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Cooked chicken bones for stock

I sometimes buy chicken breasts with skin on, bone-in and only use the meat (for sandwiches, salad). Is it worth saving those in the freezer for stock later? I would guess that a lot of the flavor has already gone into the meat and pan from the bones.

I know I could take the meat off the bone before roasting, but the chicken does come out drier and it is much harder to debone when raw.

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  1. Its absolutely worth it!

    1. "I sometimes but chicken breasts ...." If "but" = "bake" then I agree with weezieduzzit,
      Besides, he/she has a '50s era Buick in the driveway so there's gotta be some class in there somewhere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        The Buick is a '60 and I'm a she. )

      2. Yes, save those bones, as well as any skin, fat and drippings. Freeze all of it and it'll make terrific roasty stock. It will be more flavorful than raw bones, not less, as the caramelizing of the bones adds to the flavor. There's another poster here who turns up his nose at stock made from cooked bones but there's no logic to that whatsoever.

        Another bonus is that by using cooked bones, you won't get that scum in the stock -- as the proteins have already been cooked and coagulated.

        1. I keep a bag in the freezer and just keep adding bones to it till I get enough to boil. There is such a difference in home made vs. store bought. Every little bone helps.

          1. Oh yes. That's exactly what a stock bag kept in your freezer is for! The vast majority of the stock I make is from the carcasses of roasted chicken added to trimmings from herbs and veggies. When the bag's full, I make stock.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LauraGrace

              Okay. Thanks. I do keep a bag for raw bones and necks and the like, but wondered about the cooked bones.

            2. Another vote here for saving the bones/carcasses from cooked poultry for stock. DEFINITELY worth it. I even save bones/carcasses from smoked poultry to add to stock - particularly if I plan on using that stock for a bean soup.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bacardi1

                In fact, shortly after I posted here yesterday I received an e-mail from Sara Moulton's website (I subscribe for the recipes) specifically about how she saves bones/carcasses from supermarket rotisserie chickens when she buys them for stock, & how good such stock can be!

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  Definitely. Save all carcasses. The funny thing is my FIL and I always try to call the turkey carcass first at Thanksgiving. Everyone else thinks it's trash.

              2. As everyone said, definitely. The other thing you could do is poach the chicken, remove the meat when cooked and add the bones and all back in and continue to simmer until you have stock.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chowser

                  I'v e done that and it's great. After the poach, I add any chicken bones I have in the freezer (raw, roasted, or both) as well as pork bones: using all of these makes a very tasty stock that can be used for a lot of other dishes (besides soup).

                2. I have several bone bags in the freezer. One for beef bones, one for pork bones and one for chicken bones. They all make great stock.

                  1. I do this all the time. No one in the house likes white meat. So, after I roast a chicken and only have white meat left, I take all the white meat off the carcass. Then I simmer the carcass to make stock, then use the stock and white meat to either make chicken pot pie, or chicken noodle soup.

                    I like the chicken pot pie in the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe book (although I use puff pastry rather than a biscuit topping) for this purpose.

                    1. I make chicken stock only from cooked chicken carcasses. Maybe Ina Garten can afford to use 4 whole chickens in her stock and then throw them away, but I can't.

                      Save those bones! It is amazing how much stock you can make for like $5 worth of vegetables. Last time I made what would cost me $50 at the grocery store.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Njchicaa

                        i save veggie trimmings in the freezer, as well -- onion, ginger and carrot ends, along with fennel tops and fronds.

                        when i have a couple of pounds of bones and a bagful of veggies, i pick up a package of chicken feet and place them along with the the bones in a roasting pan, cover with cold water and let simmer in a 250-300-degree oven for 3-4 hours, then add the veggies and simmer for another hour or 2. cool and strain.

                        1. re: wonderwoman

                          Good call on the feet, WW. The gelatin in them gives the stock a great mouthfeel (and bonus health benefts.)

                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                            what are the bonus health benefits?

                            1. re: wonderwoman

                              Chowhound doesn't like it when the conversation gets too health/medical but if you Google bone broth health or bone broth gelatin there is a ton of info.

                            2. re: weezieduzzit

                              And add a bit of vinegar to the pot, too; it helps leach the calcium from the bones into the stock.

                            3. re: wonderwoman

                              I give a thumbs up for the adding of the veggies to the stock and have separate bags in the freezer for all. Also included in the veggie bag are the outside and center of cabbage...

                          2. Actually, stock from cooked poultry bones tends to be richer than from uncooked, so fear not...

                            When I get rotisserie chix from Costco, after deboning them (so easy to so), I make a pot of stock in the pressure cooker. No reason to waste those bones whatseover.

                            1. All the recipes which I have seen for stock of any kind call for roasting the bones in the oven for about forty minutes before putting the bones in water to make the stock. Are there recipes out there that do not call for the roasting? I though it was a standard requirement.

                              1. I didn't know anyone made stock from raw bones. That seems like a waste of perfectly good chicken meat! =)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: thursday

                                  I've seen recipes for both versions. Although my own preference is for stock from roasted bones, stock from raw bones can have a more delicate flavor. When I'm making risotto alla parmigiana, for example, I always dilute the stock made from roasted bones, so the chicken taste doesn't overpower the cheese.

                                  1. re: thursday

                                    Not a waste at all!!!

                                    What I do is place a whole chicken in a large stock pot (along with vegetables, herbs, etc.), cover with water, & bring to a simmer until the meat is just cooked (depending on chicken size, usually around 45 minutes or so). I then remove the chicken, allow it to cool until I can handle it, & remove the now perfectly poached meat from the carcass, placing the skin & bones back into the pot. If I have any stray chicken bones or stock parts (backs, wings, etc., etc.) I've been saving in the freezer, I add them to the pot as well & continue simmering that stock until it's reached a concentration/flavor that I like. Strain, cool, refrigerate or freeze.

                                    Now I have several quarts of delicious homemade stock, as well as lovely poached chicken meat to use in any number of terrific recipes calling for cooked chicken. No waste whatsoever.