Adventures in roast chicken: Part Two

by Melody on January 14, 2011

Learn how to be like me and roast your own chicken in Part One (just in case you missed it).

Quick recap: I roasted two four-pound chickens for dinner.  We had enough for dinner for four adults and two toddlers.  We had chicken salad on Tuesday night and I still had enough leftover to make this buffalo chicken dip.

Now what to do with all those leftover bits and pieces you saved after roasting?

My next adventure will be making homemade chicken noodle soup, but what I have done the last few times I’ve roasted a chicken is make homemade chicken stock.  Seriously, there is nothing better and it is CRAZY easy!

I basically followed this recipe from Ina Garten, but instead of using a whole chicken, I just used the carcass and any leftover “parts”.

There is nothing easier than this.  Throw in your chicken carcass, washed and chopped (but unpeeled) veggies, dried or fresh herbs, seasonings and a whole head of unpeeled garlic.   Cover with water and let simmer for about 4 hours.  Strain all the solids and discard.  Chill overnight and skim off the fat the next day.  Use immediately or freeze. 

I would estimate that my two chickens yielded about eight cups of stock.  I couldn’t wait and I used some already, so I can’t be exact.

I know that as couponers, we can generally get chicken broth for super cheap or even free, but there is nothing like the taste of a good quality homemade stock.  I use my stock when I really want to showcase the chicken flavor, it makes SUCH a difference.

For a total of $6.50 + the cost of the vegetables I used in the roasting process and to make the stock, we got two full dinners, two small lunches for my toddler, enough chicken to make a great appetizer and eight cups of stock!  It’s such a great feeling to make my frugal purchases stretch even further.  Sure, we can get lots of cheap or free food using coupons, but there is no substitute for learning how to REALLY make a dollar stretch.

Leave a comment if you have any great ideas for using a chicken carcass or tips for making a roast chicken stretch even further.  I’m SO excited to make chicken noodle soup next time and share it with you!

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