Getting Color into Stock
I made chicken stock the other day that ended up almost colorless. The taste was fine, though. How can I add more color to my stocks?--Traci
Some color in chicken stock may be a result of what the chicken was fed. Most of the color, however, comes from how the stock is made. If you are looking more color, you can try these tricks:
- If you are using yellow onions in your stock, leave the skins on. Clean off the root end to get rid of the root fibers which may get into the stock, trim the other end and then cut the onion in half lengthwise leaving the skins on. You could even throw in the skins from one or two more onions if you want. Beware, though, because the skin can add a bitter flavor if too much is used.
- After you cut the onions in half, brown the cut sides in hot oil in a fry pan over medium heat, taking care not to burn them. The color from the browning will enhance the color of the stock.
- Brown the chicken bones in the oven before making stock from them. Spread them in a single layer in a roasting pan and cook them at around 350°F (180 °C) until they are nut brown, about an hour or so, depending on the quantity and the size of pieces. Turn once or twice so they brown on all sides. The exact temperature isn't important. You can also toss the carrots and celery in a little oil and roast them at the same time. Be careful that nothing burns as that will ruin the stock.
- A small amount of saffron added to the pot will give a yellow color, but too much will also add flavor.
Browning the bones will result in a more tan colored stock that the other suggestions. You can also brown the bones, meat and vegetables when making beef stock to add color.