White Chicken Stock

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • yield:

    8 quarts

Appears in

Sauces

By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

White chicken stock is less flavorful but more subtle than brown chicken stock. It is useful for sauces where a pure white appearance is important and as a poaching liquid for white stews (blanquettes).

Because the chicken carcasses are not browned in the oven before being moistened, it is important that they be well trimmed of fat before being put into the stockpot. White chicken stock will render more fat than brown once it is simmering in the pot, so be especially careful to keep the stock from boiling, and be sure to skim frequently.

If white chicken stock is prepared with only carcasses—without meaty chicken parts such as drumsticks—it will be cloudy unless the carcasses are thoroughly sweated or blanched before the water is added. Clouding is not a problem if the stock is to be used in an opaque sauce containing cream, but if the clarity of the stock is important, be sure to include drumsticks or wings, as in this recipe.

Ingredients

chicken carcasses, drumsticks, or wings 8 lb 4 kg
onions, 2 medium 1 lb 500 g
carrots, 2 medium 8 oz 250 g
celery, 1 stalk 3 oz 100 g
bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 large bunch fresh thyme, 1 handful tarragon stems, 1 bunch parsley, preferably with roots) 1 1
cold water 8 qt 8 L

Method

  1. Smell the carcasses to make sure they are fresh. Rinse and drain them well in a colander. Carefully trim the carcasses of excess fat. Cut off any tails left attached to the backs. Coarsely chop the carcasses with a cleaver. If you’re using drumsticks or wings, leave them whole.
  2. Coarsely chop the onions, carrots, and celery.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables and the bouquet garni in a 20-quart (18 liter) stockpot and cover them with the chicken pieces. Add the water, just enough to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the chicken. (The chicken and vegetables will settle as the stock cooks.)
  4. Slowly bring the stock to a simmer; this should take about 40 minutes. Carefully skim with a ladle any fat and scum that float to the top of the pot. (Because the bones and meat for white stock have not been browned first in the oven, there will be more fat and scum than for a brown stock.) Keep the stock to one side of the heat source so grease and froth are easier to skim off. Continue slowly simmering the stock for 3 hours.
  5. Strain and cool in the same way as brown chicken stock.