Don’t throw away your rotisserie chicken!

If there’s one thing I love it’s sipping on a warm, comforting bowl of homemade chicken broth. Nothing in a can at the store can compare, so put DOWN that horrid canned abomination (it seriously just tastes like salty water) and let’s make the easiest and cheapest chicken broth ever!

Let’s just talk, for one second, why chicken broth is amazing. Chicken broth is rich in vitamins like vitamin A, B12, C, D, E, and K and protein and (if you’re going to make bone broth) minerals.

It’s also the biggest flavor game changer for practically everything! Think noodles, rice, sauces, veggies, you name it. My parents got me to love veggies by just adding a few tablespoons of chicken broth to veggie stir fries. By adding chicken broth, she was also able to reduce the amount of cooking oil required, which is huge when trying to reduce overall calories for weight management. You can literally put some broccoli in a hot skillet, some minced garlic, and a splash of chicken broth, cover until cooked.

If you do the simple search for a good chicken broth recipe, usually you’ll be starting with either a whole raw chicken that you’ll need to butcher or other parts you should have saved from making your culinary chicken creations from earlier in the week, assuming you’re a dedicated home chef. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

And then comes the strange phenomenon of the classic American $5 rotisserie chicken (it’s more like $6-7 now but it started at a solid $5 in 2009). Many will take these for granted, but a glance at the price of a raw whole chicken will remind you that $5 for a whole, ready-to-be-nommed on chicken doesn’t make sense. The truth is, that store loses money on every slow roasted chicken you buy. Why? Well now, you’ve just discovered the strange business tactic of the loss leader—an item a business will sell at a loss on purpose for the goal of simply getting you in the door. Once you’re in, they bet that you’ll buy other stuff and they’ll make more money in the long run. And it works (nods at Costco).

So may we rejoice in cheap, delicious, and nutritious chicken meat, and reap chicken broth from each carcass. You had your fill of chicken and now you’re left with chicken bones and other parts you’re too full to finish. Now get your stock pot or other large pot out, put in all your chicken scraps, pour enough water just to cover, and boil then simmer that sucker for a couple hours until a rich brown liquid forms. Strain it into some leakproof storage containers and refrigerate for a week or freeze for 6 months. That’s it. I wish there was more to it but seriously, that’s it.

Variations you’re free to try:

  • Use a pressure cooker to save time. High pressure for 30-60 minutes. (Longer time=darker broth)
  • Add onions, carrots, or celery scraps, for additional flavor.
  • Try adding ginger or garlic.
  • Try adding your favorite spice blends

Tips and words of advice:

  • Simmering over a long period of time will create an opaque broth from the fat emulsifying with the water and will require adding additional water periodically (or not, if you want a more concentrated version). This cloudy broth is usually frowned upon by French purists (as are a lot of things) but it adds a ton of flavor and is great for ramen! It is also my personal favorite type.
  • If making bone broth, you need to add your aromatic veggies in the last half hour or so of the cooking process to avoid overcooking them, which can lead to bitterness.
  • To easily remove fat: After straining, allow to cook at room temp, then refrigerate. Once cooked, fat will solidify and will be easier to remove with a spoon.
  • Some like to save the chicken fat, it’s pretty much chicken butter. There is a dish called Hainanese Chicken Rice that uses chicken fat to cook the rice, and it’s a beloved dish of Singapore. I highly recommend trying it! It’s just not healthy, but everything in moderation hehe.
  • Once the broth cools, if you did well, you should notice it looks jelly-like in consistency. This is literally gelatin and collagen and adds healthy protein and umami to your broth! It will melt back to a runny liquid once heated again, but that flavor…*kisses fingers* It’s unbeatable!

Let me know what you think and post pics of your homemade broth!

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