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Making chicken stock from necks - 5 or 10 #s?

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I joined an interesting meat CSA (interesting in that you pick what you want in your box each month) and I got two bags of chicken necks so I can make stock/broth.

Each bag is 5 pounds. I usually make stock from roasted chicken carcasses, using 1 per pot. Should I use 1 bag of necks per pot? Or split a bag between 2 pots? The pots are 6 & 8 qt stock pots, not monster ones.

I need an online calculator to convert chicken neck weight to chicken carcass weight ;)

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  1. It just sort of depends on the condition of the necks, not all necks are equal.

    I would go with 1 bag per pot, just to be safe.

    Better to have more concentrated stock than stock that's too thin.

    1. Ruhlman recommends a 3:2 ratio of bones to water, so that would be about 2 quarts of water to 5# of bones. I have never gone wrong with using too many bones... I often use a mix of necks, backs, and giblets, an onion, a couple of carrots, etc with just enough water to cover.

      1. I always make my stock with a crockpot, But either way, I would use 1 5lb bag. I would roast it for 45 minutes or so at 350 degrees then I would throw it in the pot with some sliced onions and 5 or 6 peppercorns. Cover it with water and set it on simmer for several hours. If I use a crockpot I simmer for 10- 12 hours.

        1. And since necks are dark meat, you should get a stronger chicken flavor.

          1. Results : the bag was heavier than 5 pounds, it was closer to 7 pounds. After roasting in the oven, they barely fit into my 8 qt stockpot. I just covered them with water and it was about an inch from the top.

            Net result was six containers of stock, 2 cups in each one. The bag of necks was $5. I need to do the math to see how this compares with buying stock (organic, free range).

            I sorta expected to get more stock from this much chicken, but it gelled up when it cooled so it is nice and thick. The stuff in cartons doesn't gel up, so even if this was a wash on cost I'd do it again. But I think I would brown the necks in batches in the bottom of 2 pots and brown the veggies before adding the water next time.

            4 Replies
            1. re: EngineerChic

              That crockpot really sucks out that gelatin from those bones, doesn't it?
              For soup, you can always add a little water to your chicken jello. Otherwise the thicker the better.

              Even though I make a good strong chicken stock, if I am going to use it in a sauce I augment the chicken flavor with a chicken base like "Better than Bouillon" or Minor's.

              1. re: EngineerChic

                What you made is probably 2x better and more concentrated than off-the-store stuff.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  this. i cook stock a long time and reduce it to a gelatinous golden goodness. portion out and thin to varying consistencies depending on usage.

                  i rarely get necks, but use backs, heads and feet, carrots and onions. garlic, sometimes ginger, thyme and peppercorns. no salt.

                2. re: EngineerChic

                  Make some risotto from that stock and it will be worth every penny! (I bought some organic stock a couple of weeks ago, it was $2.99 for a 1 quart carton... so yours was a bit more expensive, but you could use more water with this amount of bones and get a much better product than purchased at a lower cost).

                3. I always include necks in stock but I don't think that buy themselves they are quite enough. I also like a variety of backs plus one or two chicken thighs.

                  1. One bag per pot.