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Jan 11, 2010 04:48 AM

Recipes that let chicken stock shine

I have (somewhat accidentally) made the best chicken stock ever overnight. I had intended to use it in some tomato soup, but now I want to use it in a way that the delicious flavor can really shine through. And I want to go ahead and use it today while it's fresh. Does anyone have a great recipe for chicken soup or another dish that would really let my chicken stock shine?

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  1. Why not make little dumplings to go in the broth and serve it just like that? If you have any of the chicken fat left over from skimming the stock, you can make biscuit-type dumplings with it. Maybe with some chives in the dumplings. That sounds absolutely lovely right now! :)

    If you have any left-over, you could make a really simple risotto with it, but I think you're right not to make something like tomato soup that covers up the flavor!

    1. Agree on the chicken & dumplings..if you don't have chicken fat, you can use shortening...Also, there are a ton of chicken recipes online..I don't use a recipe but just wing it simply with carrots, onions celery, chicken & some seasonings...other options include chicken noodle soup, pot pie, chicken gravy for fried chicken or turkey, etc.

      1. Risotto. A chef once told me that the secret to amazing risotto is having the best stock possible.

        1. Italian Stracciatelle soup, or Greek Avgolemono (lemon, spinach and orzo) soup, it's all about the broth.

          19 Replies
          1. re: coll

            AGREE! A soup where the broth shines! I get so annoyed at TV chefs who just add the broth as an afterthought. It's the star! Avgolemono (heaven!) Italian wedding, kale and potatoes.

            fridaatl - DO TELL us what you did to make the 'best chicken ever.' Not a dig, sincerely curious! Peace, brother!

            1. re: southern_expat

              It was an accident caused by running out of time! I wanted to try to make brown chicken stock instead of my usual white chicken stock with 2 rotisserie chicken carcasses I've been saving, but it was midafternoon before I got around to browning the carcasses and veggies and late afternoon by the time I got it all in the stockpot. I was ready for bed at 10, but the stock wasn't done, it was still bland. I didn't think it was a good idea to let it sit in the refrigerator then reheat in the morning, so I moved it from the stockpot to the crockpot, turned it on low and left it until I woke up this morning. Don't know if it was the browning or the extra long extra slow simmering, but, holy cow, did it ever make the richest, toothiest, most complex, and clearest stock I've ever made.

              1. re: fridaatl

                Whenever we buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco (which is just about every time we go to Costco -- those little cluckers smell so good) I throw the carcass into my crockpot along with some onions and celery and let it simmer overnight. It makes the best broth ever, although somewhat darker than some people might like. I don't always make best use of the resulting broth so I was glad to see these ideas; thanks for starting this thread.

                1. re: mandycat

                  I've always made terribly bland chicken stock. So do ya'll leave the residual skin/meat on the carcass or pick it clean before putting it in the stock/crock pot. Just curious - any bay, thyme or other aromatics besides onion, celery, carrot?

                  1. re: CocoaNut

                    If you use the carcass from a cooked chicken and pick it clean, you'll likely have bland stock. You need cracked bones, skin, and cartilage to give the stock flavor and body. By all means, make use of your carcasses, but consider trying stock made from chicken wings or backs sometime. They have so much great gelatin, they make a rich stock. A pound of chicken wings simmered for just an hour will make a surprisingly flavorful quart of stock.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Thanks Caitlin - that's what I've generally done in the past, but fridaatl and mandycat were both talking about the exceptional flavor they got as a result of (store-bought rotisserie chicken) carcasses being giving an overnight "hot tub" treatment in the crock pot.

                      1. re: CocoaNut

                        I think their experience reflects what people have posted on Chowhound over the years. Here's one summary:

                        I would never pick everything off the carcass, though, whether using a slow cooker or not.

                    2. re: CocoaNut

                      I never pick the carcass clean (I am all about low maintenance stock since I usually just use it to cook rice, deglaze a pan, or heat up leftovers). No one eats the wings in our house, so those go in the pot as is. Most of the back meat, the neck meat, all of the skin, and any meat we just didn't have time or inclination to eat (seriously, I sometimes pick up leftovers off the kids' plates if they leave a lot since I'm just going to boil the germs off anyway) go in the pot. I usually put one carcass & its leftover meat/skin in the freezer until I have a second one so I do two in a pot at one time. I think having 2 carcasses also makes it more flavorful.

                      I do use an onion (or 2 if I have 2 that are about to be spoiled), carrots, celery, and the leafy tops of the celery. Also, I usually put in 2 bay leaves (out of my garden - 3 dry ones if I have to use dry), thyme if I have it in my garden, and 5-10 peppercorns. If I have some garlic or chives or shallots that are about to be rot, I throw them in, too.

                      I look at stock as a way to use things you wouldn't normally use, like leftover/unused meat and bones and vegetables that might be a little past their use-by date. So I'll throw in anything I have laying around that I couldn't use any other way. I've used bell peppers, rosemary, and fennel (don't recommend that one).

                      1. re: fridaatl

                        Thanks! and also for the tip on using 2 carcasses. Lack of *chicken* flavor is a huge reason I don't make my own stock. Beef stock..... now that's entirely a better story.

                        1. re: CocoaNut

                          I use a whole, uncooked chicken for stock, removing the breast meat when it reaches 160. You won't ever have to worry about not enough flavor :)

                            1. re: CocoaNut

                              I just packaged up a few quarts two days ago. I was down to one quart. Now I don't have to be quite as miserly. And still have some of the breast meat left that is perfectly poached.

                  2. re: fridaatl

                    I only make stock in the slow cooker now. And letting it go all day or night on low is the key.

                2. re: coll

                  I was going to say avgolemono as well. Yum.

                  1. re: coll

                    With you on avgolemono (though the one I'm familiar with has carrots, not spinach)...also think tortilla soup is a natural here. A friend of mine made it this summer with his homemade stock and it was easily one of the best soups I ever remember eating. Let me know if you want a pointer to his recipe.

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      You just reminded me, I have a bag of fresh, pre-cut tortilla chips somewhere, and I should use them for something before their expiration date. Luckily I just made a big pot of stock too... Not sure what hubby would think about tortilla soup, he's very old fashioned, but worth a try!

                      1. re: coll

                        Here is a link to the recipe I modified from Scargod's Fonda San Miguel cookbook. In season, fresh tomatoes are great, but at this time of year, the canned San Marzanos are a fantastic sub. And to make it authentic instead of Italian, use guajillo chiles rather than Aleppo pepper and chicken breast instead of chicken sausage.

                        Re your hubby, old-fashioned or not, what's not to like? :) HA HA!

                        And, from the same thread, here is my favorite (and only!) avgolemono recipe from Cooking Light. So easy and so good! Just made a batch on Sunday:

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          The only Tortilla Soup I've seen has whole tortillas floating on top, this sounds different. I know he wouldn't like the whole ones, but crushed could work, he used to love a tortilla casserole I made that was topped with crushed Doritos.

                          I had pulled out my soup recipes just before and I don't even have spinach written on the Greek soup, I guess I was thinking of the Stracchiatella. Nothing but orzo. Not that I wouldn't add some, and probably usually do, I'm very (too much he tells me) experimental in the kitchen.

                          1. re: coll

                            Lemon and spinach play nicely together. No such thing as too experimental! Ask my friends. :)

                  2. Make matzo balls and cook them separately, then serve as-is. Or do it like the little bowl of soup with com tam: fry some minced garlic, shave some very thin slices of raw white onion and scallion, and add them to the bowl. Pour the hot broth over the top. If you got the onions thin enough, the broth will cook them just enough.