I made chicken stock last night & put it in the fridge, this morning it is all jelly.
I thought I had done something wrong
I seriously came online to find out what it means when your stock is like jelly.
Free range chickens probably have a lot lower fat content, so you would definitely need more than just bones, and any meat left on should be the darkest stuff off the legs and back, all the tendons, etc., and pull off all the white meat. Tendons and cartilage break down into the greatest silky smooth oily gravy, so that's probably helpful in the jelly. You MUST use the skin, and the neck and innards if you have them.
Here in Sweden the leg is cut below the drumstick joint, so there's a part of that gross yellow foot on there (you know the chicken WEIGHS more that way) but I put that in the stock too.
Just finished reading the comments and it seems to me, it's the FAT and probably marrow that helps make the jelly. I noticed a lot of people said 'roasted' bones were better and I DID use roasted chicken last night. Marrow oil would extrude from the bones more easily.
The chicken I used was precooked roasted little 1 lb chickens (2). I peeled off the skin and put that in the stock, I used the entire wingtip and that stupid part of the wing where the meat is stuck between two bones into the stock unskinned & meat still on. Other than that the only meat I left on was weird tendon looking and dark cartilage looking junk. I pulled off all meat I thought was right away edible. Tried not to leave any breast meat on the carcass. All bones apart at the joints.
Dutch oven, water in the pot until the bones were covered 2 - 3 inches over, set the stovetop on 4, cooked until it boiled then lowered to 1. 2 hours later I put 2 carrots, 3 celery sticks, an onion, and 2 bay leaves in it, then 2 more hours - that was it. No 24 hour cooking or any of that. All bones were completely separated and some dark meat had fallen off into the stock. I strained it, put the stock in the fridge, and this morning - TOTAL jelly. I usually always use my stock straight away, so I didn't know it jellied like that.
OH, yeah, I DID NOT ADD ANY EXTRA WATER while it was cooking. Don't know if that makes a difference, but it seems like you might definitely want to end up with LESS water than you started with, just like making a thick sauce.
Also, I never turned the heat up to the highest to get it boiling, I started at a 4, waited until it boiled - which took a bit - then turned it down to 1, leaving the lid on. So maybe I don't lose as much water as full roiling boil where you have to add water, but the water level never went down very much anyway.
hanks, and all the rest of you
All that crap about ice cubes or ice water, all of those steps are completely unnecessary, I know that much. Sure it's perfect jelly, but it probably would have been without the ice cube step anyway.
People make too much out of something very simple. You need fat and marrow to make jellied stock.