What to Do With a Chicken Carcass: 2 Frugal Recipes

I’m going to teach you how to make something out of nothing! I’m going to show you what to do with a rotisserie chicken carcass to get more for your money. From this carcass, I’m going to make a chicken salad recipe and chicken stock. I’m going to pick off as much of this chicken as I possibly can.

Chicken broth recipe

Picking chicken off the rotisserie carcass

1. Pick through the carcass

Don’t be afraid to get into the chicken carcass to pull off all that chicken meat. The meat you are picking off is the most tender and tasty out of all the meat. You can see how much meat I was able to get off the carcass - I'll use this to make the chicken salad recipe later.

Frozen veggie scraps

2. Get your veggie scraps

I’m always telling you to save your veggie scraps and this is why. I use them to make homemade chicken broth. I use the broth for soups and dumplings.  

Using a chicken carcass to make broth

3. Dump the carcass

Once you’re done picking the carcass, dump the entire thing into a stockpot.

Adding veggies to the broth

4. Add veggies

Now I’ll dump my bag of veggie scraps into the stock pot.

Adding bay leaves to the broth

5. Add bay leaves

Add bay leaves to give it a savory homecooked taste. I put three leaves in the stock pot.

Making chicken stock from a carcass

6. Cook

Turn the stovetop on low, put the lid on, and let the stock pot simmer for about 18 hours. It will reduce down quite a bit when it’s done. 

Pressure canner for the broth

7. Canning the broth

You’ll need a pressure canner for chicken broth. If you are just making veggie broth without chicken, you don’t need a pressure canner for that–you just need a water canner. A pressure canner has a higher temperature to kill any bacteria in the chicken.

Prepping the canner

8, Prep the canner

My pressure canner is the Presto 16-quart canner. It takes three quarts of water. Use the right amount of water that your canner needs. If you’re not sure, check the owner’s manual. 

Adding white vinegar to the water

9. Add vinegar

Add white vinegar to the water. It keeps the canner clean from white residue.

Washing the quart jars

10. Wash jars

Wash your jars and put them in the canner to warm them up. You’ll need to keep all the temperatures the same. Put cold ingredients in cold jars, and hot ingredients in hot jars. If you don’t go by this rule, thermodynamics will make jars explode.

Prepping the jars

11. Prep the jars

I’m using quart jars. Wash the jars, then put a little water in the jars so they don’t float away. I’m warming up five quart jars. 

Putting the lid on the pot

12. Lay the lid on

Put the lid on the pot, but just lay it on, don’t put it into place to trap the heat in there to sanitize the jars. 

Straining the chicken broth

13. Strain the chicken broth

Prepare to strain the broth by getting a big bowl and strainer. I’m going to strain my broth twice. First in a big colander and then in a small one. 

Pouring the broth into a colander

Slowly pour the broth into a colander that’s in the bowl.

How to strain the broth

After you have poured the broth through the first colander, rinse the stock pot. 

Straining the broth

Put the small colander on top of the clean stock pot.

Pouring the broth through the strainer

Carefully pour the big bowl of broth through the small colander into the stock pot.

Straining the broth

I am straining it a third time to capture all the remnants. 

Using tongs to take the jars out of the canner

14. Fill the jars

Take jars from the canner, but keep the water in the canner. Use tongs to take the jars out of the canner.

Filling the jars

Pouring broth into the jars

Use a funnel to pour the broth into the heated and sanitized jars. Leave an inch of empty space at the top of each jar. The broth is thick and rich. It’s cloudy because it’s full of fat. 

Wiping the jar rims

15. Wipe jar rims

Use white vinegar to wipe the rims of the jars to create a good seal.

Putting jars back into the canner

16. Put jars back in the canner

Place filled jars back in the canner. Put the lid on and lock it into place. Turn up the heat. 

How to use a pressure canner

When the button pops and the steam starts coming out steady from the vent on the cover for 10 minutes, let the canner continue to push out the air for another 10 minutes. Don’t skip this step. You have to get the air out of the canner.

Pressue canner

After 10 minutes, turn the heat down. Wait until the pressure reader reaches 16 pounds of pressure which is what my elevation requires. Check your manual for your elevation. 

Pressurizing the jars

17. Let it pressurize

Then let the canner do its thing for 75 more minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the heat off and let the pressure go down. When the pressure is down to zero and the button is down, then you can open the lid.

Taking the pressure canner off the heat

Removing the lid and jars

18. Remove lid and jars

It’s hot, so open the lid away from your face. Remove jars and let them cool down.

Homemade chicken broth

Here's the homemade chicken broth!

Chicken salad recipe

Adding mayo to the chicken

1. Add mayo

I put half a cup of mayo into the bowl with the chicken.

Adding almonds to the chicken salad

2. Add almonds

I like crunchy almonds in my chicken salad.

Seasoning the chicken salad

3. Season

Put in a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Add a few shakes of onion powder and garlic powder.

Adding sweet relish to the chicken salad recipe

4. Add sweet relish

Open a bottle of sweet relish and add a few tablespoons.

Slicing grapes thinly

5. Add grapes

Wash and cut up some red grapes to add to the chicken salad. I cut my grapes thin for chicken salad.

Mixing chicken salad recipe

6. Mix

Mix the ingredients well. This made enough chicken salad to fill sandwiches for my family of five.

What to do with a chicken carcass

One rotisserie chicken made dinner for five, a batch of chicken salad for sandwiches for the family, plus a rich, tasty chicken broth with tons of nutrients. The broth will look totally different than the stuff you buy in the store.

That’s how you turn a rotisserie chicken into many things. Let me know if you do anything else with your rotisserie chicken by leaving comments below!

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2 of 15 comments
  • Mary Ellen Coumerilh Mary Ellen Coumerilh on Nov 11, 2023

    I do this all the time, except for canning the broth, I freeze it by putting the cooled broth in a quart freezer bag and then freeze them stacked flat.

  • Happy Days Hometalker Happy Days Hometalker on Mar 11, 2024

    Excellent article! I do something similar with Costco chickens, we always have 2 or 3 in the refrigerator for sandwiches and snacks, once they have been depleted of meat I boil the bones and make chicken soup, like you say there is still a lot of meat left on those bones, remove the bones, put in veggies and there you have it, chicken soup! Easy, peasy and cost effective.