Preparing Poultry for Stock

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Preparing Poultry for Stock Yum
With processed chickens, the whole weight will equate to about 52% boneless meat, 20% skin and 28% bones. Game birds will be different but not dramatically so - except that they will have much less fat. So, for instance, to get 12 lbs of bones you may need over 40 lbs of poultry. Regardless, save the skins! Tremendous flavor there - even from store-bought critters. Of course with game that means you need to do a thorough plucking job... which can be a big hassle! Normally your limiting factor for the number of "Servings" is one of two things: the weight of bones you have available, and the size of your largest stock pot (unless you split it into multiple pots). So fiddle with the pot size below until you come up with a number that is both a) not bigger than your biggest pot and b) not more bones than you have on hand. All of the other ingredients will fall into line.
Course Prep
Servings
quart pot
Ingredients
  • 7 lbs bones Use the knife to expose as much bone surface exposed as you can.
  • 2 lbs meat Take into account that the carcass parts including neck and back will have a good bit of meat.
Course Prep
Servings
quart pot
Ingredients
  • 7 lbs bones Use the knife to expose as much bone surface exposed as you can.
  • 2 lbs meat Take into account that the carcass parts including neck and back will have a good bit of meat.
Instructions
  1. At every step, recover and reserve obvious fat.
  2. Make 5 piles:
    - skin
    - boned drumstick meat
    - wingtips and cracked bones
    - fat
    - remaining carcass parts & necks

    Save and package the boneless meat (breast & thigh) to be packaged for other uses.
  3. Remove & section wings, tossing the tips into the cracked bone pile. Optionally save and package the wings to make chicken wings (duh), or toss them their own pile which you will count as half bone and half meat by weight.
  4. Skin the bird, removing and tossing any obvious fat into the fat pile. SAVE THE SKIN!
  5. First removing the wishbone, remove boneless breasts from the carcass and package/store reserve for other use.
  6. Remove then separate leg/thighs. Bone out the thigh, toss the bone in the bone pile and package/store the meat for other use.
  7. Bone out the drumsticks (it's a little fussy but not terrible) tossing meat into the meat pile and bone into the bone pile.
  8. Cut out spine, separate into 2 or 3 pieces and toss in carcass pile. If the neck or heart came with the giblets - maybe even the gizzard - they go there too. Some folks even put in the liver - I just can't go there myself.
  9. Weigh the piles except skin & fat. If boned drumstick meat is not enough for the recipe, use boned thigh meat to make it up. If still not enough dip into the breasts - maybe starting with the tenders. Make some mental adjustments to include how much estimated meat is on the back/spine and the neck. You don't need to be precise.
  10. After patting the skin to remove significant surface moisture, roast in a foil lined pan at 400°F until golden to medium brown (about 20 min). Recover rendered fat from pan. Set aside to cool. When ready to make the stock rough dice or crumble the skin into your stockpot.
  11. Lightly crack each leg & thigh bone. A good tap with a butcher knife or cleaver does the trick. You don't need to cut them in pieces. It can be simpler to handle them through the roasting step if they stay connected.
  12. Use all your cracked bones then remaining carcass bones to get to your bone weight. If using the wings count them as half meat half bone.
  13. Reserve all of the fat, including the fat recovered from the skin browning step. After your stock has been fully chilled add the hardened fat-cap to this pile. Then you render it all into schmaltz — which has many uses. Google will tell you how to render it. Just start with a couple ounces of water on the bottom so the fat doesn't scorch before it starts to render.
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