Making your own chicken stock is actually pretty easy and far more delicious than store bought stock.
I like to make the most of a Costco rotisserie chicken. I can stretch it for three meals.
The secret to tasty chicken stock is in the bones. By crushing the chicken bones you release all the marrow and yummy goodness into the stock. You know you have a good stock when it’s like Jell-o in the fridge — that means the bones really got into the stock. I do cheat a little bit by adding a can of store bought stock just to boost the flavor, but it’s not necessary.
Whenever I’m done with a Costco chicken, I’ll take apart the carcass, crush the bones and freeze them until I have enough to make stock with. Then just follow the recipe below, no need to thaw the bones first.
2-3 leftover rotisserie chickens
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
handful of fresh parsley
2 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6+ cups water
1 can chicken stock (optional)
salt and pepper
Remove all the edible meat left on the chicken and store in the fridge (in case you’d like to use it for chicken noodle soup later).
Using a mallet or a big pair of pliers, crush that carcass so that all the bones are broken up.
Heat the oil over medium high in a large soup pot. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook for about five minutes. Add the chicken, parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf and cook till onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add pepper to taste. Fill the pot with water, cover and simmer for three-eight hours. Salt to taste.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large liquid measuring cup and carefully strain the stock to remove bones, veggies and other flavor enhancers. You may need to do this in batches. Toss the solid ingredients. Store stock in jars. You can freeze the jars but make sure not to fill them all the way to the top to allow stock to expand when freezing (science!)
If you’re making chicken noodle soup, add the chicken meat back to the stock. Add egg noodles to boiling soup and cook till al dente. Yum!