Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 13, 2005 12:07 AM

A whole bird

  • k

After my success with turkey stock I decided there is absolutely no reason for me to ever buy stock again (organic is EXPENSIVE). I also decided there is no reason to buy deli turkey or chicken when I can just roast one every couple of weeks and use the carcass for stock. This is going to save me a ton of money since an organic chicken is about $7-8 total at my grocery store. I'm very excited with this idea and looking forward to trying all types of brines and roasting methods. (Feel free to throw some ideas at me!)

Who knew not being a vegetarian could be so fun?

I have very little experience with the any type of whole bird and NO experience with the goodies they leave inside the bird. I will never ever eat the giblets or use it in any type of dressing (organ meat makes me retch) but can I use it in the stock? Will it change the flavor from just using the carcass? Will it meaty?

Thanks in advance!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Use the organ meats in the stock - it will contribute to the flavor but not be "organ meaty". tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth like a bouquet garni for easy and complete removal.

    1. Sometime, when you have the chance, make a chicken broth from scratch - that is, the entire raw bird. There's a huge difference between this and using a pre-cooked carcass. The flavor is much more intense - there is certainly more fat - this can be skimmed and put to good use, but leaving some in is important to develop the deep flavor. I cut up the chicken, put chunks of carrots, onions, and celery in a pot with some spices (bay, thyme, s&p) and bring to a boil then simmer for 2 hours. Let cool and strain. When done, I throw out the meat, it has no more flavor to give, it's the broth that is now golden.

      I throw in the neck bone and giblet and heart, but keep the liver - that's for the chef. (A quick saute with s&p and some garlic or onions...)

      We used to make chicken stock from cooked carcasses until we started to use raw. We will never go back - we now find the cooked carcass result to be so bland.

      We bottle up the rich stock in the wide-mouth quart jars and place in the fridge - the fat is easy to spoon out once it cools and hardens. We keep it separately for matzoh balls and whatever else we need schmaltz for.

      15 Replies
      1. re: applehome

        How long would you say ther stock keeps in the fridge?? Two weeks??

        1. re: erica

          I wouldn't keep it any longer than that.

          1. re: erica

            It keeps in the freezer for about a month.

            1. re: erica

              you can actually keep it in the fridge indefinitely as long as you bring it to a boil every 3 days.

            2. re: applehome

              Besides eating it (EW!!) is there any reason not to just plunk the liver in with the rest of it?

              My mother used to try to force feed me chicken liver -

              ORGAN MEAT BLECH!!

              But I digress:
              My husband and I are joining a 'meat club' that brings organic meat to the house once a month and one item they bring are a bag of wings or drums - I wonder if I could just make the stock with these?

              1. re: krissywats

                The wings are wonderful. They are very gelatinous and flavorful - good for stock, but you will get a very gelatinous stock (which is fine for most things). I actually cut the tips (3rd part) off of wings we buy whole, and freeze them (the rest of the wings being used for buffalo or pan grilled with garlic and black bean, etc). Whenever we make stock, we dump the tips in, which increases the gelatin quotient.

                1. re: krissywats

                  What is this meat club - and do they deliver nationwide or is it local to you? Sounds interesting I've been looking for something like that for a while.

                  1. re: Tela T.

                    Yes they do deliver nationwide. I only looked for an organic and small farm source but here are the two I found. Only one actually does the monthly club, the other simply delivers:

                    Scroll down to see the monthly club (great way to help sustain small organic farmers!) and at the bottom is a sample of what you would get. Spread the word - this is a fledgling group and what they are doing is fantastic. I dunno about you but there is no WAY I could buy this much organic meat locally for only $101 a month.

                    No club, but they deliver organic meat nationwide.

                    Let me know how it goes! I think we are signing up by the end of the month.

                    1. re: krissywats

                      Thanks a bunch - I think we're going to go with the first one....

                      1. re: Tela T.

                        I'm so glad!! I really like these people and want to keep supporting them. That's who we are going with, as well.

                  2. re: krissywats

                    All the books (and my mother) say not to put the liver in so I never have. I suspect if nothing else it would cloud and thicken up the stock as it has that effect when used to finish the sauce in traditional coq au vin.

                    1. re: GretchenS

                      Makes sense, too. Since the liver is a filtration system it makes sense that you wouldn't want to put back into the stock what the little bird's body had so nicely taken out of her for you.

                      Although, I know liver is supposed to be good for you so what the hell do i know?

                      Now I just have to talk my husband into searching for the liver inside the bird.

                      1. re: GretchenS

                        I once made duck stock and I'd like to think that the reason my stock clouded up was because I added every organ in the cavity... even the livers. Of course, I did accidentally get it to bubble excessively every once in a while as well.

                    2. re: applehome

                      I prefer a mix. I like the frugality of using up a carcass and the gelling action of all those bones. But I agree that some raw meat improves the flavor. I usually add either a cheap tray of organic wings into the pot with a carcass or the very meaty bones from bone-in breasts. Also necks, of course. If only I could find organic chicken feet....

                      1. re: applehome

                        Oh, and in my house, the liver is for the cats, who start getting excited the moment a chicken is removed from the fridge. How do they know?

                      2. I concur with applehome -- use the heart and gizzard (and neck, of course) in your stock, but not the liver.

                        1. A carcass alone won't make a good stock. Save them in the freezer until you have three. Add some fresh chicken parts or even turkey parts to the mix when you make it. You will have a much better stock. Legs, wings, and and backs are all great.

                          As for your chickens, consider recipes that remove the backbone. Easy to do and a faster, crispier bird.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: JudiAU

                            And if you remove the backbones, it solves the problem of purchasing additional raw chicken to add to the stock! Even more savings!

                          2. Personally, for stocks and soups, I buy 4# of turkey necks from a local butcher shop for $1, sear them in oil and add water. That provised plenty of meat and flavor and it is much easier for my old hands to remove meat from the larger turkey bones.