Slow Extraction Chicken Stock

I had to make stock this weekend for a rice noodles for dinner and I thought of this thread. I have typically left my stock to simmer with low, but consistent bubbling in the pot. I experimented with keeping it so low that there was no visible bubbling on the surface except on the occasion (I don’t know practically how you all are monitoring your stock for those who say things like a bubble or two every hour — who stares at the stock that long?!). My completely unscientific conclusion is that this doesn’t work well for me. After 1.5 hours, the stock was still quite bland and had developed little flavor. Normally, I can start tasting some of that umami, even if not very robust. You would also start to see the bones and carcasses starting to fall apart.

I turned it back up to the usual simmering - good bubbling but steam is not streaming out of the pot. After another 1.5 hr, it started tasting more like what I would have expected. It could be my gas stove wasn’t as precise, and the temperature wasn’t right, but I definitely needed consistent bubbling. By 3.5-4 hrs, the bones had all separated and everything was chickeny/porky good (I did a mix).


Were your bones and meat scraps browned? Did the vegetables include any mushroom ends or tomato navels? I think those help with the umami factor. Your mixture sounds wonderful.

I probably will not check on mine until at least four. It started around 1:30.

I made a very old school Chinese style broth - no browning of the meat, and no veggies. It’s a very basic meat stock/broth only that is somewhat clear and light, savory umami from the meats to support the rice noodles and toppings (I had roast duck, and then some cooked mushroom, greens, and scallions on top). I can use this base with any soup noodles and mix up the noodle type and toppings for each meal. You can definitely go fancier and add the additional vegetables from the start, or sometimes I will add more to the stock base for more cooking if I want something with a different flavor profile for a meal.

When I make soup, I tend to add in onions and vegetables, and I will brown beef and some pork bones (depends on kind I have) for soup. Yesterday’s bones were straight from the market - pork chine bones (? This is what the Chinese translation gave me) and a few small chicken carcasses (the body only).

Edit: Pork chine bones

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What time is dinner? I decided on green pancakes with lime butter (Ottolenghi), but soba were in the running. I have not used cookbooks for ages, but I am really enjoying plowing through Plenty.

Depends on how busy the day is. Stock and soup is almost always reserved for weekends because of the time. Weekends is more cooking for dinner at about 7pm. Weekends is quick meals to eat hopefully before 7:30pm, but I’ve sometimes even had to eat at 8pm, if I get home from work too late.

Tonight I have the broth and leftover roast duck, so I can easily eat dinner earlier. Just have to pick the scallions from the garden. :grin:


What are your thoughts on blanching the (pork) bones? I skipped it, but I’m curious.

It depends on what I’m using the broth for, and how lazy I feel. :laughing: With pork and beef bones (depending on the type of bones), I do find that they can get "scummy’ quickly in the simmering broth, so if I’m using raw bones I will blanch quickly for a minute to remove the scum that releases.

I don’t find it as bad with chicken bones, so I never do it with bones where I have raw carcass bones. For oxtail soup, as an example, I never bother because I don’t really care as much about a clear broth with that. However, when I made the pho broth recently, I did end up blanching the bones before making the final broth and adding all the aromatics in.

Regardless if I blanch or not, I do skim with one of those skimming utensils to clear out anything particularly foamy or clumpy. Blanching makes that a lot easier, especially if you have a broth or soup that may have a lot of herbs and aromatics at the end that get in the way of skimming.

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