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May 22, 2013 10:10 AM

Chicken stock with a carcass in the crockpot - fail!

I attempted my first stock in the crock pot this week. I used the carcass from a roast chicken with a chopped up onion, celery, carrots and bay leaf and let it simmer in the crock pot for 24 hours. It didn't turn out so well and had really no flavor whatsoever. I have no experience so I can't identify where I might have gone wrong. It was only 1 carcass of a fairly small chicken so perhaps I added to much water, it needs to simmer longer or it needs to be reduced? I've read many other posts and blogs in which they just throw it in without reduction and it comes out brown and gels well in the fridge. This stock was light yellow with no gelling at all overnight in the fridge. Any tips would be great.

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  1. i'd reduce it and see what happens. i make big batches of broth, on the stove, and always reduce it.

    adding an acid also helps leach nutrition from the bones and helps amp the flavor.

    1 Reply
    1. Hmmm... if I had to guess I'd guess it was too diluted. Maybe save the carcasses in a gallon freezer bag in the freezer until you have 2 or 3. You're using pretty small chickens, aren't you?

      Either that or buy a package of wings or drumsticks to toss in with it.

      7 Replies
        1. re: weezieduzzit

          Wings, backs and necks are best - lots of connective tissue to turn into gelatin. I look for markets that sell those things; in Nashville it was most of them, but here in L.A. County the Asian and Latino markets are the best bet.

          1. re: Will Owen

            And feet. And uncooked. IMO those carcasses just don't work.

            1. re: c oliver

              Carcasses only work when you include the pan juices in the stock rather than eating them as a jus or as part of a sauce.

              1. re: c oliver

                I got to agree. Cooked Carcasses just do not yield a full flavored stock.

                1. re: chefj

                  Raw chickens definitely have much more flavor. I buy a package of chicken feet periodically and throw a dozen in each pot too, helps a lot with the flavor and the gelling.

            2. re: weezieduzzit

              And don't chop up the vegetables too much. Leave them in nearly whole. Makes for easier straining.

            3. How much did you make? IME you only get about a pint of proper stock from the carcass of a 4-5# roaster, and only if there's still a cup or more of meat/skin still on the bones, and you include the neck and giblets (omit the liver). I always add raw parts to the carcass in the pot since if I'm going to make stock I want a few quarts. I do not like the results when only the cooked carcass is used. The color is weak, sometimes grayish, and I find that the bones create a minerally taste. You certainly don't need 24 hrs of cooking. When the ends of the leg bones are easy to crush between your fingers, the carcass is spent and you can take the pot off the heat.

              8 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                i don't use meat or skin when making broth, since i don't enjoy eating poached chicken.

                i use bones, heads and feet.

                1. re: greygarious

                  You hit the nail on the head - the "color was weak, sometimes grayish and I find that the bones create a minerally taste." Well, I filled the crock so that's how much fluid I have so it seems like I should reduce it? The chest bones were crumbly but the leg bones itself were not.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    i STUFF an 8-qt stockpot with bones, bits and veg for chicken broth. it's about 8 pounds of chicken parts, and then i just add water. i reduce by about 1/2 for easy storage.

                    you water:bone ratio was way off.

                  2. re: greygarious

                    I too would never think to simmer chicken or turkey for 24 hours. Usually three does the trick. Beef and veal do need longer though.

                    1. re: coll

                      The recipe I posted from Ina goes four. That's more than plenty for robust flavor extraction, IME.

                      1. re: mcf

                        I don't even time it myself. I think the first few hours are the most important.

                        1. re: coll

                          My stock is considerably different at 20 or 24 hours than it is at 4. Much more flavorful, much more gelatin. The stock I made overnight from Tuesday night to Wednesday night is gorgeous and flavorful! Also, if you're interested in the health benefits of bone broth the longer cooking time gives more mineral extraction and amino acid extraction in a form more bioavailable than supplements. If that's not important to you than you don't have to worry about it!

                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                            No osteoporosis no far, but I will keep in mind for the future. Right now I just go for the gelatin, and it usually appears after a night in the fridge.

                  3. I have no idea. When I do it I use one chicken carcass per 6qt crock pot covered with water with veg, whole peppercorns but no salt. It's always come out great and I never reduce it.

                    1. This is a terrific stock recipe; note the proportions for 6 qts.


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