Be Pennywise, Use a Whole Chicken

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I have no new recipes to post tonight, but there are two carnivals that I can’t help but enter.

Welcome, Pennywise Platter Thursday visitors!  Many of you NT folks probably don't need these ideas, but maybe you can help me out!

Kimi at The Nourishing Gourmet is hosting the weekly Pennywise Platter Thursday to help us find wholesome, nourishing foods without breaking the bank. She posted this week on Not Wasting Food, a topic close to my own heart. I have friends who will sheepishly tell me about food they threw away, apologizing, “I know you don’t like that kind of thing, but…”  Here are the posts (so far) where I discuss food waste:


Jessica at Life as MOM is encouraging A Chicken in Every Pot. I think cooking whole chickens and using the bones for stock is both nourishing AND frugal, and I love having cooked, shredded chicken always on hand in the freezer for recipes.

How to Make Traditional Homemade Chicken Stock/Broth

I think EVERYone should know how to make homemade stock, because of its health benefits and the $ you can save. See the post for how much broth I made and how much $ I WOULD have spent without the hour I spent making homemade broth.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes with the shredded chicken:

And the stock:

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7 Bites of Conversation So Far

  1. says

    I just posted about this too. I’ve been doing it for over a month now, once a week, and it’s just become part of the week. I was telling hubby last how much money we would have spent on organic chicken sandwich meat and organic chicken stock, and that a little work and a whole chicken is so much more economical!

    Cara’s last blog post..My crockpot chicken

  2. Sarah W says

    So I roasted a couple chickens today, stripped the carcasses and put them in a pot for stock… (I’ve made it several times now.) I have a few questions for you though… what do you do with the organs that come packed inside the chicken? Do you use/save them in other recipes or just throw them in the stock? (I definitely put the necks in there, wouldn’t know what else to do with them.) Do you also put the skin and fatty bits in the stock pot (if it’s not getting eaten, of course) Do you do anything special with the juices and fat drippings in the roasting pan, other than gravy? (I still have left over gravy from the last two times I made chicken.) Also, how do you handle the residual grease on the cutting board, in the pan etc? I am trying to be a good steward – not put fat in the drain, not waste too much paper and plastic etc… but wondered if you had any ideas that were more clever than mine! I used some PT to wipe off the excess residual fat (so paper in the garbage :( ), and then soaked the roasting pan and cutting board in hot soapy water. I poured the juices and fat into a jar and put them in the fridge, but not sure what to do with them now!

    TIA! :)

    • Katie says

      That’s what I did with the fat from the top of my beef broth — putting it in the fridge and not knowing what to do with it. I found out later that I could do french fries in it – it’s called tallow – and they were awesome! I don’t know if you can do fries in chicken fat, but you could certainly use it as the base fat for a cream-of soup or a sub for cream-of-chicken soup in a can (for a casserole or something). Tammy’s Recipes has a tasty recipe for cream-of-chicken soup base that I used in a turkey pot pie ( – delish. Last time I roasted a chicken (also with Tammy’s recipe!), the juices had enough moisture that what was at the bottom of my covered casserole dish actually congealed. There was so much gelatin, I did a happy dance! I just doled it out into my jars with my stock to add gelatin. Fabulous.

      I pretty much throw everything in the stock pot – skins, organs, drippings (unless I use it for gravy or cream-of soup). I figure at least the nutrients get cooked out of them and into the broth, even if I end up throwing something away. I tend to smash the organs between my fingers into mush and mix it in with my shredded chicken, which I freeze in 2 c. portions for recipes. (Don’t tell the husband!) However – it’s not recommended to use organ meat of factory-farmed animals like you’d normally find in the grocery store, so use your discretion unless you have an organic chicken there.

      Most of the skin ends up thrown away, because I’m not quite brave enough to just cut that up into the chicken, too. Passionate Homemaking has a recipe for “cracklin’s”, (which I think she accidentally called “chitlins” if you do a search), which is basically just frying up the skins until they’re crispy and then eating them like chips!

      As far as grease all over everything, I try to use as few dishes as possible, so I would pick the chicken right in the roasting dish/pan, if possible, so I don’t have too many tools/plates covered in grease. Soaking the roasting pan in hot water with baking soda helps to loosen the grime.

      I hope I covered everything! Thank you for the questions, actually, you just added a wealth of information to this post from which others can benefit! :) Katie

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