Why Is My Chicken Stock Greasy?

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This question comes from the comments on Why does my chicken stock taste like water?

Q: Why is my chicken stock always greasy and watery?

When making chicken stock, it is perfectly normal for there to be fat and grease in the stock. To remove this, cool the stock completely in your refrigerator. Because chicken stock is water based, the oils will separate and you can skim or scrape the solidified fat from the top.

Additionally, before making your stock, if you take the time to trim the bones of fat, you’ll have less in your stock.  Be sure to leave the cartilage and connective tissue, as the collagen this contains is very good for you and gives your stock a richer mouthfeel. This is why making stock from chicken feet works so well (if you can get past the whole chicken feet thing).

Roasting the scraps you use for your stock will change the flavor, but a lot of the fat will melt during this step. If you drain the scraps on a paper towel before starting your stock, you’ll have less grease. That said, you may be leaving flavor behind with this option.

Which technique should you use?

If you are willing to put some extra time into it, you may find the Asian method for making chicken stock a better fit for your preferences. It’s not required to use chicken feet when using this method, any chicken scraps like backs, necks, wing tips, will do.

If you only want to bring things to a simmer once, the French route is the way to go. Just remember you’ll need to skim it if you want clear stock. During the first 30 – 60 minutes of cooking, skim and discard the foam from the top. This foam is made up of coagulated proteins, if they aren’t removed, they will later mostly dissolve back into the stock leaving you with a cloudy product. If you are trying to graduate from culinary school, this is important to deal with.If you are cooking at home and not trying to make a fancy recipe that calls for clear stock, your cloudy stock isn’t disastrous and doesn’t mean the stock is greasy. It’s not going to ruin your chicken soup.

Don’t forget to strain your stock before refrigerating. If you make stock regularly, you may find a chinois to be a great addition to your kitchen. Personally, I hate dealing with (and paying for) cheesecloth. I still need to keep cheesecloth on hand for some purposes, but I go through a lot less.

Is the chicken stock watery or is it just bland?

I have the feeling when you are tasting your stock you are expecting soup.  Chicken stock isn’t there to be the star of your culinary production. It is not supposed to have an overpowering flavor. Yes, stock is supposed to have a chicken taste, but it isn’t supposed to bowl you over with it. Chicken stock is an ingredient, not the finished product.

I hope this helps! Best of luck in your stock making endeavors.

Send your questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.

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2 thoughts on “Why Is My Chicken Stock Greasy?”

  1. Hi I made homemade chicken soup well I’m not completely done with it I took the chicken out cold it in the refrigerator left the stop in the pot all night I did not refrigerate the stock I left it in the pot now I can’t skim the grease off the top so is it a lost cause or should I just start reboiling it or simmering it I just add my chicken back in there and do I add more seasoning to this thank you my name is Mary Huff

    • This stock was in the bacterial danger zone for well over the safe limit. Heating it to boiling, might kill all the bacteria that could have grown, but if it got contaminated with something like staph, heating it might not kill the toxins that bacteria could have produced. I cannot recommend keeping it.
      Throw it out.
      I’m sorry.


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