Store-bought rotisserie chicken is a meal prep wonder in my house. One of my favorite meal prep “tasks” on a weekend afternoon is processing a rotisserie chicken and then making chicken stock in my Instant Pot. I pull out my vegetable scraps from the freezer and a few fresh ingredients to make a flavorful stock. If I’m feeling really ambitious I might segway straight into a delicious soup afterward.
When making stock with a whole chicken carcass, the end result is more similar to bone broth than the regular boxed variety. Once the stock is completely chilled it will become slightly gelatinous due to the collagen from the bones and connective tissue. This stock doesn’t cook nearly as long as a traditional bone broth but it still gives you a LOT more flavor than regular stock. It is great in recipes like this Quick and Easy Pho recipe.
Chicken stock or vegetable stock is a great no-recipe recipe. You can use whatever you have on hand and it makes a wonderful freezer staple. Homemade stock is almost always going to be better than the boxed variety. Personally, I almost never have fresh parsley and thyme on hand but I usually have ginger and turmeric so I use those instead. Other potential stock ingredients to consider include–mushrooms, corn cobs, fennel (stalks and trimmings), bell peppers, pea pods, chard (stems and leaves), celery root parings, marjoram (stems and leaves), basil, and potato parings . . . experiment to find your preferred combination.
- 1 rotisserie chicken carcass
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 2-4 cloves garlic (based on personal preference)
- 8 sprigs of fresh parsley
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 whole peppercorns or fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 cups water
- The carrots do not need to be peeled and the onion skin can be left on. Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Peel the garlic.
- Turn the Instant Pot on to the low Sauté mode. Add the chicken carcass pieces and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until browned and pieces begin to stick to the bottom of the pot. Press the cancel button to turn off the heat.
- Add the chopped vegetables, garlic cloves, and herbs to the pot. Pour 8 cups of cool water over the contents of the pot. Do not fill more than 2/3 to the top.
- Lock the lid into place, close the steam release valve, and press the “manual” button. Adjust the cooking time to say 30 minutes if that is not the default. The display will turn to “ON” indicating that it is heating and pressure is building.
- After the pot reaches high pressure (this takes about 10-15 minutes), the display will count down 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, it will beep and switch to “keep warm” mode. Press the cancel button and allow the pressure in the pot to reduce naturally (this varies but expect at least 15 minutes). You’ll know the pressure is at a safe level and it’s okay to open the pot when the silver float valve on the lid has fallen down. Carefully open the steam release valve and remove the lid.
- Strain the stock. It is recommended to use a fine wire mesh strainer over and ladle the stock into a large bowl. Discard all bones, spices, herbs, and vegetable scraps. Taste the stock and add salt if desired.
- Place the stock in air-tight containers and refrigerate until completely cool. When the stock chills it will likely turn gelatinous because the collagen will be suspended throughout the liquid. If there is a layer on the top that can be skimmed off, you can skim this off if you want.
- Keep the stock refrigerated and use it within three days, or freeze it for longer storage. Let the stock cool in the fridge completely before transferring it to the freezer.
*Nutritional analysis was not able to be completed due to the variability of the ingredients.
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