What can't you add to chicken stock?

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Joined Dec 7, 2009
I threw away some beet stems the other day and thought perhaps I could have saved them for my chicken stock. I like to save as much as possible.

Would potato peels be of much help to the stock? I throw in the onion peel as it has one full layer of onion with the outer paper still on it, this is saved from the days prior.

Radish greens? Leek tops?

Hope I did not spoil anyone's appetite, just an honest question.:look:
 
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Joined Dec 2, 2009
I have never tasted beet tops but have seen them treated like greens. To my taste greens are too strong for stock and potatos too starchy. Peels from onions are ok and leek tops are great (but too many may leave you with a slight off color). No liver. Of any kind.
 
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Joined Sep 28, 2008
I prefer to keep it clean with chicken stock. That means, only celery, onion, leek, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, peppercorn and thyme for this cat.

Perhaps you can use the tops for vegetable stock. Another great way to utilize them would be for composting.
 
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Joined Oct 19, 2009
Kevin I've worked in a lot of restaurants where the stock pots were basically a junk pot for any scraps left prep! And I have to say (IMO) it's a big mistake!
You're stock can be a delicately intricate base for a multitude of dishes, which can make the difference between a good dish and a c**p dish!

I'm a firm believer in spending time and love on stocks, vedges aren't all good, and there's alot of stuff you really don't want in there; bitter compounds, bi-products and aromas that may not work with your dish.

Chicken stock in my purist opinion should have nothing more than aromatics. eg. onions, celery, leek, and/or carrots, and parsley to finish. And should be cooked for no more than 1 hour. After which, the vegies stop contributing aromatically, and begin to release bitter compounds.

I would reccommend not getting into the habit of putting scraps into your stock pot- it WILL give you a c*ap stock, and WILL affect the quality of the dish.
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Yeah, what Chris said.

You can often forecast the effects a partricular vegetable has on stock by it's taste. As a general rule, for instance, brassicas are, if not bitter, certainly strong tasting vegetables. Just think about the taste profiles of cabbages, radishes, beet & turnip greens, etc. Then mentally project what would happen if you added that flavor to a stock.

I save veggie scraps to make vegetable stock. But exclude those strong flavors because they would dominate.

However, there's nothing wrong with combining your finished stock with some of those veggies, to make a soup.

F'rinstance, those beet tops are a bitter green, which would be overpowering in the stock, per se. But you could saute them with a little garlic, chop them, and add stock. Voila!
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
I would have to agree with being selective of what you would put in a stock. What you can turn into a soup is almost limitless. But that's dependent on how you approach your ingredients as KYHeirloomer pointed out also.
 
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I didn't know that! I was under the impression that the longer you cook your stock, the more marrow it would extract from the bones, and the more gelatinous it would get. So one hour is enough then? I've done 4 and 6 hour stocks before, and never noticed the bitterness - but maybe it was there and I just didn't notice it.

Very interesting - something to experiment with next time.
 
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I definitely cook my stocks for longer than an hour and have never noticed any bitterness. I throw away all the veggies from the stock pot as they do not have any flavor left, including bitterness.

Potato peels would make your stock a bit murky I'd think. I have in the past added a peeled potato to the stock though. Leeks are great. I have been known to add porcini mushrooms sometimes, and some herbs. But I wouldn't add greens to the stock, it changes the flavor and color.
 
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I also let my stocks go for many hours, at barely a simmer. It seems like one hour would just not be enough to get the most flavor out of the bones.

When I cook asparagus, I break off the lower part of the stems. Usually they go into the compost, but once many years ago I put a BIG pile of them into a stock. Never again, it was inedible. One or two, perhaps, but not handfuls!

mjb.
 
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Joined Oct 19, 2009
Cook the vegetables for one hour, not the bones.

Cook your chicken stock (i cook mine for 2-4 hours), then add the vedgetables, cook for no more than an hour, add your herbs.

There's very little point adding vedgetables in at the beginning; aromatically they're contributing nothing after 4 hours! Perhaps a hint of sweetness from the carrots.
 
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Okay, that is more like the way I do it. I usually do just the bones and bits for an hour or two, skimming early, skimming often, before adding any aromatics.

Just got a 12 quart stock pot, made a couple gallons of tasty turkey stock the other night. Yum. Foze most of it, turkey pot pie tomorrow, probably a turkey noodle soup the next day.

mjb.
 
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Joined Dec 2, 2009
If I have a particular dish in mind when preparing a stock, that usually steers my ingredients list. For instance over the holidays I made gallons of dressing. I made sure to add a bit of thyme and sage to the chicken or turkey carcases. If it is headed for the freezer I keep it clean, no salt or pepper, only carrot, onion, celery. I may need to reduce it and don't want to confuse the flavor.
 
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