Chicken stock or chicken broth is a liquid food preparation, typically consisting of either water or an already flavored stock, in which bones, meat, fish, cereal grains, or vegetables have been simmered.
When it is necessary to clarify a broth (i.e. for a cleaner presentation), egg whites may be added during simmering – the egg whites will coagulate, trapping sediment and turbidity into a readily strainable mass.
Stock is a flavoured water preparation. It forms the basis of many dishes, particularly soups and sauces. Stock is made by simmering various ingredients in water, including some or all of the following
Leftover cooked meat, such as that remaining on poultry carcasses, is often used along with the bones of the bird or joint. Fresh meat makes a superior stock and cuts rich in connective tissue such as shin or shoulder of beef or veal are commonly recommended, either alone or added in lower proportions to the remains of cooked poultry to provide a richer and fresher-tasting stock. Quantities recommended are invariably in the ratio of 1 part fresh meat to 2 parts water. Pork is considered unsuitable for stock due to its greasiness (although 19th century recipes for consomme and traditional aspic invariably included slices of mild ham) and mutton was traditionally avoided due to the difficulty of avoiding the strong tallowy taint imparted from the fat.
Veal, beef, and chicken bones are most commonly used. The flavour of the stock comes from the cartilage and connective tissue in the bones. Connective tissue has collagen in it, which gets converted into gelatin that thickens the liquid. Stock made from bones needs to be simmered for longer than stock made from meat. Pressure cooking methods shorten the time necessary to extract the flavour from the bones.
A combination of onions, carrots, celery, and sometimes other vegetables. Often the less desirable parts of the vegetables (such as carrot skins and celery ends) are used since they will not be eaten.
Herbs and spices
The herbs and spices used depend on availability and local traditions. In classical cuisine, the use of a bouquet garni (or bundle of herbs) consisting of parsley, bay leaves, a sprig of thyme, and possibly other herbs, is common. This is often placed in a sachet to make it easier to remove once the stock is cooked.