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Jan 16, 2008 02:04 PM

What do you do with the chicken after making stock?

Reading the thread on chicken stock, I'm curious as to how many of you make use of your chicken after stock. I do have problems throwing away food, and use the leftover meat (kind of devoid of flavor) for curry chicken salad (the curry helps to add flavor), chicken noodle soup (Korean style with lots of gochu garu, garlic, sesame oil, soy, scallions) and chicken a la king (with lots of veggies/no dairy) served with brown rice.

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  1. My stock is cooked so long, the taste is cooked out of the chicken by the time it's finished. I DO eat some of it, right out of the pot, but then the chicken is strained out, along with the vegetables and herbs, and tossed.

    1. I only use carcasses/bones with the occasional wings, so there isn't much meat at the end of the process. I have picked a few pieces off and given them to my cats, but they sniffed and walked away.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Kelli2006

        This. Leftover roasted chicken, skins, whatever meat is on the bones, wing tips, and the odd back, etc.

      2. I use backs and assorted trimmings (wing tips, etc) so I don't bother worrying about any meat left over. I used to make stock from chicken thighs that I cooked for my elderly cat, in which case I gave the cat the meat, but, sadly, the cat is with us no more.

        1. I use the carcass of a roasted chicken, so there's no waste.

          12 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            I wish I could do that but DH has a great talent of picking the bones clean.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              Use the clean bones, the stock will be excellent.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                A lot of the "good stuff" in stock comes from the bones and joints, so it shouldn't matter if your chicken carcass is picked clean. After roasting a whole chicken, I take whatever meat is left off the bones, then throw the bones and skin into a crockpot. If there's meat on the bones, it's because I'm too lazy to pick it clean rather than for flavor.

                1. re: leanneabe

                  When I was younger I used to make chicken stock from the cheap chicken bones I would find at Chinatown butchers. However, I find that the taste is not the same as when making it with the whole chicken. I also throw in a package of chicken feet. Makes a huge difference in the product. Perhaps I'll throw in some roast chicken bones along with a whole chicken in my stock next time.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    You might make a test batch in which you pull the whole chicken out after 30 or 40 minutes of simmering (at which point the meat should be cooked through but not dried out), pull the meat off the bones and return the bones to the pot for the rest of the simmering time. I say "test batch" because you might find that you get nicely cooked chicken and stock that suits your taste or you might have a batch that doesn't have the flavor you like...but at least you'd still have nicely cooked chicken. This is what I do when I'm making stock starting with a whole chicken for some reason.

                  2. re: leanneabe

                    I have not tried making stock in the crockpot. I was thinking that I should first bring everything to a boil and then transfer to crockpot but that sounds messy. I'm worried that it will take crockpot a long time to get hot enough. I have the All-Clad one and there are 2 temps, high and low. What do you do?

                    1. re: walker

                      I put it all in in the morning and it's ready by the end of the day. I'll even put in frozen chicken carcass and/or frozen roasted wings, not defrosted. If you want it to come to temperature faster, you could add boiling water instead.

                      1. re: chowser

                        Should I use High or Low setting on crockpot?Thanks.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            I do crockpot as well at times and use low setting. I use not just bones but a variety of chicken and I usually save the chicken add some pesto and make a great chicken sandwich. I'm sure it isn't as good but to me it is just fine.

                        1. re: chowser

                          I do this method too! I usually toss everything in the crock pot after dinner(i use roasted chicken carcasses), turn it on and let it go overnight. Hubby gets up early, so he turns off the crock pot and by the time I get up, it's cool enough to strain/deal with.

                          Recently I've started simmering down my batches of stock down to 1-2 cup volumes and keeping the solidified gel in a jar in the fridge. It takes up WAY less room than 2-3 quarts of stock and stays good for the few weeks it lasts in the fridge before I need to make a new batch. I don't use it for stock-intensive recipes like risotto, but it works great to add a couple tablespoons to rice, pan sauce, etc.

                  3. re: pikawicca

                    Same here and flavour of the brown stock is AMAZING!

                  4. Brillat-Savarin has this screed in his "Physiology of Taste" in which he rails against the practice, common in rural France, of eating the bouilli (the boiled meat) along wth the bouillon, saying that such meat has become completely devoid of nutrition and is now only valueless stomach-filler, and indigestible besides. I think of this every time I'm going through the chicken carcasses I've just pulled from my latest batch of broth, digging out all the cooked gizzards, the necks, and those weird organs inside the pelvic bone, and eating them...yum, yum.

                    Now, I never make stock or broth from whole chickens, unless I'm poaching a chicken for salad or some other dish, and in that case the broth is very light and the chicken just cooked through. I think if I wanted to make a stronger broth in this case, I'd serve my poached chicken, then save the carcass, and return it to the broth along with some more vegetables and simmer that until it's extracted what it can.

                    There are recipes for baked chicken, dating from when people had to use old hens for Sunday dinner, wherein the chicken is "boiled" (actually simmered), either stuffed or unstuffed, long enough to make a decent broth, then taken out, buttered well, and baked. The broth is used to cook dumplings or noodles, then thickened to make gravy...but that's a bit more down-homey than what you're looking for here.

                    Chicken's cheap, and very hard to make truly inedible, so if I were you I'd experiment. Starting with the chicken covered in cold water yields the best broth at the expense of flavor in the meat; starting with a larger and more mature chicken also gives you both more meat and more flavor, so don't waste time and energy on little fryers - five pounds is a good size. I'm with you on the wasting-food problem; recipes that tell me to cut out the best bits and discard the rest, for instance, make me crazy...or at least exacerbate the problem!

                    15 Replies
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      Sigh -- as I only use organic chickens, making chicken broth is not what I'd call cheap, I'm afraid. One batch usually sets me back about $20. But I squeeze whatever I can out of the chicken by simmering it for at least 12 hours.

                      1. re: Miss Needle

                        Well, for heaven's sake, roast the chicken, eat the meat, and make stock from the remains.

                        1. re: pikawicca

                          As I noted above -- for me, the bones alone aren't enough for a chicken stock. While bones add depth, meat adds a lot of flavor to the stock.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            Brown the bones and the veggies in a hot oven first, that adds a lot of flavor. I only use the carcass, and my stock is always flavorful. I also leave the onion peel on the onion. And before someone else jumps all over my back and says that makes it bitter, I don't find it to be true at all. This can be a tough crowd, which is sad.

                            1. re: scuzzo

                              I always leave the peels on my onions in stock. As I use chicken stock for both Asian and non-Asian recipes, I wanted to keep it as neutral and light (but rich) as possible. While I agree that browning the bones and veggies first will add more depth of flavor and color, I don't think that's the type of flavor I'm going for here. But next time I'm making stock for something like chicken noodle soup, I will definitely roast first.

                                1. re: scuzzo

                                  Haha. So true, scuzzo. You always need to include a disclaimer if you don't want to get nailed :-)

                            2. re: Miss Needle

                              If you have your mind set on using whole chicken, I'd take it out when it's cooked, remove the meat and then add everything else back in. I wouldn't do anything with chicken meat that's been simmered for 12 hours.

                              1. re: chowser

                                Yeah, maybe I should just give it up and throw out the meat. I know it has the texture of wood. That's why I use a lot of other stuff like spices to cover up the taste (or I should say lack of taste). Growing up with parents from the Korean War (and with my dad being North Korean), I was taught not to waste food. My dad still refuses to throw out food, even if it's spoiled.

                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                  What's he do w/ the spoiled food??? Just curious.

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    He will eat it. And he doesn't get sick. He's pretty resilient.

                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                      Wow... an iron stomach, as they say. I've always thought I have one too. But I don't test it's limits too much. :-)

                                2. re: chowser

                                  Ah, I've just repeated chowser's advice above. It's good advice.

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    Agree with chowser. And it's a terrible waste of good, expensive chicken meat. For goodness' sake, take the meat off the bones when it's just cooked, then return the bones to the pot. You can then use the meat for your chicken soup or for other dishes.

                                    I use roast chicken carcasses for my stock. I freeze them, and the bones from other chicken dishes, until i have a lot, then I make stock. If I really think there's a need for meat, I'll buy a bag of wings and add them.

                                    1. re: Kagey

                                      I also use wings in my stock and, if I have no carcasses, I'll sometimes use only wings. I find that, after 1h30 simmering away, the meat on the aileron bone (the bone closest to the breast when the wing is still attached) is still soft and juicy enough to eat, add to the finished soup or make into chicken mayo sandwiches. I think it's because it's so close to the bone, and protected by thick skin and fat.

                                      Chicken wings give a lot of gelatine too, incidentally.