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Help w/ "Cheater's" Soup Base using Rotisserie Chickens and Commercial Chicken Stock

spygrrl | Jan 19, 201903:01 PM     3

I'd like to hear from people who have used rotisserie chickens and purchased broth or stock for their soup, on your method and proportions. I DO NOT have a pressure cooker so this would be in a pot on the stovetop.

From my freezer I'm defrosting 5 small carcasses from purchased (cooked) rotisserie chickens, along with a slightly larger raw carcass that I honestly don't remember what it is from.

I also have in my pantry both Swanson's Chicken Broth (the low sodium Natural Goodness one) and Swanson's Cooking Stock - Chicken (both salted and unsalted).

I'll be purchasing another rotisserie chicken to use, both for all the bones and of course the meat. I'd like to make a simple but hopefully tasty chicken soup tonight.

I've got a bunch of thyme, onion, celery, and carrot, as well as some leek tops and carrot tops. I may purchase some parsley when I get the new chicken, and I have a bit of dill that I might add, though I'm not sure because it's not, to my knowledge, a usual ingredient in stock.

I have almost zero experience making stock and all the recipes and techniques I'm familiar with are starting with water and not pre-made stock. I'm rather clueless as to the best method here.


1) The rotisserie carcasses have already been cooked. If I roast them before simmering, will that make them too brittle to use, or leach out any goodness left to them? I know roasting raw bones is good for flavor development, but what about already cooked bones? If it matters, 90% of what I have are central carcasses from the prior chickens - the only leg/thigh/breast bones will come from the new rotisserie chicken I get tonight.

2) Would you use the broth or the stock, or both? I remember when Swanson first came out with "cooking stock" that ATK or CI did a comparison between them for both soup bases and pan sauces but I don't recall their recommendations.

3) I don't know how to judge how much liquid to use for the soup. Only enough to cover the bones in the pot? Some proportion by weight of bones to liquid? Some other method?

4) I'm thinking of going ahead and using the skin of the single chicken I buy tonight in the stock - it can't hurt, right?

5) How to determine how long to simmer everything?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help. I'm especially hoping to hear from anyone who might have done this before and can speak from experience. I can only spitball so far based on what I know about making stock from scratch. I'd feel better with some advice before attempting this.

Happy Saturday! and thanks again.

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