Turkey, chicken broth

There were actually two of these containers but for photographic artistry and to focus the viewer's attention I elected to shoot only one. I'm very pleased with this stock. The stock is delicious and I'll be able to use it any number of ways. It's a vast improvement over anything I could buy, and I always feel like I'm slumming it when I resort to boxed or canned broth, although I'm happy they're available, and I do avail myself the convenience at those inopportune moments when I find myself haplessly stockless.

You can see oil settling at the top. This will form a disc when chilled that is easily removed and discarded or used (biscuits, vegetables, cold remedy, whatever -- schmaltz, the Jewish mother's panacea)

Boy, that butcher at Tony's had a great idea when he said to roast the bones before making stock. Seemed like a pain-in-the-butt extra step when he suggested it but I must say it's a brilliant idea. The thing that compels me is I had so many bones and scraps that I was afraid they would not fit in my largest pot. Roasting the carcass might shrink the whole mass.

Praise be to Maillard. He did not invent the process, he just studied it and gave it his own name. But at least we now have a handle for what's going on here -- a whole series of complex reactions upon reactions that layer flavors way beyond the thing started out with. I always wondered why I preferred my steaks a little bit burnt, or at least enjoyed those burnt portions the most. [ My deaf friends said they'd stop teaching me ASL if I didn't order my steaks medium rare. Bastards. Mocked my protestations. We had lunch together each day for an entire summer when I was between terms and fourteen years of age. They could not tolerate seeing a good steak ruined. ]

The thing is, all the little bits get toasted, not just the bones. I do love crispy skin, and I don't care how bad it is for you, I love it. Hardly any made it from the roasting pan into the pot. As I fingered through the toasted bits digging for bones to crunch with the pliers, I ate every little bit of toasted skin I came across. It was delicious, like chicken crisps. That was lunch.

In an attempt to salvage dry turkey the meat that was pulled from the two birds was left to soak in the original liquid released by roasting. That attempt worked. That liquid already rich with marrow set to a beautifully clear aspic, so the whole pan of turkey and chicken bits could be overturned as one large Turkey/chicken infused Jello mold. That Jello mold of roasted turkey and chicken bits, now at room temperature, was set in a colander placed atop another pot. The aspic melted and drained leaving only the the re-moistened meat behind, and the melted aspic was added back into the liquid boiled with the roasted bones. So now all the original liquid released during roasting and all the marrow cracked open from the bones and the toasted extravagance of the carcasses, the neck, the gizzards, livers, etc., are unified in one liquid.

Liquid gold.

The extra step of roasting the bones suggested by the butcher at Tony's produced a broth slightly darker than normal, and little bit concentrated due to using two carcasses, a turkey and a chicken (the chicken marketed as roaster so it would have produced a fine broth on its own, the turkey marketed for small size implying not old enough to be a roaster) along with the size of my pot (not huge) and the amount of water (gallon max, and that was pushing it). I'm fine with that.


I learned a new way to clarify broth which I do not intend to employ. Ice filtering. Freeze the broth with the oil removed. Then in the refrigerator, over a period of a few days, allow the ice to melt through layers of muslin. The aspic remains solid and the result is a clear broth. I do not care about clear broth, but I do care about the flavor that is sacrificed to the gelatin which apparently is discarded. Seems an awful waste to me just for clarity.

Another method is by a beaten egg white raft set atop gently simmering broth that produces conduction in the pot sufficient to lift particles up to the raft where they're captured and held. Again, the raft is then strained through layers of muslin.

I, a rough-and-tumble carefree slapdash kind of guy, care not a fig for refined clarified stock, broth, or consommé. Hey! That's my story and I'm stick'n with it.


Avierra said...

I do love crispy skin, and I don't care how bad it is for you, I love it. Hardly any made it from the roasting pan into the pot. As I fingered through the toasted bits digging for bones to crunch with the pliers, I ate every little bit of toasted skin I came across.

Haha! I do that too, unrepentantly. It is my reward for having provided delectable cuisine for my loved ones. The cook's privilege, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

One tip I heard is to roast vegetables before using it to make a vegetable stock. I heard roasting the vegetables will give the stock a bit darker color but not much.

Peter Hoh said...

I follow Bittman's advice for veg stock, which involves roasting, and that seems to work just fine. After seeing this post, I roasted the bones and skin before making chicken stock. Seems to work very nicely. Thanks for the tip.

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