Are you ready for the easiest way to make homemade chicken stock from a rotisserie chicken? Let’s get started!
Reinvented Chicken Rotisserie
Nothing comes close to homemade chicken stock when you want to make a big pot of chicken soup, chicken and dumplings or chicken stew. I love keeping chicken stock in the freezer so that I can whip up a pot of something warm and filling on these cold winter days.
This recipe begins with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. About once a month, we will get a rotisserie chicken for our dinner. It’s just the two of us so there are plenty of leftovers!
Usually, the next day I will throw the whole thing in the pressure cooker so I can get the stock cooked. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, keep reading, there’s an alternative that is even easier!) I like to add an onion, savory spices like dried sage, thyme and rosemary. No measuring needed :). And don’t forget the salt and pepper!
Cover the chicken and spices with about six cups of water. Set up the pressure cooker according to the directions for your particular brand. My pressure cooker was gifted to me by my mom. It had been a wedding gift to her over 50 years ago! I did have to replace the rubber seal and the ticker on the top. I also love that it is stainless steel not aluminum.
Read the Instructions First
When using a pressure cooker, be sure to read the instructions. Foods are cooked at high temperatures created by the steam and pressure that are built up in the sealed pot. The ‘ticker’ (my name for the valve on the top because it makes a tick, tick, tick sound as it cooks the food) is an important part of the pressure cooker. It allows small amounts of pressure out of the pot – you know like blowing off a little steam so you don’t get to angry 😉
I have used my pressure cooker for over 30 years and have become pretty familiar with how it behaves. Allow the pressure cooker to come to a high temp – you should be able to hear it and the ticking will become rapid. Turn the stove burner down and in turn the ticking will slow down as well. Cook at this med-low temp for about 1 1/2 hrs.
Let the pot cool down completely before removing the lid! Remember, this uses high pressure to cook and you don’t want an explosion of chicken stock all over your kitchen! Think safety here!! I check my pot after about an hour of cooling, by tilting the ticker to the side. If there is no hissing or steam coming from the top opening, it is safe to open. But don’t take my word for it: Please be careful and read your instructions thoroughly before using a pressure cooker!
See that gorgeous, dark stock??
Alternative Cooking Method
If you do not have a pressure cooker the next easiest way to make this homemade chicken stock is with a slow cooker or crock pot. Throw all the same ingredients in and let it cook for 10-12 hours. I have used this method many times and start the crock pot at night. By the next morning, the stock is all done! It just needs to be strained through the colander. Sorry I don’t have pictures of this method. Trust me, it is so easy and so tasty!
Once the concoction has thoroughly cooled, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the cooked chicken, bones and skin into a colander that is sitting inside a large measuring cup or bowl to catch the drippings. I use a Pampered Chef 8-cup measuring cup with a stainless steel colander. The stock is still hot so be careful! Sounding a bit motherly aren’t I 🙂
Bring it up to Eight Cups
Remember how we started off with six cups of water? Much of that would have dispersed through the steam during the cooking process. To make eight cups of stock just pour water over the bones in the colander until it fills up to eight cups. This really gets all the goodness from the chicken! I don’t waste anything!
Remove the Meat from the Bones
The next step is to separate the meat from the bones. This can be done before making the stock as well. Hand pick through the rotisserie chicken in the colander. You will be surprised how much meat there is! And it will just fall off the bone so easily! We like to carefully remove the skin and cartilage and save it for our little fella, Elmo. If you do this too, be sure not to get any bones! Doggies and chicken bones don’t go well together – they can choke on them!
You see here I have a large plate of ‘good’ meat for our soup, a small plate of skin & cartilage scraps for our little fella and the pot lid filled with the bones we will throw out.
For good measure, I like to add a bit of this Broth Base. It is a dry powder form of chicken base and adds to the flavor without adding a bunch of preservatives. If you decide to add flavoring, I recommend one without all the artificial ingredients. Who wants to spoil this tasty homemade chicken stock?
Ready for the Freezer
This stock and meat will be saved for a future meal. So it all goes into a glass freezer dish. All I have to do when it is cold and blustery outside, is defrost, add veggies and noodles and we are set with a delicious meal! It is also nice to have this stock and meat in reserve for those extra busy days in the workshop when I don’t want to cook! I will share that recipe soon!
Easy Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe Card
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 1 leftover chicken rotisserie store bought
- 8-10 cup water divided
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 1 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp salt & pepper each
- Place chicken carcass, skin, cartilage and quartered onion in the pressure cooker or crock pot. Cover with 6 cups of water.
Cook in pressure cooker according to the instructions with your specific pressure cooker for 90 minutes on low or 10-12 hours in the crock pot.Remove from heat and let the pressure cooker completely cool insuring the pressure has gone down. Read your pressure cooker instructions!Place a colander in a large measuring cup or bowl – enough to hold 8 cups of stock.Remove chicken, bones, skin and onion using a slotted spoon and place in the colander.Pour cold water over the chicken bringing the liquid up to 8 cups.Remove chicken from the bones and reserve. Discard skin, bones & cartilage.Stock can be frozen with pulled chicken for soups and stews.
**Optional: add a couple of tablespoons of dry chicken base.***Option to cook for 10-12 hours in a crock pot!
Thanks so much for stopping in for this easy homemade chicken stock recipe! We have used this method for chicken stock for years and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Let me know in the comments how you would use this homemade chicken stock in a recipe!