The Dim-Post

October 2, 2012

Burning question of the day

Filed under: finance,Jews,philosophy,technology — danylmc @ 6:55 am

As most New Zealanders are aware, I make chicken stock using the carcasses of my roast chickens (along with various herbs and vegetables from the garden). Recently I’ve been adding in raw chicken necks (not from the garden) and I wonder if I should brown the chicken necks before I add them to the pot. What say you all?


  1. Should add some extra flavour from the caramelisation. I say go for it.

    Comment by Dave Guerin — October 2, 2012 @ 7:01 am

  2. Depends if you brown them in oil. If you do, you might just be adding additional fat to your stock for no real taste reason. I wouldn’t, but I would skim any scum off the top of the stock that the necks might create.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 2, 2012 @ 7:07 am

  3. That’s crazy talk, you’re too extreme.

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — October 2, 2012 @ 7:08 am

  4. PS Chicken stock is one of those fiddly things that I just prefer buying at the supermarket. The Campbell’s range of supermarket liquid stocks are really very good, and it saves you the drama of faffing about with bones and draining and chopping the celery and blah blah blah.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 2, 2012 @ 7:12 am

  5. PPS the Chinese lady here at work just about fainted when I discussed with her right now. Never, ever use necks. Apparently that is where all the injections go. Just getting it out there.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 2, 2012 @ 7:13 am

  6. colour is flavour! I say brown away, perhaps even oven roast them. I cheat a bit with my beef stock and smear the beef bones with tomato paste before browning them up in the oven.

    Comment by Phil — October 2, 2012 @ 8:03 am

  7. It might be easier to get it at the supermarket, but it’s not as much fun.
    If you’re concerned about the injections, don’t use the whole chicken. The neck might be where whatever is injected starts but it’s not where it ends up.

    Add them in, browning shouldn’t be necessary.

    Comment by Ben — October 2, 2012 @ 8:05 am

  8. Helzel is an Ashkenazi Jewish dish. It is a sort of sausage made from chicken neck skin stuffed with flour, schmaltz, internal meats (chopped heart, gizzard, liver), and fried onions and sewn up with a thread. Sometimes the stuffing is flavored with garlic and black pepper. Helzel may be cooked in chicken soup or used as an ingredient in cholent. (wikipedia).

    Comment by Aztec — October 2, 2012 @ 8:07 am

  9. Commercial chicken stock is way high in sodium, and I think it tastes odd. Roasted chickens release less flavour than fresh: it’s not like browning beef bones, where we need extra flavour from the Maillard reaction (meat doesn’t caramelise, not being very high in sugar). Chefs are taught to make chicken stock with whole boiled carcasses. Necks are fine, Lord knows what these mysterious “injections” are; as far as I know, if chickens get inoculated, it’s when they’re a day old, and everything else goes in their feed. Necks make great cat food, but I’d suggest buying a sack of stripped frames, which have lots of bone and different kinds of muscle and are probably more yummy.

    Comment by Mike Dickison (@adzebill) — October 2, 2012 @ 8:19 am

  10. Yes. Throw your vege and carcasses in at the same time for extra flavour.

    Comment by sally — October 2, 2012 @ 8:43 am

  11. I’d say it depends how brown-flavoured you want it to be.

    BTW – not that I’m implying anyone with an opinion on browning chicken necks would purchase this – but I looked at the Pam’s “Real Stock” ingredients list. Much like (I think it was Pams again) ‘Guacamole (style dip)’, I really think someone should take a false advertising complaint.

    Comment by lyndon — October 2, 2012 @ 9:00 am

  12. I would recommend roasting all the giblets (which takes care of the excess fat issue) when you cook your chicken and add the lot to the stock – assuming that you don’t mind a hint of liver flavour in your stock.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 2, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  13. I wouldn’t. But then I make stock by poaching whole chickens. The meat is good with rice cooked in some of the resulting stock. This week I tried the same thing with a duck, and white beans instead of rice, then made cassoulet. Cheers, enjoy your blog.

    Comment by david — October 2, 2012 @ 10:55 am

  14. Yes, brown the chicken necks first.

    Comment by Dan — October 2, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  15. I say try it and see which one you like. If you’re doing it frequently then such experiments are simple. I’d be astonished if any human could detect the difference in a sprinkling of either stock on a meal, in which case browning it is just wasting time and electricity. But then again so is making chicken stock. Perhaps the sight/smell of sizzling browning chicken heads is all part of the wholesomely disgusting experience of rendering down chickens.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 2, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  16. I’d be astonished if any human could detect the difference in a sprinkling of either stock on a meal

    You most definitely can, particularly if the stock doesn’t have a high salt content, or you are making a dish that requires a richer flavour such as a darker consommé.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 2, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  17. I agree with Gregor W
    The trained palette can distinguish between different varieties of chicken stock and different methods having been used. I would not think that there is any person in the world who can tell one hundred percent of the time, but food experts can probably get close to that.

    Comment by Dan — October 2, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  18. Unless you drink only chicken stock with no additions you would not know the difference (maybe).

    I am sure there there are plenty of “expert food and cuisine experts” who would disagree.

    They would wouldn’t they?

    Does it matter?

    Just enjoy the food and fuck the experts. I know how to paint a house but I do not pretend, or desire to be Gauguin.

    Stop sweating the small stuff. I thought you had children, and a job.

    You mean the inject stays in the neck and does not go anywhere else. What is the point of the inject?

    Please is there a scientist in this blog?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — October 2, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

  19. I always used to make my own chicken stock (out of chicken carcasses from Moore Wilson’s, since you ask). Then I ran out of it, and used the Campbell’s stuff. To my annnoyance, it was noticably better.

    Then again, my husband did a stock from roast chicken remnants and reduced it for about two hours, and that was really good.

    Comment by helenalex — October 3, 2012 @ 9:01 am

  20. It’s an easily tested thing. If someone tasted the chicken stock itself then they’d probably be able to tell the difference, and having spotted that, they’d be reliably able to tell them apart. But who the fuck eats chicken stock? It’s something you add to a dish, forming a tiny fraction of the volume of the thing. The aim of it is generally to add the flavour of chicken. To suggest one can tell if a tiny little piece of that chicken had been cooked in a particular way, then rendered down to stock in the rest of a whole chicken and then sprinkled in lightly over another dish, full (hopefully) of other flavours, can be detected is something I find dubious. People are always making these kinds of claims, that they can detect the subtle flavours of all sorts of things, but the times I’ve actually put that to the test, their ability to is hard to distinguish from the noise of getting it wrong a lot. People trained in distinguishing things, paying attention, and possibly warmed up on comparison points, could maybe tell. Gordon Ramsay, perhaps, shortly before swearing at you about how shit it was. If that’s the kind of person you want to impress, good luck.

    But then again, if you’re going to the trouble of making chicken stock in the first place, why not do it right?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 3, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  21. I cook mine in the slow cooker for about twelve hours: last night it was two roast carcasses and four chicken frames along with onions, leeks, celery and carrots. This yields about four liters of stock, which would cost about $20 in the supermarket, It tastes amazing. I use it for risottos, and also for making huge quantities of chicken noodle soup.

    The problem with the slow-cooker method is that you wake up in the morning and the whole house smells of chicken stock, and the cats are crazed with hunger.

    Comment by danylmc — October 3, 2012 @ 9:09 am

  22. >The problem with the slow-cooker method is that you wake up in the morning and the whole house smells of chicken stock, and the cats are crazed with hunger.

    Cat-stock is better with the hair removed.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 3, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  23. The problem with the slow-cooker method is that you wake up in the morning and the whole house smells of chicken stock, and the cats are crazed with hunger.

    I made the mistake once of attempting a fish stock including crayfish carcasses.
    After slow cooking overnight, the flat ended up smelling like a crustacean abattoir for about a week and the cat was completely unhinged for days.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 3, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

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