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MSP - buy chicken carcasses for stock?


I'm interested in making my own chicken stock and have no idea where to get chicken carcasses unless I roast whole birds myself. Since that gets expensive and I don't really eat a lot of chicken itself, that's less than desireable. Is there anywhere I could get inexpensive (or hopefully free?!?!) carcasses?

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  1. welcome Caitlin!

    i've had good luck getting chicken backs at whole foods. some of the farmers at the farmers' markets also sell packaged chicken backs/parts for stock. these parts may still be more pricey than you'd like. if so, my advice would be to talk to your favorite local butcher/grocer and ask if some of these parts can be put aside for you (agree on price at that time). you may not get the parts for free (then again, you may!), but if you have a relationship with your regular people, you generally will get a better price, and if they raise prices over time, you may lock in at a lower price now.

    1. I saw today that they sell chicken backs and necks at Chase Brook Natural farm at the Midtown Global Market for $1/lb.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LauraB

        During the summer months, I bought chicken necks and backs from Chase Brook, and I got some great stock out of them. In fact, everything I've bought from them has been quite good.

      2. You can use wings if you can't find backs or a cheap source of carcasses.

        1. I think Clancy's in Linden Hills might be a good source, but I would call and ask first.

          1. Shuang Hur on Nicollet sells whole hens in the frozen case, they make a very flavorful stock and the price is super cheap.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ducatiflip

              Also, I just read a lengthy write-up in Cook's Illustrated about how to make the best Chicken Broth and it recommended using ground chicken along with some celery, onions and carrots. An interesting approach and new to me, so I tried it and it worked beautifully. You may want to refer to their original recipe for all the details, as I find the little things they recommend, do make a difference. I have to say, my chicken noodle soup made from the Cook's Illustrated broth was really good!

            2. I don't have a source but there are lots of ideas here to check out.

              I just wanted to mention that I have found Roundy's organic chicken broth to be very tasty, quite low in undesirable (to me) ingredients, and so much quicker for my time-strapped household. I put this out there in case it might be useful to someone searching for such a tip.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Enso

                Thanks to everybody! I have a bunch of options to check out - although I'm a little wary of using the ground-up method - really? but I do like me some Cook's... ;)

                1. re: stpaulbreadman

                  Buying "skinny chickens" from Rainbow when they are on sale might be an economical option. They go for less than $1 per pound at times. When they do I stock up and throw them in the freezer until I'm ready to deal with them.