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May 13, 2013 12:20 PM

Save my BROTH!!! PLEASE!!!

I cooked a chicken (cut up), in my pressure cooker for 12 minutes.

I took the meat form the bones and tossed everything back in (bones and fat), and added some chicken feet, and some beef marrow bones. I cooked the broth for 60 more minutes.

Should I not have added the fat in, along with the bones? (it's easier not to try and separate it, and I figured it would impart flavor)

After I released the pressure, I put in in a cold water bath in the sink, replaced sink water, and cooled it further. It was then cool enough for the fridge.

I wonder if because it was soo gelatinous, the fat had a hard time making its way to the top, because when I took it out of the fridge the next morning, there was not a lot of fat on the top. The fat that was there was not hard, and difficult to separate from the gelled broth.

I removed some of the fat that I could, and then just stirred the rest into the very gelatinous broth.

I had some chicken soup with broth for lunch and it was far too greasy.

In the past, I put the pot of broth in the freezer for a few hours and it seemed much easier to remove the fat (like the fat rose to the top & got hard before the broth could fully gel). I wish I did that this time.

With all that said, how can I recover the broth?

Should I heat it, then pour into my gravy separator? (the thing with the spout on the bottom)?

Or, should I heat, cool and put it in the freezer for a few hours?

Does the degree of gel affect how the fat separates?

Any thoughts or comments would be very much appreciated.


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  1. If it were me, I'd try the fat seperator. I too would be interested too know why the fat did not rise to the top.

    1. I'm not 100% sure, but you mention reheating it. I'd try that and let it cool at room temp for 1 hour, then refrigerate. Most fat *should* rise to top.
      If it's that gelatinous it may hold onto some fat.
      Add a little water when reheating, maybe?
      And, when making chicken soup, do you not thin the gelatinous broth a little bit?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gastronomos

        I agree wtih Gastronomos. I'd let it simmer for a good 20 minutes, then let it cool at room temperature for 2 hours.

        1. re: Gastronomos

          Thanks for the response. No, I don't thin it because I'm going for maximum nutrition.

          I go home late and want to go to bet in an hour so I'm doing an abbreviated recovery effort.

          i boiled it for 3 minutes (enough time to convert the 4 cups of gel to liquid).

          I poured into my separator.

          Within 15 minutes, there was a good 1/4" of fat at the top.
          I put in the fridge (will wait another 20 minutes), then pour.

          One downside: My marrow bits rose to the top with the fat. I may try to recover them with a fork to toss back in.



        2. Chicken fat is very soft; it doesn't harden like beef fat does. You don't mention at what point you strained your stock; sometimes if you chill before straining, the fat will sort of attach to the solids when you do strain it.

          Did you by chance stir it while it was cooling or before skimming the fat off? Don't do that - you want to give the fat a chance to rise so it can be carefully scooped off.

          I guess I would reheat it, chill it completely without disturbing it, and then scoop off whatever fat accumulates on top.

          Don't know how to ask this delicately, but are you really sure there is still an unreasonable amount of fat left in it? You will never get all of it unless you clarify it (as in making consumme). Are you adverse to fat in general?

          EDIT: Oh, and gelatin in stock is a desired outcome, generally speaking. And, it is interesting that you put beef bones in chicken stock - that isn't generally done as I know things. Nothing wrong with creativity, though!

          3 Replies
          1. re: sandylc

            Excellent point about chicken fat being softer. I didn't realize it till I saw you write it, but you are right!

            I strained my stock after the 2nd cold water bath in the sink. That go it down to about 100 degrees (I think). I have one of those fancy infrared thermometer guns, but I took so many measurements, I forget the exact reading (still a new toy for me - I measure all kinds of things around my house). BTW, the surface of an LCD TV is 100 degrees.

            Funny you ask if I'm fat phobic. Totally not! I'm big into the Paleo Diet (caveman diet) and I eat more saturated fat than you can imagine. When I make beef cubes, I leave plenty of fat on (yum). This chicken grease in my soup, however was terrible. However, each night, I make dinner for my mom (who lives in my building). I asked her what she thought and she said it was delicious. Of course, she's 80 and very biased :-) She loves my cooking. This is particularly funny because about 8 months ago she told me she thinks she is becoming a vegetarian. I did a bit of reading about the nutritional implications of that and decided that would be terrible for her. That was right around when I went full steam into the Paleo diet and started cooking every meal from scratch. It's no harder for me to make extra portions so I slowly got her eating beef stew, chicken, pork, etc. (3oz a day). She still can't believe that she's been converted into a carnivore!)

            As for the beef bones, I'm going for maximum nutrition and figured that some marrow would be a good addition.

            The biggest cultural hurdle for me to get over was adding chicken feet!


            1. re: mike2401

              I'm too tired to wait for perfection. I'm calling it a night with this fat remaining:

              (is this considered a lot in 4 cups? )

          2. I suspect that it was a combination of cooling it too fast, and then straining midway through the cooling process.

            I generally strain chicken stock when it's still quite hot, and then leave it undisturbed while cooling. The fat gradually rises to the top. Cooling too fast would thicken the stock (due to the gelatin) before the fat rises to the top, which would trap it in the soup.

            As others have said, chicken fat is quite soft, even in the fridge. With a thick gelatin stock, I gently scrape it off the top when it's cool, trying not to disturb the underlayer. I find de-fatting is hardest for a slightly jelly like soup.

            Oh, and you can save the fat. It's lovely for sauteeing vegetables or potatoes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              I think the chicken fat is only soft when there isn't very much of it. I always add all of the fat and skin to the stockpot bonorder to get as much fat as possible to make it easier to remove after the stock is chilled. I make one exception to that however.

              When I want boneless, skinless chicken thighs for some dish I buy bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. I take the skin off the thighs, spread it flat onto parchment-lined1/2-sheet pan and roast it in the oven at 275 for a couple of hours or until crispy. I salt and pepper the skin while it is still hot. These crispy chicken skins make a great garnish, an addition to a sandwhich, I have not figured out all of the possibilties because I have only done this a half-dozen times.

              We had quite cool weather over the weekend, possible the last overnight in the 30s (I hope so) until September. I took the opportunity to make a big kettle of beef stock. I simmer it in a 225 oven overnight. I ended up with 13 pints of jellied beef stock.

            2. Here is a quick chicken consume recipe, if you are interested:


              But I think a little fat left behind is fine.