My chicken broth won't gel! - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-31-2008, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I soak raw carcass bones, backs, necks)in water and vinegar, then cook (low simmer) with veggies for hours, but it does not gel. It also has very little fat that rises. I do not skim when I make gravy, there really istn' much fat.

These are pastured birds.

What could it be?
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:57 AM
 
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Add some wing tips and/or feet. It works every time. There just doesn't seem to be enough gelling agent in the other bones to guarantee a nicely gelling stock.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:55 AM
 
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Hours isn't enough. Days is what you need. I simmer mine at least 2 days.

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Old 07-31-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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I just made broth yesterday.. only boiled the bones for about 4 hrs and it was gel this am. I don't add vinegar (does everyone?) I learned how to make mine from my mom and it was just veggies, bones and water.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:38 PM
 
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I don't use veggies. I roast a whole bird, pick off the meat, toss the carcass & some extra roasted feet (maybe 10) in a pot of water & a couple of long pours of apple cider vinegar & simmer for about 36 hours. Mine gels beautifully every time.

The vinegar draws the minerals out of the bones.

I don't add veggies because I prefer my stock to be bland because I freeze it in 2 cup portions to use for whatever reason - sometimes I cook rice with it, other times I make rice pudding, so I don't always want a savory stock.

I try not to use my slow cooker anymore because I'm not comfortable with an acidic solution simmering for 36 hours - how can it not draw some lead out? So I use a 20 qt stock pot. I don't fill it very full with chicken stock, but with beef stock, I roast a couple of trays of marrow bones & usually get almost 40 cups of beef stock at a time.

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Old 07-31-2008, 05:39 PM
 
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I've found that cooking it for too long sometimes means I don't get much of a gel. Also, it could be an issue of too much water meaning it's too dilute to gel. Another thing is it might actually gel some, just not what you might expect. Mine's often thicker than just plain water, but I don't really notice it very much until I heat it up.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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Mine never used to gel either. Last time it gelled perfectly and I think it was because I roasted 2 birds, & kept the drippings to add back to the stock. I stripped off the meat and threw the carcasses in with veggies and let it simmer overnight. I think the biggest things were adding the extra bird and the drippings. Good luck.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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Does roasting make a difference? I've only made broth twice, the first time using a carcass from a roasted bird and it gelled some--it was the consistency of half-set jello. The second time I cooked the chicken in the crock and and then boiled the bones for about 16 hours, and it was only slightly thick when cold. I'm roasting a chicken right now and I threw in a few feet, so we'll see how that turns out.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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I can't ever get stock to gel unless I put feet in it.

One time though I roasted a chicken and made an au jus sauce from the drippings and the leftover au jus gelled, which was pretty cool.

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Old 07-31-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kallyn View Post
I can't ever get stock to gel unless I put feet in it.

One time though I roasted a chicken and made an au jus sauce from the drippings and the leftover au jus gelled, which was pretty cool.
Sorry, I am off topic and not meaning to pick on you! But, this is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world!

"au jus"!! The sauce is a "Jus". Au means with so you don't need to say you made or had an "au jus", just "Jus". If one desires to say "au jus" you could refer to that in relation to what you had it with i.e. roast beef au jus.

It's not nearly as bad as when I once read a menu that said "with a la mode" sigh.

The pedantic has finished and I apologize for the hijack!!
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips. I guess I'll just keep trying different things. I didn't think to ask our farmer for some feet. I could do that.

One thing I was wondering: I was trying to find a farm to get meat from and talked to a farmer who said, "When I made the first broth, it gelled right up, so I guess we are going in the right direction (meaning she, a vet, was happy with feed and birds health in general)". I did not get to sample her birds.

These birds are pastured and well kept, so I can't imagine what would make a huge difference.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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Well I know that you're technically correct (6 years of French in school!), but I think that it has slipped into common parlance as "au jus sauce" and I'm ok with that. I am all about descriptive grammar rather than prescriptive grammar.

...and now back to our regularly scheduled, non-liguistical chicken broth thread

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Old 08-01-2008, 12:48 AM
 
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Try breaking or cutting up the bones, and simmer at a low enough temperature that you don't have to replace any of the water.

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Old 08-01-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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I've been having trouble getting mine to gel recently too. I'm testing a theory this time though. The first time I made broth, it was from a rotissory chicken and only simmered for about 12 hours. It gelled beautifully, but didn't taste great. I hadn't skimmed the fat off, and I hadn't added salt when I cooked it. The next time, I added salt at the begining, and ever since, I haven't had a broth gel well. So this time I didn't add the salt until after it was done simmering. We'll see if it gells better. There may be nothing to this, but it's the only thing I can think of that I did differently from that first try.

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Old 08-01-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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it's all about the bone to water ratio. you have too much water and not enough bones. you need joints with connective tissue too. so thighs, wings and feet are good. if you're just using backs and necks, I don't think you're going to have enough cartilage to end up with gelatin.

if you add feet, or wings if you can't get feet, it will surely gel.
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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I've never had mine gel

So if I'm using two carcasses and maybe 10 feet, how much water is too much? It's easy for me to get carried away because I have a 20 qt. roaster to work with

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Old 08-01-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texaspeach View Post
if you add feet, or wings if you can't get feet, it will surely gel.
I've often seen this given as a "sure fire way" to get the stock to gel, but imo the addition of feet hasn't made a difference. I still have difficulties getting it to gel. I'm still betting on the water to bones ratio, but I'm sure there's someone out there that hasn't found that to be helpful either, lol.

I'm guessing chicken is more finicky? Would getting a stewing hen (meaning instead of a younger roaster it'd be an old layer?) make a difference?
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:35 PM
 
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Pampered_mom, how many feet do you use? Mine doesn't gel when I use 2 feet, but it will gel if I use 4 or more. It also helps if you peel them or in some other way break the skin on the feet.

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