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Do I need to roast my spatchcocked chicken backs prior to making stock?

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I think the answer is yes.. but wanted to ask.

I've gotten in the practice of taking the backs out of my chickens before I roast.....

Should I now roast these backs for 45 mins or so - before I use them to make chicken stock?

For that matter should I roast all the bones before I throw them in the stock pot

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  1. You don't have to, but it helps create a more developed flavour in the stock. And 45 minutes is probably a bit long for the bones. I just crank my oven to high, and roast them until they are golden brown and sizzling, probably in the 15-20 minute range. I also generally add my mirepoix at this point and roast the vegetables as well.

    All depends on the flavour you want out of the stock, conventional wisdom is that yes you should roast them, but there are some lighter stock applications where unroasted is preferred.

    Typically I would always roast all bones for stock.

    1. You don't have to, but it does make the flavour different. Stock made from roasted chicken will be darker and have a more intense roasted flavour, that made from uncooked will be paler and have a more neutral flavour.

      So basically, it depends on what you want to do with the stock when you've made it.

      1. I don't roast my chicken backs for stock but now that you mention it, I DO roast my turkey parts for turkey stock. The turkey is a sort of a big deal, semi-annual event, and I want a "rich" stock for gravy, but the chicken parts are in almost constant rotation. Bone a chicken? Put the bones in the freezer. When I need stock, or more room in the freezer, they go in a the pot for stock.

        I will try roasting them next time, if it doesn't make it a bigger ordeal.

        1. No.

          I don't roast any of my bones when making stock. I find that just using regular bones provides a cleaner, purer tasting stock.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            i prefer a light stock too. no roasting makes a versatile stock.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Me too. But sometimes I will wait until a get a bagful before I make broth so I collect them in the freezer.

            2. What it comes down to is - what flavor do you want in the stock?

              I'm quite happy with a stock made from unroasted parts, even one made with a left over carcass. Come to think of it, I usually do both.

              Often when preparing a large bird I use the legs and thighs and wings for a dark meat stew. I bone the breasts for another use. The breast bones, backbones, wingtips, and neck go into a stockpot. After the meal, the dark meat bones go back into the pot, for another hour or 2. The result is roughly a quart of well gelled stock.

              I could roast the backbones, etc, but that's another step in already busy supper preparation.

              1. sounds Like it boils down to personal preference. I am going to give it a try - I also like the idea of throwing the vegs on the tray to roast.

                I am going to make stock out of all my frozen bones in the next day or so - I'll report back here.

                Thanks for the feedback / answers.

                1. You may notice that some recipes call for "brown stock" or "brown chicken stock". That means the parts/bones are roasted before going into the stockpot. These stocks have deeper, more meaty flavor because of the Maillard reaction.
                  IMO, when made with poultry they taste less like poultry and more like meat.

                  So it's your choice. If I routinely spatchcocked poultry, I would add the back and any other superfluous parts (wing tips, giblets) to the rack before roasting the bird, if there's room. Then save the already-roasted bits in the freezer until you have enough for stock. Saves some time and utility cost.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: greygarious

                    >>If I routinely spatchcocked poultry, I would add the back and any other superfluous parts (wing tips, giblets) to the rack before roasting the bird, if there's room. Then save the already-roasted bits in the freezer until you have enough for stock. Saves some time and utility cost.

                    That's what I'm thinking I'll do from now on - but I didn't plan ahead so I'll roast them this time and do it at the same time going forward. Also a few of these birds were cooked on the grill.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      I like that idea, but I generally roast with some strong flavors. When I'm saving bones, i have to remind myself to season AFTER the chicken is cut up.

                    2. There's absolutely no "need" to do it, & frankly it all boils down to personal preference & the recipe/what you'll be using it for.

                      For recipes that ask for "dark" or "brown" chicken stock, you'll want to use roasted chicken parts to have that on hand. But for basic, garden-variety, all-purpose, clear or light chicken stock (light meaning in color, not flavor), there's no need to roast the ingredients first.

                      1. absolutely. 45 minutes just too long. 25 minutes at 350 degrees should do the job. all ways do this with all the bones for stock.
                        However, I always keep canned stock on the shelf just in case I run out.