The scenario is that I am starting with very meaty chicken bones/carcass. I want to get the most out of my bones. I know that stock does not usually need very meaty bones, but doesn't suffer from it either. I am thinking of doing the following:

  1. Starting my stock per usual, adding my raw very meaty chicken parts.
  2. Simmering for one hour. Then skimming before removing the stock from the burner, and carefully/slowly as to disturb it as little as possible, removing the bones/meat. Cleaning the meat from them.
  3. Skimming the stock again, then carefully returning the bones to it, bringing it back to the heat and simmering per usual.

Meanwhile, I would take the meat I salvaged and either make a soup, casserole or some other dish with it. Later, I would use bones up to three times mixing used bones with unused bones until they are spent.

Is there another method for this? Basically I am trying to figure out how to reuse the bones and salvage as much as possible from the chickens I buy.

  • Got to ask. How are you ending up very meaty chicken bones/carcass?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 14:59
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    The overcooked/depleted meat isn't that tasty anyway, although still a good source for protein. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 15:27
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    Maybe you can do it the other way: slow cook the bone-in meat to perfection, then remove the meat for usage, then put the bone back in and continue to cook the liquid into a stock. I use this method specifically for chicken curry: 1) water+chicken(bone)@low_temp=chicken, 2) water+bone@simmering=stock, 3) stock+vegetable+curry@high_temp=source, 4)sauce+chicken=chicken_curry. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 15:36
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    If you make a dish with the chicken meat that was cooked for stock, you will ruin the dish. Eat it off the bone as a protein source, but don't waste your time doing anything else with it.
    – user50726
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 17:59
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    Does this answer your question? Should I keep the meat boiled off of bones when making beef broth?
    – Sneftel
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 16:49

2 Answers 2


Well this might sound strange, but I do this with any chicken carcass even the precooked rotisserie ones. It turns out delicious and makes several meals from one carcass - both stock and meat. So I get 3 to 4 dinners for two out of one rotisserie chicken.

So after eating the best slices off the rotisserie carcass, I hack the carcass into several manageable chunks, and put the very meaty bones (some thighs / legs even have all the meat on them) in the pot with mirepoix and cover with water for stock.

After about the first hour, I remove the chicken to a cutting board, let it cool a bit, then remove all the good meat. It pretty much falls off. Then I put the clean bones back in the stock pot and simmer for another 2 - 3 hours (I like mine to simmer a long time). The next morning this stock is always super gelatinous, a quivery chicken jelly. I make this into gravy, and the meat with a bag of frozen vegetables becomes pot pie. Yes the meat is probably overcooked, but it's moist and tender and perfect for pot pies. Super, super delicious.

I admit I've even bought rotisserie thighs and legs from Sam's club, for $2.75 for a huge box, then popped them right in the stock pot, making three nights' worth of dinners for about $3.


I guess it depends on how much meat's on the bones. Because I do this with whole parts. (either a cut up bird, or a bunch of thighs)

  • poach the chicken with some onions (start at a boil for a minute or so, put a lid on and turn heat to low)
  • strip the meat off the bones and put it aside
  • crack the bones and put them back into the water with whatever sad vegetables you have and simmer to make stock.

Poached chicken isn't as flavorful as other cooking methods, but if you're using it with flavorful sauces (e.g., shred and make enchiladas; dice and make a pot pie), no one's ever complained.

I'll often do this when chicken is on sale, and bag and freeze the meat.

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