This chicken carcass soup is a great way to use up leftovers from a roasted or rotisserie chicken. It’s from-scratch chicken noodle soup that is easy, warming, and completely delicious.
Hey, friends. Yesterday, I published a complete guide to Roasted Chicken (if you haven’t read it yet, go check it out!), and today, I have a follow-up recipe for you.
This recipe is for the day after (or the day after the day after) you’ve roasted a chicken. When the carcass is picked bare and your beautiful golden bird is mostly just a pile of bones.
Time to make some chicken carcass soup.
This recipe is great for so many reasons. First, because the name is just deliciously gruesome and second, because there is something *so* satisfying about making a pot of soup from scratch without even a can of broth.
You’ll walk around with a smile, feeling capable and accomplished the entire rest of the day. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.)
On top of the ego boost, this is just some really good soup. Soup started from bones simmered into stock beats the canned stuff every time.
- Chicken carcass: The larger your chicken, the more flavor your chicken stock will have. If you have a particularly small rotisserie chicken, you can save it in your freezer until you have another one and cook two at once for maximum flavor. This recipe will also work with a turkey, though if you like, you can double the rest of the recipe because of the significantly larger carcass.
- Filtered water: You don’t *have* to use filtered water for your stock, but if you don’t like the taste of your tap water, don’t use it in your soup. 😉
- Two sets of carrots, onions, and celery: You’ll use two sets of vegetables in this soup. The first will simmer with the stock to help flavor it and then be discarded (the veggies will be mushy and flavorless after the long simmer), and the second set will be added to the soup.
How to Make Chicken Carcass Soup
1. Prep your chicken: To start, take your chicken carcass and remove and reserve any leftover chicken meat from the bones. If there are more than two cups of meat, great. You’ll use that in the soup. If not, we’ll cook some chicken later to add to it.
Then heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and add your bone pieces.
2. Brown the chicken bones: Cook, using cooking tongs or chopsticks to turn the pieces occasionally, until bones and remaining skin are browned. Any meaty bits still attached won’t brown much, but the fat and the bones should turn nicely golden.
3. Add the rest of the stock ingredients: Add a splash of water to deglaze the pan and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon.
Then add a couple of roughly chopped carrots, celery ribs, and half an onion, along with about 10 cups of water and a little salt.
Bring the water to barely a simmer (watch closely to make sure it never comes to a boil as that can make your soup cloudy), and then turn the heat down to keep it there.
4. Simmer: Simmer for 90 minutes, scraping fat off the surface of the water occasionally, and checking to make sure your broth has not started to boil.
If there were less than two cups of meat remaining on your chicken, now’s a good time to cook a couple of chicken breasts.
5. Finish stock: You’ll know your stock is done when it has a good chicken flavor. If it still tastes too watery after 90 minutes, simmer it a little longer.
Once the stock is done, use a large slotted spoon to remove and discard large pieces of bone and vegetable before straining broth through a fine-mesh strainer.
6. Start your soup: Rinse pot to remove any chicken or vegetable remnants and return broth to pot. Bring to a simmer and add chopped carrots, celery, onion, and spices. Those simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
While your vegetables cook, cook 1 to 1½ cups of noodles (depending on your preferred broth to noodle ratio) in a separate pot until just al dente.
Cooking your pasta separately keeps it from soaking up all your broth and gives you complete control of the cooking time. I like egg noodles in my chicken soup, but you can use whatever pasta you like best.
7: Add pasta and chicken: When noodles and veggies are done, add cooked (and drained) pasta and chicken to the pot of broth.
Stir everything together and add more salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute longer to make sure the chicken is heated through.
8. Enjoy: And that’s it. Serve and enjoy.
What to serve with chicken carcass soup?
Can I make this in advance?
Yes. You can make the soup or just the stock up to 48 hours in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator and reheat gently over medium heat. For best results, make and add the noodles just before serving, but this is optional.
Can I freeze this soup?
Yes, with some modifications. I don’t love freezing soup with noodles in it, so I recommend freezing the soup before you add the noodles. So if you know you’re going to eat only half the soup, add the chicken and then divide the soup and freeze half before you add the cooked noodles.
That being said, if you usually freeze soup with noodles and want to do it, you can.
For more tips and tricks on freezing soup, check out my post How to Freeze Soup.
More Favorite Soup Recipes
Chicken Carcass Soup Recipe Notes
- Small-batch instructions: This is a full batch of soup that makes about four servings. It is great as leftovers, but if you’re part of a small household and want to make it Chicken Carcass Soup for Two, you can freeze half of the broth after straining and cut the rest of the recipe in half. Broth will keep in the freezer for about 3 months.
Chicken Carcass Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chicken carcass picked clean of meat and cut into pieces
- 10 cups filtered water divided
- 2 large carrots roughly chopped
- 2 celery ribs roughly chopped
- ½ large onion roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 celery ribs chopped
- ½ onion diced
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ heaping teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ heaping teaspoon dried basil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 to 1½ cups pasta
- 2 cups cooked chicken shredded or chopped
- Salt and pepper
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken carcass pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until bones and any remaining skin are browned.
- Add a splash of the water to deglaze the pan and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom. Add the vegetables, remaining water, and salt. Bring to barely a simmer (watch closely to make sure it never comes to a boil as that can make your soup cloudy).
- Simmer for 90 minutes, scraping fat off the top occasionally, and checking to make sure your broth has not started to boil.
- Discard large pieces of bone and vegetable before straining broth through a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse pot to remove any chicken or vegetable remnants and return broth to pot. Bring to a simmer and add carrots, celery, onion, and spices. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- While your vegetables cook, bring a pot of generously salted water to boil and cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Stir cooked, drained pasta and cooked chicken into the broth and vegetables. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute to make sure the chicken is heated through.
- Serve and enjoy.
- To substitute a turkey carcass: Double the rest of the ingredients.
- Freezing: Stock or finished soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recipe Adapted From Chowhound
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using them. There is absolutely no additional cost to you.