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Jan 2, 2011 02:15 PM

"Fowl for stewing" at Foodmaster. Usable for chicken stock?

I'm always trying to improve my chicken stock, which I make several times a week and which serves as the basis for virtually all of my recipes.
Johnnie's Foodmaster on Beacon Street Somerville usually has chicken feet for sale, and they contribute great depth, gelatin, and mouth-feel to my stocks.

The other day I noticed a super-low-priced "fowl for stewing" for sale there, and I asked the butcher if this would be a good thing to use in chicken broth. He replied, in an almost panicky tone, "That's not chicken, it's fowl". He practically said "Don't buy that!"

Does anyone know what it is and whether it would be appropriate for a slow-simmered stock? I tend to think of "fowl" as synonymous with "poultry", an over-arching category that includes chicken and turkey. Am I wrong?

I just simmer the bones for at least 4 hours, and discard the meat. Would stewing fowl suit that purpose (augmented with feet and maybe a turkey neck)?

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  1. I would think it would make an awesome stock. Isn't fowl older chicken?

    1 Reply
    1. re: trufflehound

      Those were nearly my exact words to the butcher. "Is this just an old chicken? Can I use it to make stock?"

    2. In my book, that's exactly what you need to make stock. Did you buy it? mmmmmmmmmm, homemade stock!

      10 Replies
      1. re: CookieLee

        i always use kosher fowl and chicken feet for stock. it makes the richest broth in my book. the only thing i can't get that my mother added was the unborn chicken eggs.

        1. re: teezeetoo

          yup. fowl and feet.

          the meat on the bird is totally too stringy to eat. you could toss it to the dog, if you've got one.

          1. re: teezeetoo

            you should be able to find unlaid chicken eggs at any se asian market

            1. re: galangatron

              would they be with the meat? where would I look? thanks, it would be a great treat.

              1. re: teezeetoo

                they're usually in the meat section near the chicken. sometimes they come in a package along with the uterus

                1. re: galangatron

                  AHA! i wondered what that was. thanks so much! i see this at battambang market in lowell and could not identify it. when do you incorporate them into the stock?

                  1. re: galangatron

                    thanks so much. great lead. I do recommend getting your fowl at Mayflower or kosher from the Butcherie.

                2. re: galangatron

                  Would the unlaid eggs be at H Mart? What south east asian markets are there
                  fairly close to Lexington MA?

                3. re: teezeetoo

                  The one caution I would make about buying stewing fowl at Johnnie's is that I have had a couple of occasions where it was not particularly fresh -- both from Arlington and Medford. I have had decent luck with Somerville for small fowl. McKinnon's carries small stewing fowl, for larger ones Mayflower is the best and Market Basket also carries larger ones. The small ones are dirt cheap and have a high ratio of bones/frames to meat.

                  BTW, I happened to have a couple of pictures of unborn eggs handy so here they are to know what you are looking for.

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Great information, itaunas. Thanks much.