is used after slicing very thin)
water as needed when cooked bean liquor is not enough
Occasional Ingredients --
midribs from kale or chard
leftover meat gravy
pureed stock vegetables
whatever else is available in fridge that needs to used before spoiling
Never used --
ground black pepper
The secret to lowering cholesterol and blood glucose is that legumes and grain are 'resistant starches' which do not turn to sugar as soon as they hit stomach or small intestine. These starches (fiber) clean out the other sugars as they make their way to the colon. That's why I eat the minestrone for breakfast.
I assume that most people who visit this website know how to cook, ergo that is why I didn't include cooking instructions.
BTW, I'm not really of Italian heritage, but my wife of almost 50 years (February 6th) is of that origin altho born in the US.
Ancora una volta mangiare bene!