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Oct 31, 2011 07:09 PM

using an already boiled carcass for stock?

i just made chicken stock, or maybe it's soup -- either way my g will be eating it with noodles tomorrow night -- using a 3-lb whole chicken, the usual vegetables browned in a little bacon fat, and a piece of kombu. i simmered it until it fell apart, more than an hour, then pulled the bird out and shredded the meat.

my question is: may i freeze the already boiled bones and/or skin for future stock, or throw them back into the strained liquid and cook them for a million more hours to release the jello, or have they already given me all they can? i've only read about using roasted or raw carcasses.

commence getting bossy about stock, soup, the distinctions between them, the insults i am committing against chicken, etc. i know i'm probably doing it wrong, and i love to be schooled about cooking. (for real.)

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  1. Sure you can. The secondary stock will be cloudy and it won't have as much flavor, but it is useful. You can save these bones until you have a bagful and then make your secondary stock. There's a fancy French name for this but it slips my mind at the moment. A quick Google search will likely reveal it.

    1. I don't do this 'right' myself, but I think it depends on how long you boiled the chicken already. You should have gotten the gelled stuff in the broth you made. If you want to see what you get by boiling more bones, you could do that. You could also do that in commercial chicken broth (my shortcut) or you could freeze the bones, and add them to the carcass of a roasted chicken when you make broth again. You could roast the bones for about an hour, and boil them again. But honestly I think they are probably pretty used up.

      There are a number of ways to make soup from bones. Your soup sounds wonderful. I hope the lucky guy enjoys it. Or is it, lucky girl?

      1. you can re-use those bones, with some aromatics and carrots and such, and simmer for 4-5 hours, but it's still will taste more like a veg stock than a chicken stock. for the hours of stove energy you burn with those bones, you're better off just using new bits of bird. (feet, wings, necks, etc.) 1-2 hours with these will yield far more flavor.

        eta: my method is to simmer/poach the chicken til the meat is just cooked, then pull out those parts. cool them enough to pull the meat off, then return the bones to the pot. otherwise the meat is cooked to death and has no flavor and awful texture. after the stock/broth is finished, reduced and seasoned, i add back the meat to warm.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I do this too. I have found a way to pressure cook the bird just long enough to poach the meat. After I pull off the meat, to use in chicken salad or for sandwiches or to put into a salad, I put the carcass in the pot again and pressure cook again. I leave the pressure as low as possible because I like golden colored broth, rather than the darker. Flavor is better that way too. But my shortcut to great tasting broth is to add a container of commercial reduced sodium broth to the first cooking cycle. This works well particularly when you are using a roasted carcass. No matter what I did with plain water and bones or even plain water and uncooked chicken, I was never satisfied with the flavor of my broth. I add broth to water when I do this. If I was making chicken broth solely as a way to save money, I would not do this. And of course I use aromatics, spices and herbs.

          1. re: sueatmo

            I do a similar method with the pressure cooker but in reverse. I remove the breast, thigh and some leg meat before making the stock and then poach the boneless meat in the finished stock till just done. Works great and I have perfectly poached chicken for adding back to the soup or other uses.

        2. Yes, but it alone won't make much of a stock. You really need a non-boiled carcass (like a roast chicken) + meat of some sort. I'd add the carcass to some raw chicken.