5 Ways to Make the Most of a Chicken Carcass | FEB-U-WASTE-ARY

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Chicken Carcass | FEB-U-WASTE-ARY

Roasting a chicken is super tasty and is really handy for stretching out across many a meal during the week but to get the best value from your bird make sure you’re making good use of the carcass!

What to Do with a Chicken Carcass

1. Strip It

Strip all of the meat off, making sure to turn the bird over and remove any meat from the underside. There is no point buying a whole chicken if you’re only going to eat the breast, so make sure you’re getting good use of the meat available to you.

2. Stock

Chicken stock is the foundation of a wealth of meals and a freezer must have! There are as many ways to make your stock as meals you can make from it but this is one of my favourites; Roast the carcass in the oven for 1-2 hours before pouring all liquid it has produced along with the bones into a large sauce pan half filled with water (you may want to top it up to cover the bones). Add in 4 chopped celery sticks, 3 cloves of garlic, 12 black peppercorns and if you have any chicken skin left add that too. Leave to simmer for 3 hours before removing the carcass and straining. This will keep in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

3. Chicken soup

Place your carcass into a large sauce pan of simmering water with salt and pepper then cover and boil for 3 hours. By this point the liquid should be dark in colour.

Fry the Following Gently

1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed

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Whilst those ingredients lightly brown in the pan remove the carcass from the pot and strain the liquid into a jug (but don’t worry about moving any excess meat or fat remnants as this will add lots of taste to the soup) before pouring over the vegetables. Simmer for an hour before adding salt and pepper and a handful of dill for serving. This soup will freeze perfectly and take additions well, so it’s perfect for throwing in any leftover vegetables you have languishing in the fridge or for bulking up with pasta or pearl barley.

4. Freeze

Once stripped of meat you can freeze a chicken carcass for about 3 months. Simply chuck it in a large freezer bag (Ikea do really good large size freezer bags which do not split due to bone splinters) and bung in your freezer. I like to save 2-3 in the freezer until I have time to make a big batch of soup or stock.

5. Slow cook

If you don’t fancy getting in there and stripping the chicken of every last piece of meat yourself then slow cooking is for you. Pop the carcass in the slow cooker, cover with the appropriate amount of water according to the instructions which came with your appliance and cook on low for 8-9 hours. You’ll find after a certain amount of time the meat will start to fall of the bone without very much help. Plus using this method (and with the addition of a chopped onion, chopped celery, salt and pepper and some garlic) you’ll have the foundations of really good soup when you drain out the liquid produced.