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Chicken Stock - Has anyone Roasted, Then Simmered on top of stove?

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From what I have read on this board under best chicken stock. Feet adds gelatin, but the meat in the backs adds extra flavour. One of the best tasting soups I made recently, I simmered feet, and backs leftover from cut up whole chickens. Veggies and salt can be added when using the stock later.
I've always made my stock on top of the stove. I was talking to a chinese friend, and she said that she roasted the bones before adding them to water and simmering on top of the stove. It sounds like it would add more flavour. Does anyone else do this?
How long do you simmer the bones? And at what heat setting?

I live in Toronto, with our ethnic diversity, chicken feet and backs are pretty easy to find. On the other hand, good butcher shops are getting harder to find.

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  1. My husband has explained to me countless times that if the chicken is put into the pot raw, you are making chicken broth. If it is roasted first, and includes bones, you are making stock.

    2 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Great info. I guess I was always making broth.
      Time to move on to stock, and see how that tastes.

      1. re: escondido123

        A mix of raw and roasted is synergistic IMHO.

      2. my best result was due to negligence, leftover roast bones simmered all night and into the next day. almost boiled dry, but what was left reconstituted nicely.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hill food

          By roasting the bones first you'll get a darker,more intense richer stock.

          1. re: petek

            yeah that or as a 20 something coming home with a 'great' idea and passing out drunk while the pot is almost ruined...

            1. re: hill food

              Many a great recipe or technique have come about by "accident" :)

              1. re: petek

                ha! and all survived.

        2. Whether to roast or not is up to you.

          Some people don't like the taste of stock made from roasted bones, thinking it's a bit too "woodsy" and strong. Others prefer it that way. Those that do not roast their bones simply will get a stock is a lighter in flavor and some would say "clearer" in taste. Just personal preference.

          As to how long to simmer? Use the same formula and technique regardless of whether you roast or not.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            To roast the mirepoix with the bones or not is yet another question.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Roasting bones makes sense when you have bare (or nearly) beef bones. It makes less sense when using chicken. Who buys or sells chicken bones? OK, I have seen chicken bones (or shall we say, carcases with most of the meat removed) for sale at 99Ranch.

              You could roast the backs, with skin on, to develop some flavor.

              Another consideration. We expect beef stock to be dark. Chicken stock is usually light, maybe a bit golden, not not the dark that comes from roasting.

              1. re: paulj

                Some Whole Foods sell them, but you have to ask. The one near me always has a lot of bones, just never in the display cases. Unfortunately they are not so cheap (but that is whole foods...).

                1. re: lrealml

                  They're cheap where I get them. $1 for a bag that has the bones from 4 chickens (backs, ribs, breast bone). For $4 I have enough bones to fill my big stock pot.

                  At work, we only ever made brown chicken stock with roasted bones and roasted mirepoix. We only made white chicken stock when we needed it for a specific recipe or banquet.

                  1. re: Sooeygun

                    I would expect them to be most available in shops that bone their own chicken breasts and thighs.

            2. funny enough, I've just got a pot of stock on the stove simmering away right now. my technique is simple. I throw the backs (and feet if I have any) in a pot on top of the stove, no oil or anything else, turn the heat up to med high and let it brown away, stirring as needed, for up to 30 mins. THEN I add cold water, flavorings and simmer for several hours. Strain, reduce if I feel like it and cool and freeze in individual containers. One pot, very easy, limited clean up.

              1. If I have the time, I will roast in the oven first (I usually roast for an hour or so at 400, until the bones are brown but not burned). If I don't have the time, I just toss all the bones in a pot and simmer on the stove. I think that roasted chicken stock has a deeper and more cooked flavor.

                1. Just checked my profile. Less than 2 hours later, 10 replys and lots of great comments, and experience. Feels like I have my own professional chefs on call. Thank you all.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TorontoEastEndFoodie

                    ha! jokes on you, we too are just poking around in the dark, but it does help to hear where we've made mistakes. and I like to support efforts aimed at not wasting anything.