Basic Chicken Stock From Chicken Leftovers

by Emily Kemme

There are many ways to create a chicken stock. One method is to use a previously roasted chicken carcass, along with the wings and any leftover chicken pieces. Where you benefit is that you’ve already got a beautiful roasted flavor, and probably some caramelized garlic and other aromatics which were inside the chicken cavity. Give those lovelies another use and make soup! The broth simmers innocuously on the stovetop, requiring very little attention for several hours, until, voilá, there is soup! It’s kind of miraculous, in a way.

Basic Chicken Stock From Chicken Leftovers Recipe

1 roasted chicken carcass, with wings and other remaining parts of the roast chicken, including garlic and aromatics

3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into thirds

4 large carrots, peeled and cut into two inch segments

4 thyme sprigs

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Note: when creating a stock, the chicken itself has very little salt. Be bold in salting, but a little at a time. A stock calls for a heavier flake than when a sauce is finished, which is why kosher salt is perfect. But remember, it’s easy to put salt in a soup, much more difficult to take out.

Basic chicken stock from chicken leftovers

Let the roast chicken carcass and any leftover chicken pieces bubble away on your stovetop. Adding carrots and celery to the stock freshens whatever else may have been included in the roasting process. Here, the stock includes garlic and carrots from the first preparation.

Place chicken carcass in 8 quart stock pot, including wings and any remaining parts of the roast chicken. Add celery, carrots, and thyme. Fill pot with enough water to cover chicken by about an inch.

Bring water to boil on high heat. Reduce to low and simmer covered for 2 hours.

Remove chicken parts from stock. When cool to the touch, debone, shredding meat for another use. Discard bones.

Skim foam and fat off stock. Remove large pieces of vegetable, reserving any firm carrots for use in soup. Strain broth several times between large bowl and pot to remove sediment and any residue. Using skimmer or paper towel, remove any accumulated fat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Save broth for soup base or another use. Shredded chicken pieces and broth can be frozen in separate containers for up to two months. Otherwise, store in separate containers and use within three days.

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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, because living brings its own humor, angst and heroism. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished,, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou where she hopes you’ll find illumination of the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Vodka and recipes optional.

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