Save that Juice! Demi-Glace

There are so many tips, know-hows, and shortcuts I miss in the kitchen because I am aloof to them, lazy, or too much in a hurry to bother. I’ve pulled out my copy of Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques (I use this book often) and read up on making stock. It is a long and tedious process but the results produce liquid gold.  I was most interested in Demi-Glace which is stock reduced by half for a richer more concentrated product.  I realized that after roasting chicken, I do get that nice juice that once chilled is gelatinous.  That gelatinous stuff is a great addition to soups, stews, rice dishes like risotto, or drinking as a broth for extra nutrients.  Warning Science Words Forth Coming…I think the goblity goop and glop from the bones and marrow build a protein web that forms gelatin. Protein is in da house! So don’t throw away that good juice, it is nutrient and flavor rich.

I had roasted 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs, and 6 drumsticks at 375 degrees for about 75 minutes.  I saved the juices to a jar and chilled overnight. Once chilled the fat is easily removed with a spoon.

You will get this golden gel. If I wanted to be very picky, I could have strained the juice through a sieve as I poured it into the jar, but I didn’t want to wash one more thing. The bits settled to the bottom of the jar anyway.

Run a knife down to the bottom of the jar and the gelatinous mass will slide right out. Be sure to use a wide-mouth jar for this so that sliding is easy.  See the bits there on the bottom, I gently cut that part off.  No one needed to know that I was too lazy to strain.

Next, I did my best to cut these into once inch-sized cubes. I even tasted a little bit. Yup, tasted just like chicken.

Jacques said to wrap these up in plastic wrap and freeze for future use. I found that by adding one of the cubes to a liquid measuring cup, and filling it to the 1 cup mark, and heating it, yielded one cup of tasty broth.  I added a pinch of sea salt and drank it with my breakfast.   I stored the rest in my freezer and already used a few to make risotto.  This is the quick way to get demi-glace, the real way would be to roast the bones and vegetables like celery, carrots, and onions then simmering the concoction with herbs all day long until the liquid is reduced by half. An aside, if demi-glace is reduced by half again it becomes glace de vivande  which can be cut into hard rubbery cubes, kept indefinitely, and are wonderful flavor enhancers.  I’ll try that some day, but for now I am happy to save my roasting juices for a quick demi-glace.

Do you do this?


  1. Posted March 28, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Now how clever is that!!!!

  2. Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Yes, I make this! I also make bone broth and can it… I use my broth in every way I can figure to get some into a recipe. 🙂 I also make beef Demi Glace and it’s amazing stuff… will “beef” up a dish with a small cube..
    My next project is to render some chicken fat to make lard for a pie crust to make chicken pot pies… 🙂 YUM

    • Robin Sue
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

      Oh wow! Making your own lard- I haven’t taken it that far yet- sounds interesting!!

  3. Carla
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Oh yes…I use everything. Have you tried Michael Ruhlman’s stock method..from his Ruhlman 20 book? Nothing could be easier than letting the oven do the work overnight to make stock. At over $13.00 for an organic chicken…you bet it all gets put to tasty use.
    Love your blog and creative ideas!!!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

      Carla, yes! Use that entire little organic chicken for all it’s worth. I even saved the bones for the freezer, when I have enough, I will make more stock. At 4 dollars a box for stock or broth, it saves a ton of money for so little work.

  4. Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Now that’s a clever idea I’ll be doing. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Robin Sue – Shoot me an email and I’ll send you some sausage making info.

  6. Ma
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    Robin, Could you not take the cubes of gel, put them on a cookie sheet, and then put in a jar or plastic bag? It seems easier. Ma

    • Robin Sue
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

      Ma, I think that would work too. Good idea which means less plastic touching our food. You are always thinking!!
      Love you!
      Robinra Sue

  7. Posted March 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    I’m a chicken-bone-saving-freak and I LOVE to make chicken stock. I’ve never made demi-glace, but now I will 😉

  8. Kris
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    What a great idea! Thanks for passing on the tip. I like to flavor rice and orzo for a simple side and this would be perfect.

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