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USCDiver
11-10-2010, 09:43 AM
My wife and I halved this recipe (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-stock-recipe/index.html) for Chicken Stock, expecting it to yield 3 quarts. After all was said and done, we had less than 6 cups of stock. It has chilled overnight and I skimmed most of the fat off today. The stock is very gelatinous when cooled. Should I dilute what I have up to 3 quarts? I feel like much more of the water boiled off than should have and my stock is too concentrated.

Alpha Twit
11-10-2010, 09:50 AM
I feel like much more of the water boiled off than should have and my stock is too concentrated.

That may well be what happened but I wouldn't consider this a problems. Divide the batch of stock you have into smaller one and two cup portions and freeze it as is without dilution.

When you are ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge or in the microwave, bring it to boil for 2 minutes to kill any lingering pathogens (per Alton Brown) and then dilute as needed for your specific needs at that time.

Hello Again
11-10-2010, 10:07 AM
I'm not sure how broth can be "too concentrated" -- you can always dilute it later, but for now you just a have stock that's probably very rich and tasty. I would freeze it as is, and decide when you use it whether you want to dilute it or not.

or, basically what Alpha Twit said.

USCDiver
11-10-2010, 10:07 AM
That may well be what happened but I wouldn't consider this a problems. Divide the batch of stock you have into smaller one and two cup portions and freeze it as is without dilution.

When you are ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge or in the microwave, bring it to boil for 2 minutes to kill any lingering pathogens (per Alton Brown) and then dilute as needed for your specific needs at that time.

That is the current plan, but I wanted to be sure I didn't over dilute it when I used it. Seems to me I should have enough chicken essence, collagen, etc for 3 quarts total, regardless of how much actual liquid I have in the pot at the end of cooking.

USCDiver
11-10-2010, 10:10 AM
I'm not sure how broth can be "too concentrated" -- you can always dilute it later, but for now you just a have stock that's probably very rich and tasty. I would freeze it as is, and decide when you use it whether you want to dilute it or not.

or, basically what Alpha Twit said.

Well, I would worry that if I use it as is in the volumes called for in a different recipe 1) the flavor would be over-powering and 2) I wouldn't be able to use it in as many other recipes. In other words, if I have a recipe calling for a quart of chicken stock, and I use what I currently have I worry it will be too strong and also then I'd be out!

Saint Cad
11-10-2010, 10:14 AM
Well, I would worry that if I use it as is in the volumes called for in a different recipe 1) the flavor would be over-powering and 2) I wouldn't be able to use it in as many other recipes. In other words, if I have a recipe calling for a quart of chicken stock, and I use what I currently have I worry it will be too strong and also then I'd be out!

Also, making rice. I find that I need to be very careful because rice cooking seems to be more dependent on water than liquid so that if I would normally use 3C water I may have to use 4C of broth. My guess is that mytypicl broth has 1C of solids and liquids that rice doesn't absorb.

Alpha Twit
11-10-2010, 10:34 AM
Well, I would worry that if I use it as is in the volumes called for in a different recipe 1) the flavor would be over-powering and 2) I wouldn't be able to use it in as many other recipes. In other words, if I have a recipe calling for a quart of chicken stock, and I use what I currently have I worry it will be too strong and also then I'd be out!

Chicken stock is such a variable thing that it is expected that you'll have to adjust and adapt when you use it. When I break out one of my portions of frozen stock I plop the whole frozen block of it in a saucepan with just a bit of water in the bottom. Heat on medium until it's about half thawed the on high until it has boiled a couple of minutes. At that time, I taste it and adjust the seasonings and water content as needed for what I'm doing. I know what I want to taste in my stock and I'm pretty good at getting it to taste the way I want going into the dish so I get what I want when it's finished.

In other words, don't sweat it. Live, cook, learn and don't worry too much about what the recipe calls for. Learn what you like and you'll figure out how to get there.

Athena
11-10-2010, 10:41 AM
What everyone else says and one more thing - when making stock, don't ever allow it to boil. Don't even really allow it to simmer. You'll get a much nicer stock if you keep the temperature below about 180 degrees, which is even below a simmer. It should just slightly steam and maybe the occasional small bubble.

Reason being that at this temperature, the protein solids from the bones will coagulate and you can easily skim them off. Much more heat, they either turn into an emulsion or suspension, and your stock will be cloudy. Not that it's a HUGE deal, but if you keep the stock below a simmer you don't boil off too much water AND the stock ends up nicer. Plus, it's not at all hard to do.

Alpha Twit
11-10-2010, 10:49 AM
Athena

You will definitely get a clearer, prettier stock this way and if you're you're making something like noodle soup then I can see why this matters.

In cases though where the clarity of the stock isn't any issue, do you really notice any difference? I don't but maybe I'm missing something.

Athena
11-10-2010, 11:24 AM
Athena

You will definitely get a clearer, prettier stock this way and if you're you're making something like noodle soup then I can see why this matters.

In cases though where the clarity of the stock isn't any issue, do you really notice any difference? I don't but maybe I'm missing something.

I think it makes a difference, albeit not a huge one. Like, I wouldn't throw out a stock that had boiled or anything like that, it's still a ton better than store-bought stock or bouillon. The presence of the emulsified proteins & fat does change the stock, though, and I think it's noticeable. A stock that's not allowed to boil is more concentrated, tastier, and less greasy (without emulsified fat) IMO. It's not just a looks thing.

Ultimately, it's super easy to keep the stock from NOT boiling and it results in a better stock, so why NOT do it? It's just a turn of a knob, right?

Drain Bead
11-10-2010, 11:45 AM
I like making stock in the oven for that very reason. Set it for 180 and let it go.

Yllaria
11-10-2010, 01:17 PM
Now that sounds interesting. I may try that.

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