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I'm making a chicken pot pie. Taste is decent, texture is good, however the appearance of the 'chicken gravy' inside is more....dull gray like than a more vibrant yellow. I don't mind it, but most people eat with their eyes first so....

Is the yellow color artificial or natural, and what can be added/removed to create this?

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9 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Chicken fat is what you want, and--this is important--no cream or milk. Use chicken fat to make a roux, and then chicken stock. This will get you a yellowish colour.

For extra bonus points, make your pastry with schmaltz as well. They do this at the gourmet supermarket down the road, and their chicken pot pies fly off the shelves.

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I've only seen that color in canned cream of chicken soup and I'm dubious of its source. I personally don't feel like it has to be yellow.

If your goal is just color I would use turmeric- it is my yellow-stain of choice.

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I was curious so I looked at the ingredients in Campbell's cream of chicken. The second ingredient is chicken fat which is probably where that lovely color comes from. Nice. And yes, I am embarrassed that I own a can of cream of chicken soup. –  Sobachatina Sep 12 '10 at 0:10
    
this. Read the title, and the first thing that popped into my head was "chicken fat" (because it's so digestible cough). Perhaps a nice chicken-fat roux? –  Shog9 Sep 29 '10 at 19:26
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Usually that bright yellow gravy colour is from using bouillon cubes or powder to make the broth, rather than making it yourself. The OXO cubes are quite heavily colored (not naturally), and will make your gravy yellow.

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Turmeric can be used without effecting the taste too much, all though I agree with previous posters with the analysis on why the color is yellow.

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Agreed -- tumeric is the only thing that'll get you bright yellow without resorting to food dyes specifically or significantly affecting the flavor. (and the colorant in curry powder, and likely what's in bouillon, too) –  Joe Sep 11 '10 at 11:28
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Yellow? Hm...the gravy on my homemade pot pie is a pretty off-white, creamy color. It's colored by the half&half and chicken broth that it starts with.

Perhaps if your chicken broth is yellow-y to begin with and you use more of that?

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Turmeric does work to give chicken soup or pot pie it's yellow color, but the best thing to use is saffron threads. Just a few threads will turn a whole soup a nice yellow, without altering the flavor. Saffron is also what is used to make Spanish Paella (rice with chicken, sausage and shrimp). It can be purchased at specialty grocery stores, like Whole Foods, or sometimes health food stores or online. It is very costly compared to other seasonings. (a small vile which might have 10 threads in it for $10.) Hope this helps you. PS. Do not overuse the saffron as a little goes a long way in coloring broths.

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Yellow colored chicken soup can be achieved using chicken feet. Old Jewish secret

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Using a brown chicken stock would help the color and provide some extra flavor. When making your stock, roast the bones before adding them. Brown the veggies before adding them. (Some people add a little tomato paste, too.)

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Curry

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really? that's going to affect the flavour a lot... –  Sam Holder Sep 10 '10 at 17:40
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I did, I think it will affect the flavour a lot. –  Sam Holder Sep 10 '10 at 17:44
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I agree with @Sam: it probably will affect the flavor... although I'm not sure if it would be bad, I love curry :-) But it's not exactly what the question was asking for. –  Josh Sep 10 '10 at 23:10
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chicken curry pie sounds like a fantastic idea ! –  Martin Beckett Mar 3 '11 at 5:16
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Turmeric is what makes most curry powders yellow anyway. –  Sobachatina Mar 26 '11 at 19:35
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