Let me start by saying I love rotisserie chicken! I love it for all the obvious reasons, it’s an easy grab & go at the grocery store, it’s a quick meal and it tastes as delicious as it smells!
My most favorite part of rotisserie chicken is all its purposes when it is down to the bones. I make gravy with the leftover drippings, toss it in the freezer for next time I roast a chicken or have a hankering for some comfort mashed potatoes & gravy. I will then remove all the fat & skin off of the bird and put the carcass & bones (which still may have some nice bits of meat on them), in the freezer until I have enough of them to make a nice big batch of homemade stock! It is inexpensive, easy to make & I get to control the level of sodium by only adding it when I make future soups, stews, etc. The difference is night & day between store bought broth/stock versus what you can make at home, try it & I bet you’ll never go back!
3-4 chicken carcasses & bones
4 celery stalks, quartered
5 carrots, peeled & quartered or half bag of pre-washed & peeled baby carrots
2 leeks, white & green parts only, washed & halved
1 yellow onion, quartered
1 red onion, quartered
2 garlic heads, tops removed
12 quarts water (I use gallon jugs of Spring Water)
Heat a stockpot with the water on the stovetop over medium-high heat until it just begins to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add chicken carcasses & bones.
Preheat oven to broil. Line baking sheets with foil. Place all vegetables on baking sheets, giving all a bit of space to roast & brown properly. Add a drizzle of olive oil across all vegetables. Place in oven & broil for 20-25 minutes turning as they begin to char. Remove and add vegetables, Bouquet Garni & peppercorns to stockpot. Let simmer for 4-5 hours. Cool & refrigerate overnight.
Skim fat from top of pot. Remove & discard all vegetables and bones. Working with 2 large bowls & a fine mesh strainer pass through until all impurities have been removed & the stock is completely clear. Use within 7 days, freeze in ice cube trays or in Ziploc freezer containers.
Makes 20-24 cups.
For Bouquet Garni:
When making a Bouquet Garni, if you prefer you can wrap the herbs in cheese cloth & tie it with kitchen twine rather than using the leek. I use this method for the peppercorns so that they are easy to retrieve when straining.
1 Leek leaf, dark green part only
2 Bay Leaves
1 small bunch of celery leaves
1 small bunch of parsley
2-3 sprigs of fresh Thyme
olive oil to drizzle
24 peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth
Wrap the green part of the Leek loosely around the bay leaf, thyme, celery and parsley stems, tie with kitchen string. Leave a long tail to the string for easy removal.