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I've heard that parsley is supposed to be added at the end of cooking, but this article mentions using it in making chicken stock, and I can't imagine adding it at the end since it would just be strained out. Does it make sense to add parsley at the beginning when making chicken stock?

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It certainly does make sense - adding herbs at the beginning of the process (not just parsley) gives them ample time to infuse their flavor into the stock. I regularly do so along with other herbs: rosemary, thyme, or whatever else is on hand.

This is an optimal place to use up dried herbs (I'm fairly sure a lot of kitchens have a sad, half-used container of dried parsley stuffed in a cupboard; might as well gets some mileage out of it). There's really no need to use fresh parsley when cooking for an extended period, as much of the light, fresh, grassy flavors will be destroyed during the long simmering. In fact, some fresh herbs can even develop a pronounced bitterness after lengthy cooking; I haven't noticed this with parsley, but you might if using a lot of it.

So sure - add your parsley right when you start making your stock, and feel free to use the dried stuff that you can't readily substitute for fresh in other places. The only exception is if you really want to get those lighter, fresher flavors; then there's really no substitute for fresh parsley. You'll have to add it toward the end of cooking, and plenty of it to make sure you get ample infusion.

  • For that reason you stated, you loose much of the grassy light fresh flavour if you put it at the start, is the reason Malper should put the parsley int the end rather than the start. The caveat being that if it was dried parley it could be done earlier. – Jade So Apr 22 '18 at 6:16
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Absolutely add parsley in the beginning. I believe the French call it a bouquet when they tie many spices and herbs together or put them in a bag (bouquet garnet) and put them in the soup and in the end take it out. Myself I chop the parsley up once I make the stock from the chicken and add it when I add just a few veges (that's how my late Mama taught me) and cook it for at least another half hour. I showed my Mama that when you make the stock with the raw chicken that if you add the parsley uncut with other veges it makes a very flavorful stock and then soup. If you are a purist, then no, you do not add parsley or anything else because you are trying to achieve, in my opinion a consume, and that's what my late Papa loved, what my Mama and what I was able to do for him, without any veges or even the chicken in it. I ended up throwing away the chicken because it was cooked to death, but every chance my Mama would get she would show me that it could be reused, so I learned that in the food processor, with onions, mayo, celery, spices, parsley, etc. dead chicken came to life. Parsley adds flavor and it is wonderful. Hope this helped you out.

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A typical French Bouquet Garni would indeed have parsley in it, added at the beginning of simmering time. It may be a sprig of thyme, a bay-leaf, and a small bunch of parsley tied up in a neat little package, rolled in a leaf of leek.

When I'm making stock at home, I'm less sophisticated, and more frugal. I save everything I plan to use in a stock in a zip-bag in the freezer (carcasses, bones from joints, skin, green of leek, soft (but not bad) carrots and celery) ... and ... parsley stalks. If you use the leaves in some other dish, don't throw the stalks away! They're full of flavor, and perfectly good to use in this way, where you're not looking for parsley's more volatile fresh perfume.

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Might I mention (from my understanding), when making a longer cooking bone broth, the purpose of the parsley is for adding mineral ions to the concoction, not necessarily for flavor enhancement.

I had always assumed that a long cooking process would dissipate the mineral ions or make them less effective, hence why they are added at the end.

If anyone knows for a fact the history/science/practicality behind any of this, please share. Anderson

  • But why would anyone want to add minerals if not for the flavor? We don't do that with other foods either. – Jan Doggen Apr 22 '18 at 18:39

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