White and Brown Stock

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

When making chicken stock, using raw chicken will give you “white” chicken stock, while using a roasted bird will give you “brown” chicken stock.

According to Escoffier, white stock is used for the base of white sauces. Brown stock should be the color of “fine burnt amber” and used for the base of soups and thickened gravies, and for meat glazes after it’s been reduced. He also suggests using it to moisten meat for braising.

In both cases, he suggests breaking the bones, and that if you want the stock to be gelatinous, you need to simmer the stock for at least 8 hours.

His recipes (below the break) aren’t limited to just chicken meat, either, and they’re naturally more involved than almost any other recipe for chicken stock that I’ve ever come across.

Brown Stock (Fonds Brun au Estouffade, or just Estouffade) makes 4 quarts

4 lbs. beef shins (flesh and bone)
4 lbs. veal shins (flesh and bone)
½ lb. lean, raw ham
½ lb. fresh pork rind, blanched
¾ lb. minced carrots, browned in butter
¾ lb. minced onions, browned in butter
1 bundle of herbs, including a little parsley, a stalk of celery, a small sprig of thyme, and a bay leaf

Bone the meat, and set aside. Break the bones as much as possible, sprinkle them with a little stock fat, brown them in a hot oven (350 for @ 1hour), stirring occasionally. Once browned, put them in a stockpot with the carrots, the onions, and the herb bunch. Add at least 5 quarts of cold water, and put the saucepan on to boil. As soon as the boil is reached, skim carefully, wiping the edge of the saucepan. (I’ve seen some recipes that suggest you just toss out the water at this point, and replace it with fresh water, having lost none of the flavor, but getting rid of the scum completely.) Put the lid half on, and allow the stock to simmer gently for 12 hours. Strain, and allow it to cool before putting it in the refrigerator for several hours, to make removing the fat easier.

Now, brown the meat in a new saucepan in some stock fat, then drain off fat entirely. Add half a pint of the prepared stock, cover the saucepan, and let the meat simmer until the stock is almost entirely reduced, stirring often and turning the meat. Now pour the remainder of the stock, prepared from the bones, into the saucepan and bring all back to a boil, simmering with the lid off. As soon as the meat is well cooked, the fat should again be removed from the stock, and it should be strained or rubbed through a sieve, after which is should be put aside to be used when required. (He goes on to say that if you are pressed for time, you can cut the meat into large cubes before browning it, and thus you’ll be able to render all its flavor in only an hour and a half.)

White Stock (Fonds de Volaille Blanc) makes 4 quarts

8 lbs. shin of veal, or lean and fresh veal trimmings
1 or 2 fowls’ skeletons, uncooked
12 oz. of carrots
6 oz. onions stuck with a clove
5 ½ q. of cold water
4 oz. leeks tied with a stalk of celery
1 herb bunch, including parsley, 1 bay leaf, and a small sprig of thyme

Bone the shins and reserve the meat, breaking the bones as small as possible, and simmer in a saucepan with just the water, skimming occasionally, for 5 hours. Strain, and add the meat and the vegetables, and add enough water to bring it back up to 5 quarts total. Bring back to a boil, and then simmer for another 3 hours; strain, and chill in the refrigerator so you can remove all the fat.

No salt should be added to either versions, since you’ll be reducing them later, and that would just concentrate it too much.