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Source for chicken backs

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I'm interested in making stock and am looking for a dependable source for chicken backs. In the past I've used chicken pieces, chicken wings from Costco, and whole chickens. I'd rather not pay a lot for the raw ingredients. At Thanksgiving, Whole Foods was selling chicken backs for cheap money but when I asked today, the were pretty unhelpful suggesting that they could break down any whole chicken I picked out. When I said I was only interested in the backs, they said not very often.

 

Any ideas?  I'm north and west of Boston (south of Nashua.

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Posted (edited)

Ths may seem simplistic but we go to our higher end market (Bristol Farms  https://www.bristolfarms.com/blog/event-location/rolling-hills/) and state our need. They often accomodate as does Whole Foods if you can capture the head butcher. If organic or sustainable is not at the forefront anyplace that breaks down poultry is a source = check your locale. i had a poultry only vendor for years but he retired...  Asian markets like 99 Ranch also sell stock parts at a good rate. 


Edited by heidih (log)
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Asian/ethnic markets would be your best bet.

 

But really, sometimes whole body chickens are as cheap as even the cheapest parts; buy a few, save the thighs and maybe the breast meat, and use the rest for a batch of stock to freeze.

 

How cheap are parts at costco? How cheap are you looking to pay to make stock; it's only as good as its ingredients.

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Posted (edited)

Im with @weinoo

 

on this.

 

if you are lucky to have a convenient place for chicken carcass , and it fresh and inexpensive

 

go for it.

 

of get a whole chicken or two on sale , use the breast and thighs , and the rest for stock

 

hopeully via an iPot , and it makes the process simply mindless

 

I sont know what chicken costs at Costco , or BJ's

 

but it routinely sells on sale for $ 0.79     whole , legs , thighs etc

 

can't say which parts if they are all at the same price is cheapest for yield ( best flavor ) in making stock 

 

thighs ?.

 

 


Edited by rotuts (log)
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Agreed.   Parts can get pricy.    At my Asian super, wings are more expensive than breast.    I roast a whole chicken for the two of us, keep enough breast for a sandwich for DH and turn the rest of the meaty carcass into broth.    

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eGullet member #80.

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another problem sourcing chicken parts cheaply 

 

outside of ehnic areas :

 

most mainstream supermarkets

 

and I don't know about WF

 

no longer ' touch'  chicken

 

its comes from a central processing plant to the store

 

cants say if these processing centers deliver to various supermarkets chains or only their own

 

Branded is different  Pursue , Tyson etc

 

probably as a way to control pathogens more often associated w chicken.

 

Beef is routinely ' finished ' in supermarkets for their high end ' beef counter ' beef

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Agreed.   Parts can get pricy.    At my Asian super, wings are more expensive than breast.    I roast a whole chicken for the two of us, keep enough breast for a sandwich for DH and turn the rest of the meaty carcass into broth.    

 

Yes - even if I buy a rotisserie chicken (from the one place where the rotisserie chickens are edible and not blown up with sodium), I generally don't serve the chicken on the bone - I'll remove the meat and then use the carcass and bits, along with any other bits I might have in the freezer, to make some IP stock.

 

I'm lucky enough (depending on one's point of view) to live 2 minutes from Chinatown.  Okay, in Chinatown.  Many of the markets (and there are plenty) offer what they call old hens (skinny layers that had seen better days) at like 2 for $5 - they make a great stock addition.


Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Maybe it is worth noting that stock from raw parts will taste pretty different than stock from roasted carcasses. To get raw parts I would think that the bigger the meat department the better. When a store has butchers and a big clientele they are more likely to have various parts for sale. I agree that wings are expensive, but they do have good flavor. When I make stock from raw chicken I typically use 2-3 lbs of backs to 1 lb of wings to 1 lb of feet. If I want some chicken meat to eat in the soup I will get either a breast or leg-thigh piece, with skin and bones of course. I take them out of the pot when the meat is tender (like about 45 min), cool it a bit, and cut off and reserve the meat, then dump the bony parts back into the pot to continue to cook.

 

I agree that if you don't have a relatively cheap source for parts buying whole birds and cutting them up before simmering is a good idea. And that way you can still retrieve the meatier chunks before they get cooked to death.

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Of course - this type of stock (from roasted or raw and roasted) is stock I use for things like soupy rice, paella, risotto, to cook beans, etc., as opposed to using it for soups, where I am focusing on the flavor of the actual soup itself.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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@Katie Meadow

 

its quite true that the carcass  from a roasted bird

 

makes roasted stock.

 

the easiest way to make roasted stock

 

is to roast a few ( extra ) chickens in your over or your grill

 

Vertical roasting is very easy to do.

 

on a stent 

 

like this one :

 

https://www.amazon.com/Brinkmann-Steel-Vertical-Chicken-Roaster/dp/B01J48F04E/ref=sr_1_147?keywords=vertical+chicken+roaster&qid=1559767227&s=gateway&sr=8-147

 

in an average oven

 

over a pan to collet the drippings

 

you might be able to roast 4 on sale chickens

 

take the meat out you will use and then you have 4 roasted chicken 

 

carcasses 

 

it you have a Weber 

 

better. but their will be flair ups

 

is you do not have GrillGrates

 

lots of very good chicken for dinners to come

 

and a great source of chicken for stock

 

win win.

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Walmart has 10lb. bags of chicken leg&thigh quarters for less than $6. I cut them up a little, bring em to a boil then dump it out and rinse. This gets rid of some blood as well as some nasties that might be on the surface. Then I make my stock. 

 

The parts are always off brand but I've never had a problem with spoilage.

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I once lived in NW Arkansas, the epicenter of chicken production, for four years. One reason you see pricier chicken parts is that convenient to every kill and dress/butcher plant (as opposed to one that gets cleaned carcasses in to further process into, say, chicken tenders and the like) there is a Campbell's soup plant. Easier and more profitable for the trimmings to go to Campbells in big vats than to be processed/packaged for grocery sale.

 

You really don't want to visit a chicken plant or a Campbell's soup plant. Trust me on this. Why I get my chicken from a local farmer, and pay a premium for it. And don't eat Campbell's, or anybody else's canned chicken soup.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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I found the Whole Foods in Nashua has some backs in the freezer case. Not as cheap as I'd like ($1.49/lb) but at least I can get some stock made.

 

13 hours ago, kayb said:

Easier and more profitable for the trimmings to go to Campbells in big vats than to be processed/packaged for grocery sale.

 

 

I wasn't looking for prepackaged/industrial chicken backs. I was thinking more along the lines of a grocery where I could pick some up after they cut up the chickens for sale as pieces.

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