I plan to make a sizable quantity of chicken stock this weekend. Since I can't actually eat that much chicken, I just bought several pounds of bones, figuring I'd save the effort and expense of cleaning and butchering entire chickens.
But now I'm wondering: Can I roast the bones by themselves?
Most resources seem to agree that stock made from roasted bones is richer than stock made from bones that were boiled raw. However, every "recipe" I've looked at assumes that whole chickens are being used. I've never been taught or seen instructions on how to roast just the bones.
So I have a few questions related to roasting the bones:
- First, is it actually practical? Is there any reason I shouldn't consider this?
- What would be the recommended oven temperature and cooking time for about 5 pounds of bones?
- Assuming I use butter as the base, how much would I likely need?
- Does it make any sense to brine the bones, or to season them at all before roasting?
- Should I bother including vegetables or other flavours in the roast, knowing that it's just going into a stock afterward that will have its own separate flavours?
My intuition is that any special preparation, seasoning or additives would be pointless, but I'd prefer to go by facts rather than intuition. And even if I'm correct I'd still like to get some rough guidelines as to the oven settings, because if I accidentally burn them then the whole endeavour is a bust.