I made a chicken stock/broth with chicken parts including two chicken legs. After cooking the broth for three hours, is the meat in the pot considered edible?

Should you save it and use it for something like chicken salad? Or is it considered lacking in all flavor and nutrients after being cooked for three hours?

8 Answers 8


Edible? Absolutely yes.

Flavorful? ....you should taste it and tell us. Seriously, don't serve a meal to anyone, yourself included, until you've tasted it and it tastes at least decent. (Not trying to be snarky here, that's literally the best cooking tip I was ever given)

Nutritious? Probably somewhat--that chicken muscle is primarily protein after all.

Generally, soups are made with bones because bones can't be used for anything else, so it's more economical to get soup-flavor from bones (making the stock), then use meat for texture and to add variety to the liquid. I was taught to put meat into soups in the last hour of cooking. Many recipes I've seen call for taking out the whole pieces of meat and shredding it or pulling it before serving it in the soup.

  • 4
    I'd like to add another reason for using bones: that's where the gelatine is.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 12:25
  • agreed--bones tend to have more umami in them than meat
    – Eric Hu
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 8:51
  • Using the shredded chicken in something with a very flavorful sauce (I'm thinking enchiladas) where its flavor would be very background would be the best bet I think.
    – Nick T
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 16:05

I freeze the soup meat and use it in chicken salad or casserole dishes where the sauce flavor is expected to be stronger than the chicken flavor


I would use it only the same day it’s cooked and as it is without any additional cooking process (e.g. on top of cooked rice/mashed potatoes or in salad). .


I've served the chicken from making chicken soup, as did my grandmother, but it's generally fairly flavorless after the long cooking. The blandness was exactly why boiled chicken was the usual pre-fast meal for Yom Kippur in my grandmother's house. I'll often use the bottom quarters, supplemented with additional necks and backs, to make the broth, reserving the breasts to add to the soup for service, along with fresh carrots and some fresh dill fronds (the spent veggies from making the broth are also discarded with the cooked-to-death chicken, except for a whole onion which is a cook's treat in the middle of the night).


Fry/roast it, use spices and other ingredients copiously. It's bland but perfectly edible and roasting will restore (or more accurately, create from scratch, apart from the original) a good bit of the flavor.


You can use it in many recipes but you will have to add seasonings as the chicken will be bland. One thing I use it for is chicken tacos, shred the meat a little, in a shallow pan add chopped onions, thin slices of red and green peppers, chopped garlic, and sautee with a little oil for a few minutes until onion is translucent, add the chicken a cube tomato and a little of the broth, add chilli powder, cumin, salt, and if you like it spicy either a chipotle pepper or mexican hot sauce, simmer covered for about 30 minutes, remove the cover and continue cooking until the sauce is thicker. Now put it in a tortilla and add any condiments you like in your tacos, I prefer to keep it simple just cilantro and Mexican farmers cheese. Enjoy!


I shred and debone it all. What's not going back in the soup i make chicken enchiladas. I use store bought red enchilada sauce mixed with the meat along with a little mexican blend cheese. Then I rolled them up in wrap (about 2" round) place them in a baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce and some more cheese. 350 F for 30 minutes +- and dinner or snacks are ready


The meat is definitely worth saving. It will probably be a little more bland in flavor, but it's still perfectly good to eat. In case you're interested, I have a recipe for a super flavorful chicken salad on my blog: http://whatsinseasonwithdes.com/crispy-chicken-salad-sandwich/. Best of luck with your chicken!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.