Monday, May 5, 2014

Homemade Chicken Stock from a Cooked Rotisseri Chicken

Not a surprise that I love to cook and that I love soups.  So many recipes call for chicken broth or stock, and I would much rather add that than some powdered stuff or water.  The flavor of a good chicken stock can add so much to a recipe.  Heck, even just to plain rice!  You can easily find a good stock in box, but anymore they keep getting more and more expensive.  And to make your own, the price of whole fryer chickens is getting more and more expensive too.  Then I remembered reading about using a rotisserie chicken.  Boom!  You know, the ones at the grocery store that usually cost $5-6?  Again, how that makes sense that it's cheaper to buy a cooked one compared to a raw one is beyond me.  Nonetheless, it is.  Rotisserie chickens are great for just eating as is, for a quick meal, using to make chicken salad, add to casseroles or soups.  Tons of things!  The meat is good and usually always quite flavorful.  Sometimes they even come in different flavors.  Ooo, fancy! 
Ok, back on track....  I read a blog before about someone using rotisserie chicken bones (or carcass) to make homemade stock.  So you can use the meat for whatever and then make your own stock, all for $5.  Yes, please!  Here's what I did. 
Step 1:
Removed all the meat from the carcass of the bird.  Get down and dirty with it!  Save everything, skin and all.  You'll get roughly 4 or more cups of shredded to chicken.  Eat it, use it, freeze it. 

Step 2:
Take the whole carcass, and anything else you got and put it into a large pot. 
Cut up any veggies you have laying around.  Onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, even a lemon or whatever else.  You'll want about 4-6 cups worth of cut up veggies.  (I used a small onion, 2 carrots, 1 zucchini, and very small amount of cauliflower including it's leaves) 
Also, add in a clove or two or three of garlic.  Smash it or cut it in half to make sure you get all the flavor out of it. 
Next, add in some herbs.  If you have fresh ones, throw in a few leaves or sprigs of whatever you have.  If you have dried, like I did, add in what you got.  Sprinkle on some Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, pepper, salt, whatever you like.
Lastly, fill with water.  You want to fill it to just about covering all the veggies.
Step 3:
Put on the lid and let it come to boil, then lower to simmer.  Simmer for about 3-4 hours.  Your house will small amazing while it simmers!  You want to let it cook until the bones are soft and will bend.  Maybe not a leg bone, but a smaller rib bone will be able to bend in half.  

Step 4:
Use a large colander or strainer and drain OVER A LARGE BOWL to strain everything out.  Please don't forget the bowl and lose all the beautiful stock you just made.  If some of your spices go with the broth that's ok.  If you want it without, then use a fine mesh strainer after you strain all the bones and veggies.
Step 5:
Marvel at the beautiful rich stock you just made and how simple that was.  **Angels sing**

Step 6:
You can use it right away, store in the refrigerator for a up to a week or freeze it for later use.  With one chicken and recipe you should get about 4 cups of stock.  Remember that it is going to be richer than store bought broth, so you may even want to dilute it a touch with some recipes or leave it as is.  It is your preference, your kitchen, your stock. 

I hope you enjoy it!!  How are you using your stock??

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