The Parchment Paper Trick For Removing Grease From Chicken Stock

Store-bought chicken stock is undeniably convenient, but it can't hold a candle to the homemade variety. Homemade stock is easy to prepare, and it's not only more flavorful than its processed counterpart but also more nutritious, as the simmering process allows more vitamins, proteins, and minerals to leach from the bones.

While chicken stock is typically made using a chicken carcass (i.e., the bones and cartilage left behind after the meat has been picked off), bits of chicken skin can also be included for a boost of flavor and collagen. But because collagen and connective tissues — which convert to gelatin when exposed to heat — eventually float to the surface in the form of a greasy film, many home cooks choose to remove this film, if only to make the dish more aesthetically pleasing.

You can easily skim the fat from chicken stock using specialized kitchen tools, like a fat-separating pitcher or a fat-skimming ladle. But if you're new to the stock-making game (or if you simply prefer a MacGyver method), there's a simple hack for achieving grease-free stock: Simply drag a few sheets of parchment paper over the surface.

Give your stock the parchment-paper treatment

To remove unwanted grease from chicken stock, simply glide a piece of parchment paper over the surface and, as if by magic, it will collect the excess fat. One sheet likely won't be enough to completely remove your stock's layer of grease, so you might want to keep a roll handy. Even if the task requires several sheets, though, the cleanup couldn't be easier. Just throw away the fat-laden parchment and enjoy your stock — and of course, don't forget to turn the stove off before trying this method.

Depending on what you plan to use your stock for, you might not need to remove the grease at all. If left to emulsify, the fat will help create a creamier, more velvety stock that, for example, would work well in a ramen dish. If you're following something more traditional like a chicken noodle soup recipe, however, skimming the fat from the surface will make a clearer, more polished broth.