Chicken Stock experiments
I've been reading comments on this site about chicken stock and have experimented with some. Here are some results. All done with chicken carcass + 4 chicken feet in a slow cooker. It was the timings which changed.
12 hours - delicious stock, sets well into a gel.
18 hours - slightly richer stock, gels about the same. Richer smell.
24 hours - good stock, can't really tell any improvement.
36 hours - darker coloured stock, more funky taste, but didn't gel. Has the longer cooking damaged the gelatine?
Next experiment will be with my pressure cooker. But in the slow cooker, I shall go with 18 hours max.
That's some commitment!
Commercial kitchens will do just what you're doing - set a pan aside, fill it with bones and water and let it go for a few days. From 100 litres of liquid, they'll get 10, or less. From armchair reading, slow, low and long cooking is what it's about. When I have more space, I'm getting a slow cooker just for bones. 4-8 weeks ... roll on! House move.
Next stock - beef bones, roasted, with a knuckle or calfs foot. Yum!
Breadsauce, did you ever get your experiment with pressure cooker going?
I am tempted to try slow cooker this time, because I have bad luck with stock pots - I suspect because I use too much water and run the temp too high, haven't figured out the best way yet.
I did use the pressure cooker for chicken stock. One carcass, chopped up, four chicken feet and the gizzard, covered with water, a couple of bay leaves and six pepper corns. Got it to pressure and cooked for 30 minutes. The stock gelled OK and the flavour was good - but I prefer the slow cooker's "put it in and leave it overnight" approach. I really would have liked to cook it for an hour or more, but I kept wondering what would happen if it boiled dry - the steam coming out worried me!
I really only use the pressure cooker for red kidney beans and chickpeas - things like that.
When making stock, I always make sure to break them up very well so that the marrow will melt out into the stock. Makes for a richer flavour.
If you do not stand behind your military, feel free to stand in front of them!
Yes, I do that too. And pulverise them quite a bit when they have softened.