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Usually when making a chicken stock I just boil up some chicken wings/legs with some veggies. The other day when cooking with my brother he added roasted lamb bones to the strained chicken stock when making a lamb jus.

This got me thinking why I don't roast the wings/legs when making a chicken stock, and why he didn't just add raw bones to the chicken stock.

So should I roast my chicken bones before boiling them up for stock? And can I add lamb bones to my stock raw?

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Don't boil. Stock is more flavourful and clearer when simmered gently. – daniel Jul 21 '10 at 6:19
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Roasting the bones first will add a deeper flavor. The roast flavor may or may not be desired, it depends on your preferences.

This is from the article I've posted below: "Roasting caramelizes them, heightening sweetness and deepening flavor. But any blackening will make meat stock bitter. 'You don't want that burned bone thing,' cautions Keller."

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that article seems to imply that for chicken, I shouldn't roast the bones, just cook them, and for meat stocks the bones should be roasted. So what about duck, which is what I'm making? – Sam Holder Jul 20 '10 at 19:50
Duck stock has a depth of flavour beyond chicken to begin with. That being said, I am all about flavours that almost overwhelm people, so I would absolutely roast those bones--gently, gently! golden, not brown or burnt--to add another dimension. – daniel Jul 21 '10 at 6:20

While roasting bones does affect the flavor it will also darken the stock as well. Roasting bones is usually done with beef and veal. Usually when chicken bones are roasted it is to make a brown chicken stock.

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For chicken stock, you probably want to roast the bones, and add a little tomato paste as well. I say this assuming that you want to use the chicken stock as the general stock in your kitchen, possibly reducing some of it to demi-glace state, etc.

If you know you will want some very light stock, say, for a soup that absolutely requires light clear broth, or ... I'm blanking on other reasons ... then don't roast the chicken bones.

If, on the other hand, you are already making veal stock for your kitchen (which by the way is nice, roasted and unroasted), then I would suggest you go light, as there's no situation that I can think of in which dark veal stock is worse than dark chicken stock.

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