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Mar 2, 2013 12:14 PM

Strange smelling chicken - what's up??

Hi all. I made a huge pot of chicken stock a couple of weeks back. I used 10 lbs. of chick. leg quarters and the usual veggies and spices. When the stock was finished and cooled, I poured the stock into yet another big pot, reduced it, cooled, defatted, bagged and froze it. Yummy. My problem was/is: After I cooled everything, I pulled the chicken pieces out of the pot, pulled the skin/bone/gristle off, broke it into small pieces, bagged about 2 cups to a bag and froze it. I pulled a bag out the other day, defrosted it in the fridge and smelled it. I swear it smelled like it was slightly spoiled. Nothing major but it bothered me because I handled and froze it quickly. Just to be sure, I ended up giving the bag of chicken to my dogs (they thought it was great!!) but I still have another several bags in the freezer. Does chicken get weird after it's boiled, or is it me, or what??

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  1. Assuming you started with fresh chicken, how long did you simmer the meat in the stock? I don't use chicken meat in my stock - just veg, skin, and bones (don't like the texture or flavor of meat cooked with the stock).

    4 Replies
    1. re: ButterYum

      I mostly do what you do. I use necks and feet, water, no seasoning. Bring to a boil, cover, put in a 250 oven for hours and hours. If I use a whole chicken, I remove it when it reaches 160, take the meat from the bones and put it back in (the one time I did this I was using the slowcooker.)

      I wonder if the off smell could be the organs. I never use those in stock either.

      1. re: c oliver

        Same here - I omit organs from my stock. What veggies did you use?

        1. re: ButterYum

          Veggies were carrot, celery, onion, bay leaves and thyme. I'm beginning to think the chicken was in the freezer too long.

        2. re: c oliver

          Frozen leg quarters only. No organs.

      2. Sometimes I detect a slightly sour with dry hay overtones aroma, vs the rich "chickeny" scent of chicken soup.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Alan408

          I bought a 10 lb. bag of leg quarters from HyVee once, made the stock, and while it was cooking it smelled like burned hair. I thought it was peculiar but continued. After I strained it and reduced it and it had cooled, I found about 2" of gray slime on the bottom of the pot and it still smelled like burned hair. I called HyVee (after I threw the whole pot down the sink) and screamed like a banshee. They agreed NEVER to carry that brand of chick leg quarters again (thank you, God). What kind of chicken are you using for your broth?? Sometimes they put additives in the chicken and that can make a difference. I like the ones imported from Canada - chicken only, no additives.

        2. When in doubt, throw it out. I have bought fresh chicken that has not been fresh. Are you sure that your freezer is working well?