Sometimes I purchase a whole cut-up chicken which in the past included the dark and white portions along with the neck bone and giblets. Giblets are really the edible offal of the fowl which consists of gizzard, liver, and other areas. However, lately, I’ve observed certain missing parts. The question is, “Where are my neck/back bones and giblets?”

I don’t know about you, but I value these vital parts. They are chock full of mouthwatering flavors that enhance my dishes. I’m a little perturbed. My take is that the butchers and grocers have realized the value of these essential parts and have snatched them from the package. It all adds up. Now I see these giblets and neck bone packed in their own case asking for my money. Guys, that’s extra $$$.

I know that this may seem quite insignificant and may even a wee bit over the top. But, the fact is that over the past few years, groceries have gone increasingly high. Therefore, it’s imperative that we learn to stretch the ‘almighty dollar.’

And, one way I like to stretch my dollar is to use these giblets and bones. So, when I purchase a whole chicken, I take the very important step to remove the backbone. I also go inside the cavity of the beautiful fowl and retrieve the neck, gizzard, and liver.

I use:

Gizzard/Liver – These parts are excellent for a great snack or appetizer. One great way to do that is to season them with salt/pepper, and garlic. Then, they’re dipped in egg wash and bread crumbs (preferably, Panko) and deep fry. A dipping sauce of the sweet and sour is a perfect finish. The finished dish will be a crispy and mouthwatering one.

Back and Neck Bones – These are ideal parts for gravies. It is best to brown in a little oil/fat before adding other ingredients and spices. They provide amazing flavors in a huge way.

Store-bought chicken stockĀ  is a great enhancer to any dish. However, sometimes they are loaded with excess amounts of sodium, sugar and preservatives that I can’t even pronounce. As a result, in order to rein-in some form of control I make my chicken stock.

To make my chicken stock I generally remove the skin and excess fat from the back and neck bones. I then place them in a stock pot along with root vegetables like onions, celery, and carrots. I also add a beautiful bouquet of herbs (thyme,rosemary,etc) along with dry spices and seasoning. Cold tap water is used to cover all ingredients. As soon as the pot is brought to a boil, it is turned down low to a simmer.

As soon as veggies are fork tender and chicken neck and back bones are fully cooked, I remove all ingredients from the stock and set them aside. Cooked veggies can be used as a side dish for an entree. When stock is cool to handle, it is strained to a clear and flavorful finish. I use my home-made chicken stock in rice, sauces, soups, stews and any other dish that requires liquid. Left-overs are placed in tupperwares in the freezer for future use.

So, may I please have my parts?

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