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How do I optimize my chicken stock for the best flavor at the lowest cost?

Which soup will be better? The soup with just the chicken bones only or the soup with both the meat and bones of the chicken?

From my understanding, it require longer time to get a delicious chicken soup by only using chicken bones and if we put the meat together with the bones and cook them. Would the soup taste better (but of course the meat will be discard as it had been cooked for too long)?

  • My answer to this would be more than encompassed in that answer, so I'd agree
    – vwiggins
    Commented Dec 2, 2011 at 12:10
  • In addition to being (largely) a duplicate, this question doesn't do anything to quantify or qualify the word "better". You like white stock, I like brown stock... this might be OK to reopen if expanded with a specific definition of "better" (and one that is not identical to the linked duplicate).
    – Aaronut
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 23:31

2 Answers 2


If you create a soup with a whole chicken, the soup will be much better. The chickenflesh could be used to create a vol-au-vent (this is a french dish) and is made with these ingredients

250 g meatloaf
250 g Parisian mushrooms
60 g butter
80 g flower
1 egg
1 big spoon of breadcrumbs
1 clove of garlic
1,5 l chickenstock
1,5 dl cream
a bit of sherry
pepper and salt

Mix the meatloaf, egg and breadcrumbs together and spice it of with pepper and salt. Divide the meatloaf into small balls and bake them in a pan.

Cut the mushrooms in 4 and bake them in hot butter in a pan. Crush the garlic and put it in the same pan. After the backing leave them a side.

Now get all the meat of the chicken and cut it in not to large pieces.

The sauce: Create a roux, put the butter in a pan, add the flower and make it bake (it should smell like cookies). When you get the cookies smell, add the chickenstock (half of it).

Keep stirring to avoid clots, when the sauce thickens, add more stock. You could optionally add a bit of sherry to give the sauce a nice taste.

The sauce should be like a thick soup. After that add the meatloaf, chicken and mushrooms.

It's a very nice dish.

For more info on this dish, see http://www.een.be/programmas/dagelijkse-kost/recepten/vol-au-vent It is in Dutch but the movie is very clear.



Quick answer is bones and meat make better broth.

Couple of ways to make a chicken stock for soup.

Traditional French medthod has you using bones, vegetables(mire poix) and herb sachet...simmer for about 4 hours. Gives you a really nice rounded flavour. Light in colour not super strong in flavour but great for sauce making and with reduction becaomes a nice base for a soup.

If you roast the bones first, it will give you a darker stock with a much stronger low end to the taste.

Use stewing hens...tough old birds that you simmer for 4 hours and suck every last bit of flavour out of them. The meat becomes void of any flavour as that gets left behind in the liquid. However, you could use the meat as a garnish for a dish while you get all the flavour from your sauce for the dish but it won't be very nice so make it into a small dice for texture but don't expect much from it. The stock/broth/liquid you get from this method won't be very clear no mater what you do to try and get it that way. However the flavour will be better than the first two methods. Due to the longer simmer times for these methods you get a deeper overall flavour and less high-end notes.

If you want that really bright chicken smell and taste then you simmer for a short time like a fish stock (45-60 minutes). This gives you an intense chicken flavour but not much low end in taste. It's really good for using in asian dishes as you get a nose full of chicken but it doesn't have a heavy taste.

What I do to try and balance out a chicken soup when I've used a traditional stock is to give it a hit of fresh lemon juice before serving. Don't let it cook out. Give a squeeze or two before serving and make sure the balance is right, then serve. The fresh lemon flavour makes it taste lively but won't last long if you simmer it.

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