Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Recipe - Chicken broth from a rotisserie chicken

Do you ever get those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store?  We used to get them for $4.50 at Costco {back when we had a Costco near us - tear, sniff}.  Handsome Hero actually boned one and weighed the meat once to see if it was a cost effective purchase.  We got almost three pounds of meat, making it a bit cheaper than buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts, without the work.  Score!  Another cost saving bonus was that we could make chicken broth out of the carcass.

Here in Wisconsin, we only get rotisserie chickens on sale, and they're never as big at the grocery store as they are at Costco.  Still, I haven't figured out how to mimic that taste at home, so it's a little splurge I'll make occasionally.

I was surprised to learn that lots of people just throw the bones away after the meat is gone.  Don't do that!  Throw the carcass into a stock pot with an onion, some carrots, and some celery {keep the pieces big because it will all be discarded}.  I rinsed off my onion, quartered it, and put it in peel and all.  While it doesn't change the flavor, it adds a nice golden color.

Cover with water {don't fill the whole pot or your stock will be weak} and let it simmer for a couple of hours.  Or put it in the crockpot for the day and take care of the next step when you get home. 

When it's done, get a large bowl.  Pull the large solid pieces out with tongs or a slotted spoon, and then pour the rest through a strainer.  Let it cool to room temperature and then put it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, the fat will have solidified and risen to the top.  Just skim this off and discard. 

Then use the broth in place of the canned stuff in your recipes.  If you don't think you'll use the broth within a week, pour it in 1 cup or 2 cup increments into sandwich bags and freeze.  I usually place these on cookie sheets or trays so they freeze flat and then zip them into gallon bags to prevent freezer burn.

Not the best example, but you get the idea.

If I have lots of broth on hand or if I don't have time to make it, I will put the carcass in a freezer bag and save it for a later time when I need it.

What can you use it for?  Well, pretty much every soup recipe out there uses broth of some kind, and I use it instead of water when I'm making couscous or rice {okay, I never make rice, but if I did, I would use chicken broth for it}.  You can use it to thin out and add flavor to sauces or gravies, too.  Just remember, as you cook it, the flavors concentrate, so don't season with salt until close to time to serve or you might end up using too much.

1 comment:

  1. Don't throw away the fat. Mix it with an even amount of flour, and form into half inch balls. Freeze them on parchment paper, then store them in a plastic bag. When making gravy, whisk these into your stock as a thickener. Let the flour cook as it thickens. Instead of starting with the roux, you're putting it in at the end. Waste not, want not!

    And if you reduce your stock even more, you'll end up with a beautiful gelatin (when it cools) that can add wonderful flavor to rice, vegetables, etc. Just a few spoonfuls will do. Or freeze the gelatin in ice cube trays, then store them in a plastic bag.

    By the way, I am so proud of the way you're cooking! It would be fun to cook together!