My Basket ()

Chicken stock turned to jelly?

I live overseas so we're celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow-- in preparation, I used a new recipe for a large quantity of chicken stock with basis being roasted chicken wings. I chilled the stock overnight, skimmed off the fatty layer on top, and discovered that underneath all is jello. A quick google search tells me this is "OK" but do I need to add water in order to use it? Warm it up? How to proceed? For future reference, what did I do wrong?

Answer »

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

added over 1 year ago

That looks like it will taste amazing once it's warmed up! Just a guess, but it's probably gelling because wings have more joints and connective tissue (and therefore more collagen) than other chicken bones. I would warm it tomorrow over medium-low heat on the stovetop, and only add a bit of water once it's fully warm, if you decide you'd like it thinner.

Maedl added over 1 year ago

You didn't do anything wrong--you cooked a fine stock. Definitely don't add water until you heat and taste the stock. The consistency will thin when you reheat it.

MegB added over 1 year ago

OK, thank you both so much!


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 1 year ago

I'm going to join the choir here. The jellied aspect is very good thing. That means you made it right. This is what happens when the bones begin to yield their goodness after slow cooking. By no means dilute that.

Maedl added over 1 year ago

Since you are in the Netherlands, you may see jelled meats in your butcher shops--we have them here in Germany. They’re called Sülze. The butcher boils the beef bones with seasonings and then pours some broth into small containers and cools it. Then he adds slices of roasted pork, more broth, cools it and repeats this four or five times. At the end of the process he adds slices of pickles and hard boiled eggs and puts a final layer of broth over it all. The Sülze is usually served with pan-fried potatoes and onions and is a lovely meal on a hot summer day. If you have a chance, try it!

Bill F added over 1 year ago

That sounds awesome!

kimhw added over 1 year ago

You did great! Jelly is the best type if stock! Lots of connective tissue break down and LOTS of flavor. Just warm it to use!!

alygator added over 1 year ago

I am so, so sad. I was up making turkey stock until 2am on Tuesday and the next day the stock was jellied. I thought it was all fat. I was afraid to use it and threw everything away! Poor me! Next time I will ask you kind, knowledgeable folks what to do before I make another mistake like that!

Maedl added over 1 year ago

That is a very sad story--after all your work! The fat will form a layer on the top--it will be opaque, a bit yellow and look like fat that has been melted and then resolidified as it cooled. Unless the fat is excessive, do not discard it, because it adds flavor and heft to your soup!

WileyP added over 1 year ago

That looks awful, Meg B. (*chuckle, chuckle*) Better pack it up with some dry ice and send it over here to me. I'll take care of it for ya! ;)

No need to email me as additional
answers are added to this question.