The One Kitchen Scrap I Will Never Throw Away

chicken stock

Most home cooks know how useful of a shortcut rotisserie chickens can be. After taking the meat off the bones, you can use it in sandwiches, enchiladas, burritos, soups, casseroles, and more.

But what some people don’t know is that rotisserie chickens can still be useful after you’ve used up all the meat! You can use the bones and other scraps to save money and possibly a trip to the grocery store by turning them into a delicious homemade chicken stock.

chicken stock

Why I Never Throw Away A Rotisserie Chicken

After removing all the meat from a rotisserie chicken, I never throw out the bones. Instead, I save them in a gallon-size freezer bag and tuck it away in my freezer to use in a future batch of delicious homemade chicken stock!

It couldn’t be easier to make, and it saves me both money and energy because I almost always have some on hand when I need it for a recipe.

chicken stock

Making your own chicken stock used to be an all-day affair, but thanks to the Instant Pot, you can now do it in just a couple of hours! Plus, that’s time you can spend working on other things, because you don’t have to check on it regularly like you do with something you’re cooking on the stovetop.

Here’s how to use rotisserie chicken bones to make chicken stock.

How To Make Chicken Stock With Rotisserie Chicken Bones

chicken stock

Ingredients you can use:

  • Rotisserie chicken carcass
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Herb stems
  • Produce you need to use up
chicken stock


Place the bones from one or two rotisserie chickens in your Instant Pot, along with whatever vegetables or scraps you have on hand or have stashed in your freezer. (Celery, carrots, onions, leeks, and mushrooms are all classic flavorings for stocks, but you can also branch out depending on what you have on hand.)

Once all your ingredients are in the pot, add enough water to cover them and twist the lid into place. Use the Pressure Cook function to cook the stock for 30 minutes to 2 hours. (The longer you cook it, the richer and more flavorful your stock will turn out.)

chicken stock

After cooking, let the pressure release naturally for about 15 minutes, then turn the handle on the lid to Quick Release the remaining pressure. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve to remove the solids, and you’re done!

chicken stock

How To Use Your Homemade Chicken Stock

Transfer your homemade stock to an airtight container and store it in your fridge for up to one week. If you won’t use it up before then, you can always freeze it to use later on.

To make frozen stock easier to use, measure it out into 1-cup servings before freezing. You could also pour it into an ice cube tray to make frozen stock cubes! (Just be sure to store them to a ziplock freezer bag once they’re frozen solid.)

Use your homemade stock in any recipe that calls for stock or broth. It will add a fresh homemade flavor that store-bought stocks just can’t replicate! :-)

Cook Your Stock Down To Save Space

  • If you’re worried about your homemade stock taking up too much space in your fridge or freezer, there’s an easy solution!
  • Reduce your stock by cooking it down on your stovetop (or in your Instant Pot using the Sauté function).
  • You’ll end up with a concentrated stock that takes up less of your precious fridge or freezer space!
  • To use your concentrated stock, just add approximately as much water back into the stock as you cooked out when you reduced it.

What’s your favorite way to transform or reuse kitchen scraps?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • After making my chicken stock, I put the remainder, bones, and skin in a blender with about a cup of stock or water and liquefy it for a few minutes till the bones are ground fine. Both my cats and dogs LOVE the mush. You can feed it as is, or mix it with their food, or add a little flour and eggs to make biscuits.

  • You know the drippings in the bottom of the chicken container? I freeze that too! Its so rich in flavor. I add it to gravy or the stock when 3 make soup, or even to other recipes

  • in order to break down the calcium in the bones, you have to add an acid ie: vinegar or lemon juice. I use raw apple cider vinegar when making my bone broth……

  • After I roast a chicken and we have dinner, my husband picks the bones for me for taco meat. He’s just better at it! Then I freeze the bones until I have enough to make stock in the crock pot with veggie scraps. I don’t skim the fat off as that is where a lot of the flavor is, and it is controversial whether saturated fat is bad for us. The data always seems to be changing. It’s a choice which side to believe. I love butter and use coconut oil, so I tend to side with “it’s not a bad fat.” LOL! Plus, my blood cholesterol is always within normal limits no matter how much cholesterol or saturated fats I eat.

  • After making a large stock pot of meat or solely vegetable stock, I can the stock in quart jars and keep in my pantry. It’s instantly ready for use. I also can boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs for instant use in recipes calling for cooked poultry.

  • I have been keeping fruit scraps in my freezer. When I cut fruit for kids lunches, toss in the apple cores, orange peels, etc. I also add lemon and lime peels. Freeze.
    I Toss a handful in a pot with water and cinnamon when I want my house to have a yummy smell.

  • I make chicken stock all of the time. Rotisserie chicken bones make such a delicious stock! I also save my turkey bones. I add carrots, celery, quartered onion and garlic cloves. You don’t have to peel the onions or garlic. I also add a Tablespoon of vinegar. I think it’s supposed to draw more nutrients from the bones and cartilage. I put the stock in the refrigerator to let the oil solidify on top so I can remove it. One thing to remember is that store bought stock usually has a lot of salt added to it. If you use your homemade stock in a favorite recipe, you might have to add more salt.

  • HI Jillee

    I love your posts you have taught me so much.I also make bone broth- I save the vegetable scraps such as celery ends and carrot ends, tough outer layers of onion in the freezer along with the bones. The thing I do differently is boil down the broth after it finishes cooking, to make a broth concentrate so we can freeze it in ice cube trays. Saving tons of precious space in our freezer. When we need to use broth we pull out a cube and add a few cups of water.YAY to healthy living thank YOU

  • I have been making what I call my ‘recycled stock’ for 35 years. It’s a great way to give life to what would normally be tossed out. The skins of vegetables like potatoes, onions and carrots are where most of the nutrients are. The chicken bones are rich in collagen. The stock will almost be like gelatin once cooled. I usually keep it in the fridge for a day before portioning it out into containers to freeze. You can skim the layer of fat off the top easily after the stock has been in the fridge. I even keep that, and use it in place of oil when I sauté vegetables. Thank you so much for spreading the word! This is one of those things that should have its moment. It is good for the environment, your health, Your budget and even your mindset. If you are thinking about how to upcycle, stay out of the grocery stores and stretch your food budget this is the best place to start. Thanks again!

  • I have done the chicken stock for years. However, once it is brewed and strained, I put the stock in the refrigerator overnight and take it out in the a.m. and skim off the fat and then use it. The fat rises to the top when cold.

  • Hi Jillee

    Thank you for your article on how to make stock from a chicken carcass
    Many years ago, I read that adding vinegar to the water used to boil the carcass, would leach more of the calcium and other good things from the bones. I have done this for years, and although you can smell the vinegar while it’s cooking, you can’t taste it in the finished stock, but it gives it a wonderful depth and richness .

    Also, I just wanted to add that looking at the carcass in your photo, I would get at least another meal for 2 adults + from the meat that’s on there, before I would consider boiling up the carcass, and that after I’ve cooked up the carcass and strained the stock off, I then pick all of the tiny bits of meat off of the carcass (although this is a very fiddly and messy part of the job, but you’ll be surprised how much there is), and add these final scraps back into the stock.


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