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Jan 14, 2012 09:28 AM

chicken stock fat problem

I'm planning on making matzah ball soup tomorrow and would like to use the schmaltz from the stock I made in place of vegetable oil in the matzah balls.

I made the stock last night and chilled it over night in the refrigerator. But instead of hardening onto of the stock's surface, the fat just turned into this fatty gel-like substance. Usually, the fat that floats to the top is the consistency of butter, but this time it's more like the consistency of catsup or regular (not Greek) yogurt--it's definitely a liquid or a gel, not a solid.

I skimmed it off and it seems like it's fat, but it's just so gel-like (i.e., I don't think it's just that the stock gelatinized and I'm mistaking the stock for the fat). It's the proper temperature and everything.

Anyway, has this ever happened to any of you? Why isn't my chicken fat hardening?? And do you think I can still use it in the matzah balls? or should I just use vegetable oil?

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  1. I would let it sit in the frige for several more hours. I find that it takes longer than just overnight to solidify sometimes.

    6 Replies
    1. re: weezieduzzit

      That's reassuring to know that it sometimes doesn't completely harden after 12 hours--hopefully it will with more time. I'm not making the soup until tonight or tomorrow, so I've got time.

      1. re: kathryng

        Skim off the top fat and broth generously and put it in the freezer if you want it to solidify ...remove the fat and put the frozen broth back with the rest of the reserved unfrozen broth..

        1. re: fourunder

          that's a good idea for getting it to solidify--but my concern isn't that I actually want it to be solid, I'm just worried that it's not solidifying at 34 degrees, because it seems abnormal that it isn't solidifying in the fridge, so I'm worried that there's something wrong with the fat and that I won't be able to use it for the matzah balls (like maybe it emulsified with something and isn't entirely fat)

          1. re: kathryng

            Nothing wrong with it....Make your soup, and


      2. re: weezieduzzit

        And the winner is weezieduzzit! I let it sit in the fridge for 8 more hours and it's finally hardened, and seems totally normal.

      3. Your stock is too dilute. Leaving the fat cap in place, reheat and reduce the stock before re-chilling.

        1. If you let the stock come past anything more than a bare simmer when you were making it there is the possibility that some of the fat emulsified with the actual stock. Now the fat is rising and carrying some of the emulsified stock with it to the top.

          Just an hypothesis, I wish I could tell you for sure and how to fix it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: schoenfelderp

            This is what I am afraid of. I wish there were a way to figure out whether it is fat or an emulsification :/

          2. I find it best to let the stock or broth cool for several hours before refrigerating it. I can't tell from your description if the fat didn't totally rise to the top, or whether there wasn't as much fat in your ingredients. I've had the fat at the top be less firm than at other times. I always look for the definite line of lighter colored fat at the top of the stock. This fat seals the broth or stock. Normally I wouldn't remove it until I was ready to use it.,

            Good luck on your soup. I imagine it will be wonderful on a cold day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sueatmo

              There is a thin layer of fat on top (or what I think is fat), but it's gooey instead of hard like butter. Maybe it will harden with more time.

            2. Actually I find that when my chicken stock comes out that way, its far more rich. That's gelatin, and it comes from the bones. You didn't say what you made your stock from. If I use all wings, its really rich. gorgeously golden and gelatinous.

              3 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                the stock itself is gelatinized, but that's not the issue (the stock itself is good)--the weird thing is that the fat floating on top is also gel-like instead of hard like butter.

                1. re: kathryng

                  You know, I think your stock is fine. I wouldn't worry about the fat not being as firm as you expected. Just go ahead and use it.

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    I just let it sit in the fridge for 8 more hours, and it's finally solidified. I'm not sure what took it so long, but it seems normal. Thanks for the help!