STOCK BONES AND OTHER NECESSITIES: INFO DESPERATELY NEEDED
There seems to be a serious gap in the information that has been provided for the Atlanta area: namely, where can one can procure stock bones and other essentials to the true gourmand's kitchen?
If one was to search for "chicken bones for stock" in the Manhattan section of Chowhound's discussion board, one would invariably find themselves immersed in which locations offer inexpensive chicken backs, feet, carcasses, bones, and all those other pieces of "trash" that are so ESSENTIAL to making a good stock. Considering the importance of stock to Southern cuisine--chicken stock especially--then what explanation can there be for such a lack of information. While it is most noble that the Atlanta discussion board is so centric to our wonderful array of local restaurants, I would hope that I am not alone in saying that we should all be seeking to prove our talents at cooking as well as dining!
Consider this your call to arms, Atlantians! Let us pool together our knowledge of where to find the best prices for chicken, veal, beef, pork, poultry, and lamb bones to make our stocks! Let us not stop with stock, but post on where to find the best fois gras and sweetbreads, chicken feet and pheasant breasts, huitlacoche and truffles! If we are truly chowhounds, then we should prove it by elevating Atlanta's cooking knowledge, demanding better and more varied products, and bringing the basics (like stock bones) back to our list of essentials!
...But seriously, where can I get decent bones w/ a little meat for a reasonable price? Huitlacoche? Epazote? Shanks are atrociously overpriced for beef/veal and I can't find chicken carcasses w/ a little meat anywhere. Please, HELP!
I've thought about making a big vat-o-stock a few times over the last year but never have. Now that the weather's finally cooling off before too long, I might actually make time to do it.
If you're talking about veal, I came to the conclusion that the best deal on it is at Restaurant Depot. Veal breast was around $2/lb there, IIRC. The downside is that you have to buy a case at 45 or 50lb. Thus the vat-o-stock concept. It's also boneless, IIRC, but I think I got the idea from one of Thomas Keller's books, and he wasn't using bones.
For bones or random chicken parts, I'd look at DeKalb Farmer's Market or one of the Asian markets as a start. We usually collect carcasses from chickens we've cooked and freeze them to use later. We also have a restaurant-owning neighbor who can get bones through her suppliers, though I haven't taken advantage.
Oh, and I have no idea about epazote or huitlacoche.
Well, the information on this board is only as good as we make it! Peasantchef, where have you looked for these items?
I usually just make stock with chicken parts from YDFM. There's a butcher shop/meat market around the corner from my house that I keep meaning to check out -- if anyone's shopped at the butcher shop on Wylie at Moreland, I'd love to hear how it was. I've found in the past that places that sell deboned chickens will often just give away their "bones" (with tons of meat on them) to customers who ask for them. I also wonder if any of the supermarkets on Buford Highway might sell their bones for cheap?
To be honest, I've been sticking to making veggie stock a lot lately with scraps I toss in a plastic bag in the freezer. It's not as rich as veal stock, for sure, but it's simple and tasty and made with what I've already got no hand.
The DeKalb Farmers' Market is a humongous, freezing warehouse full of wonderful foods and fresh produce. My favorite part, however, is the meat section, where you can get all sorts of delicious parts from many animals - chicken, turkey, cow, goat, pig, etc. I remember seeing beef stock bones there, and since they do their butchering on-site, you might be able to get plenty of bones for a cheap price.
Gwinnett Int'l Farmers' Market (just off 85 on Shackleford)/Lilburn Farmers' Market (on 29) & I think they have one over in Cobb almost always have beef parts/pieces and bones available. They also sell chicken necks, feet, &c but I have never asked about carcasses. I do not see much veal how ever. I get most of my ingredients for stock there. The prices are pretty good and they have a very wide selection of ethnic as well. I imagine the places down on Buford Hwy would be similar.
You're pretty much on your own for making stock I think.
However if you're looking for Epazote you can get them at little Mexican grocery stores on Buford Highway. My favorite is 'Brito Supermarket' which is right on Buford Highway close to Midtown. I have never tried cooking with Huitlacoche, but I bet some place around there has it. They'll also have chiles RIPE avocados, and tomatillos that are 1/4th the cost than at a supermarket.
Oh and they don't necessarily speak a lot of English, but I don't know Spanish either and have never had problems.