I've known for a while that if you make soup or stock with a chicken carcass, the flavor is incredible.
However, I've struggled with making sure there aren't any chicken bones once you cook that sucker down. (A coworker suggested a mesh strainer, but we don't have one.)
I've recently come up with a solution I'm proud of: before I make soup (usually in the slow cooker), I pick the cooked meat off the bones, then tie up what's remaining in a bundle of cheesecloth. I then cover the whole thing with water and cook on low all day.
Sometimes I have a carcass from roasting a chicken myself. Other times, though, it's left over from a rotisserie chicken. Rob and I have been trying to buy those instead of ordering pizza lately.
I made a delicious chicken soup Sunday using this method, so I thought I'd share.
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced thin into medallions
3 ribs celery, sliced thin
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 chicken carcass, picked clean and tied up in cheesecloth
Leftover chicken meat from carcass
1 teaspoon chicken base
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 bay leaves
Enough water to cover above ingredients in slow cooker
Saute onions, celery and carrots in canola oil on stovetop until soft. Put in slow cooker, add chicken and bundled chicken carcass, then chicken base and spices. Add water.
I cook this all day on low, probably at least seven hours. You could probably cook it on the stovetop and have it done much faster, but I think the slow cooker maximizes the flavor from the carcass.
I use tongs to pull out the bag of chicken carcass, and usually give it a good squeeze or two to release any flavorful juices that haven't yet escaped. Serve with oyster crackers or crusty whole-wheat bread. (I actually served it with both. The bread was great for dipping, and we didn't even bother with the oyster crackers because it was so good.)