Expedite your chicken stock making with these helpful tips.
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

Question: How can I make chicken stock quickly?

Answer: By finely chopping chicken parts for stock, you can speed up flavor extraction. With young, tender chicken carcasses or wings (like the ones in supermarkets), you can do the job in a food processor. Pretty? No. Fast? Absolutely.

And while stocks are traditionally cooked at a very low simmer (around 175° to 180°) to keep them clear, I cook mine at a rolling simmer. Combining that with the finely chopped bones, I get flavorful broth in half the time it usually takes. My soup may be a bit cloudy, but my wife has yet to complain.

To make 2 quarts of stock, I start with 2 pounds of chicken backs or wing tips, roughly chop them with a cleaver, and then pulse them into a rough paste in the food processor. I cover this with cold water, along with an onion, a carrot, and a stalk of celery (all roughly chopped); a bay leaf; a sprig of thyme; and some black peppercorns. I bring it all to a boil, reduce to a rolling simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and let 'er roll, topping up with water as necessary, for about an hour. Finally, I'll strain it and then add three packets of gelatin bloomed in just a little cool water, reheating the stock to a boil after incorporating the gelatin. This step gives the stock the full body and mouthfeel of slow-simmered broth.

You end up with a stock that has deep flavor and rich texture and tastes like it's been simmered for hours. Just hide the empty gelatin packets and nobody will know our little secret. -Kenji Lopez-Alt