5

Everything I read about making stock indicates that using raw chicken will create a gelatinous stock. I used leftover rotisserie chicken and it is delicious but very gelatinous. I let it simmer a LONG time, at least 6 hours. I did not skim as it was simmering. After straining, I poured it into jars, let it cool before putting in the refrigerator. I believe there had to be a good deal of fat because there was some skin on the carcass but there was not a layer of white fat on top after refrigerating.

My question is: why was there no fat layer? Gelatinous is good but if I wanted less, what would I do different? Did I make mistakes not skimming, letting it cool to room temperature before refrigerating?

10

Fat will thicken a stock, but will not make it gelatinous. Gelling comes from collagen which comes from the bones or — in my opinion — even better from the joints.

My experience is that this is easier to achieve from a cooked bird than a raw one rather than the other way around. The gelling may have locked up some of the fats, but you also may not have had as much as you expected even with the added skin just because rotisserie chicken tends to have some cooked out or rendered.

My anecdotal experience is that the longer you simmer with bones and cartilage, the more collagen is released and cooking down concentrates it more giving more gelling to the stock. I tend to call mine consomme, but that is really only correct if it has been clarified.

If you really want a rich, well gelled one, get some chicken feet and include it in your stock pot! For the opposite, if you want no gelling, my practice is to increase the amount of meat, limit the bones and cartilage and do not simmer long, and I myself would normally do that with raw poultry rather than cooked, simmering for minutes, not hours.

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3

Cooked bones work fine, but depending on how they were cooked and for how long it may change how long you need to boil them to derive the maximum thickness. The ideal length of time for extracting gelatin from raw bones is about four hours. After that the gelatin starts to break down and loses its thickening power.

Also, the more you can cut up the bones, etc. the faster you extract the flavor (grind them in a food processor for the ultimate. You should be able to derive most of the flavor in 45-60 minutes this way. Also, if you grind up your bones, etc. then it will make its own raft if you want to make consommé).

Because I butcher chickens a lot but also cook them whole sometimes I end up with a combination of cooked and uncooked parts; and because I'm lazy I often just throw them all into a stock pot to make broth. But when I want to be a purist and make broth or consommé to store for other recipes I only use the raw parts so there are no extra seasonings, etc. in the stock. Probably unnecessary, but there you go.

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