How to Make Light and Dark Chicken Stock

How to Make Light and Dark Chicken Stock

In this recipe post, I will show you How to Make Light and Dark Chicken Stock at home. Making Chicken Stock is less about sticking to a recipe and more about the cooking technique! You can take the same ingredients and the cooking technique will dictate how the recipe will turn out. These chicken stocks are the perfect example. But let’s start by asking this question…

What Is The Difference Between Light and Dark Chicken Stock?

Light chicken stock is made using raw chicken bones and a raw mirepoix. 

What Is A Mirepoix?

A Mirepoix is a combination of aromatic vegetables that gives a subtle background flavour to many dishes such as soups, stews and braises. Traditionally it is made using onions, carrots and celery but you can add almost any aromatic vegetable to suit your liking. 

Dark Chicken stock is made using roasted chicken bones and roasted vegetables. Dark stocks have a much deeper flavour due to the Maillard reaction.

What Is The Maillard Reaction?

The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that give a distinctive brown crust and deep flavour to most foods including meats, vegetables and baked goods.  

Check out the recipe video below!

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How To Make Dark Chicken Stock

Ingredients For The Dark Stock

Cooked Bones (of one chicken)

1 x Carrot

1 x Celery

1 x Leek 

1 x Onion (Skin on)

4 x Cloves of Garlic (Skin on)

2 Sprigs x Rosemary

4 Sprigs x Thyme

Handful x Flat Leaf Parsley

1 x Bay Leaf 

10g x Tomato Purée

1 tsp x Black peppercorns 

4 Litres x Cold Water 

Method

Step One – Preheat Oven to 230°C – 446°F

Step Two – Prepare vegetables by leaving any of the skins on and roughly chopping.

Step Three – Place the cooked bones and roughly chopped vegetables into a baking dish. 

Step Four – Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the bones and vegetables are browned. Stir after the first 20 minutes to ensure everything is coated in the chicken fat to help with the browning. 

Step Five – Next, place everything into a saucepan and top up with cold water.

Step Six – Add Herbs, Black peppercorns and Tomato purée. Stir and bring to a boil. 

Step Seven – Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and skim off any scum and fat as it appeared on the surface using a ladle. 

Step Eight – Simmer for 3 to 4 hours and pass through a sieve. 

How To Make Light Chicken Stock

Ingredients For The Light Stock

Raw Bones (of one chicken)

1 x Parsnip

1 x Celery

1 x Leek 

1 x Onion (peeled)

4 x Cloves of Garlic (peeled)

2 Sprigs x Rosemary

4 Sprigs x Thyme

Handful x Flat Leaf Parsley

1 x Bay Leaf 

1 tsp x Black peppercorns 

4 Litres x Cold Water 

Method

Step One – place raw bones into a saucepan and top up with cold water.

Step Two – Bring to a boil and turn down to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes and skim off any scum and fat that forms on the surface. 

Step Three – Prepare the vegetables by removing any skins and roughly chopping. 

Step Four – Add the vegetables into the pan followed by the herbs and black peppercorns. 

Step Five – Simmer for 3 to 4 hours and pass through a sieve.

You will notice in these recipes I don’t add any salt, this is because it allows you to season from a neutral standpoint when you use your homemade chicken stock in a recipe. There is nothing wrong with adding salt but I will leave that choice down to you. 

Both of these Chicken Stocks can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or can be frozen in a suitable container for 6-9 months.

Thanks for reading!

I hope you enjoyed this post and feel much more confident when it comes to making chicken stocks. You can check out more of my recipes here.

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