THE ODD BITS REALLY AREN’T THAT ODD

chicken neck

Bones, hocks, necks, gizzards, feet, hearts, livers, fat…. Many don’t utilize these bits but are they really that odd?  Before we began raising our own meat I didn’t cook with a lot of these things and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to it was mostly because I wasn’t aware of  where I could buy them from a responsibly raised source.

Now that we raise our own animals we have all of these things I thought I’d have to get really creative in utilizing all of these odd bits.  What I’ve come to realize though is that I want to use them and they’ve become part of my normal cooking routine instead of something we choke down once a month because its good for us.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for information on what “odd bits” we currently have in stock.

Bones

I use these the most.  I love soup and stews and a good bone broth adds flavor to many other dishes you wouldn’t normally consider it for.  I’m making pulled pork today and have my pork roasts slow cooking in bone broth from a chicken we enjoyed for dinner last week that I saved the bones from and then boiled overnight with some chicken necks.  So many uses for broth made with bones from chicken, duck, pork and beef… you can drink it, put it in risotto, soups, gravy, cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, and for braising meat on the smoker or grill just to name a few.

Pork Hocks

A pork hock is the area of leg directly below the ham or shoulder of a pig.  The hock contains leg bones which make excellent bone broth and also a good amount of meat around it.  I like to roast the hocks first and then boil them overnight until the meat falls off the bone.  You can find a recipe HERE for a soup I made over the weekend using pork hocks.  A ham hock is a pork hock that has been cured and smoked like ham but is a great, less expensive, option for recipes that would normally include a bone in ham.

Chicken Necks

These have become my favorite addition to bone broth.  I add them in with chicken or pork bones and because they contain a lot of collagen and gelatin they make a very thick, rich stock.  CLICK HERE for an easy chicken stock recipe using necks.

Gizzards

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of gizzards.  Some people love them though. CLICK HERE for a recipe I’ve used before that went over really well. Gizzard are rich in protein as well as many vitamins and minerals.

Feet

Next to chicken necks, feet are my favorite add in to broth.  Want a thick gelatinous and delicious broth?  Get some chicken or pig feet (also known as pork trotters).  They’re amazing.  CLICK HEREfor a trotter stew recipe.

Hearts

We have our pork and beef hearts mixed in with our ground meat.  The heart is rich in folate, iron, zinc, and selenium but I don’t really want to cook it so this has been the easiest way for us to capture those nutrients.  Chicken and duck hearts are another story though.  Wrap those puppies in bacon and throw them on the grill.  Our kids go nuts for them.

Livers

“So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food.”  This article from the Weston A Price Foundation explains liver better than I can.

Fat

If you know me, you know that I love lard.  I use it daily for cooking, baking, frying and I even wash my hair with lard soap.  Stay tuned for our upcoming “Lardy Party” where I’ll be demonstrating how to render lard yourself.  This site does a great job of explaining why you need lard in your life.

Interested in purchasing some of the items mentioned above?  Here’s what we currently have in stock:

Pork Bones $4 per pound

Hocks $4 per pound

Chicken Necks $10 per 2 pound bag

Gizzards $4 per pound

Pork Trotters (feet) $3 each

Beef Liver $6 per pound

Lard – Currently out of stock but we’ll have more soon!

Interested in an assortment?  Check out this Bone Broth Bundle for $50: