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What to do with Chicken Carcass

October 19, 2020

Now that fall is in the air, there’s nothing more comforting than a warm bowl of chicken soup. Don’t waste your money on the canned or boxed chicken soups and stocks. Instead, next time you cook with a whole chicken, save the carcass to make easy, full flavor stock from scratch.

Read on to learn a simple recipe for making leftover chicken stock and chicken soup.

How to Make Chicken Stock From a Carcass

Sure, it seems easy to pick up your base chicken stock for other recipes and soups from the store. In reality, it’s incredibly simple, cost-efficient, and low-waste to make your own with leftover rotisserie chicken!

Plus, homemade chicken broth is so much better for you. That’s because of the vitamin-rich bone marrow, iron, and collagen it provides! If you didn’t know, bone broth is an excellent super food with loads of health benefits.

Sure, it seems easy to pick up your base chicken stock for other recipes and soups from the store. In reality, it’s incredibly simple, cost-efficient, and low-waste to make your own with leftover rotisserie chicken!

  • For this recipe, you’ll need:
  • Leftover skin and bones from a large carcass (raw, cooked chicken, or rotisserie is fine)
  • 1 large celery rib, cut into two-inch pieces, plus the celery tops
  • 1 large onion, quartered (doesn’t need to be peeled)
  • Carrot (cut into two-inch pieces)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • Salt & pepper

Follow these easy instructions and you’ll have delicious, homemade chicken stock for your next meal:

  • Put all leftover bones and skin from your carcass into the bottom of a large stockpot. 
  • Add your chopped and quartered vegetables listed above: celery, onion, parsley, and carrots. 
  • Cover your vegetables and carcass with water. 
  • Add salt and freshly ground pepper, or whole peppercorns. Start with a teaspoon of salt and a ¼ tsp of pepper, adding more later to taste.
  • Bring your mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to barely a simmer. 
  • Partially cover your stockpot and simmer for at least 4 to 5 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface. 
  • After it’s been simmering for quite some time, use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the large bones. 
  • Strain your chicken stock using a fine mesh strainer or sieve to get any small pieces that may have broken off.

Note: If you’re making the chicken stock for future use, keep simmering your stock for longer. About an hour or two more on the stove will make your chicken stock more concentrated in flavor and easier to store. 

Also, homemade chicken stock can be kept in your refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Keep it frozen for 6 to 9 months. You can also keep it pressure canned for up to one year, for the freshest results.

How to Make Chicken Soup in a Slow Cooker

Every bit of the chicken is packed with flavor. If you have a leftover rotisserie chicken, you must save your scraps for this delicious and easy chicken noodle soup recipe. This is the perfect recipe for the day after you’ve enjoyed picking the meat off of your place.

Don’t be turned off by the name, “carcass soup!” It sounds much more gruesome to make than it is. Plus, once you’ve mastered this classic recipe, you’ll feel proud of how far you can stretch one chicken into multiple meals. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back to the premade stuff.

VegePrepare Your tables

For this soup recipe, you’ll need the following vegetables:

  • 2 large carrots, chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced

Since you’ll be slow cooking these vegetables in your chicken stock, these don’t have to be finely chopped. A rough chop will do. Feel free to add more or less of these vegetables depending on how hearty you like your chicken noodle soup recipe.

Grab Your Slow Cooker

Now that you have your homemade chicken stock and your vegetables are ready, it’s time to combine all of your ingredients in your slow cooker and wait for the magic to happen. 

Place your homemade chicken stock and any additional shredded chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add your chopped vegetables, 12 cups of water, and your spices.


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or fresh minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp parsley

Feel free to play around with the amounts of spices you use. Whatever your preference is, works! This is an easy base recipe to start with and make your own.

Cook on Low

Place your lid on your slow cooker and let your soup cook on low for 6-8 hours. Enjoy the aroma filling your house as it cooks all day, but try not to take the lid off to inspect it too much! That’s how the slow cooker easily loses heat. Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.

Prepare Your Noodles

Once your soup is getting to the end of its long day in the slow cooker, it’s time to prep your noodles. Egg noodles are a crowd favorite in this chicken noodle soup, but any noodle you prefer works fine.

Whichever noodle you choose, you’ll need a 12 oz package of. You can cook your noodles in one of two ways:

  • On the stove in a pot of boiling water, following the package instructions. 
  • By adding the noodles to your slow cooker, letting them cook until tender. Which should take approximately 45 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy

Now that your homemade rotisserie chicken soup is finished, it’s time to serve and enjoy!

Feel free to garnish with whatever you desire. Perhaps some shredded cheese, more salt and pepper, and a piece of crusty bread will do nicely.

Now that you’ve mastered this incredibly simple recipe, you can enjoy the comfort of a warm bowl of rotisserie chicken noodle soup all fall and winter long.


Now you know that it’s more of a hassle to run to the store for boxed chicken broth instead of making your own at home! Next time you buy a rotisserie chicken, remember to save the carcass to make some delicious homemade chicken stock or soup to eat the next day or save for later.

With colder weather right around the corner, you’ll be glad you have a simple broth and chicken soup recipe on hand!

Catherine Hitzfield

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