The Secret Weapon of Costco Rotisserie Chicken: Making Homemade Stock

Costco rotisserie chicken is a miracle. Hot, delicious, readily available, and super budget-friendly at under $5. But its magic doesn’t end there. Even after the delectable, juicy meat is devoured, the leftover carcass (and don’t forget all the leftover juices in the tray) holds another treasure: a foundation for dynamite homemade stock.

This stock is more than just a way to save money; it’s a flavor powerhouse. Unlike store-bought broth, which relies mostly on salt and artificial flavorings (OK, we know, Costco rotisserie chickens aren’t exactly low-sodium either), this stock boasts a rich, umami depth thanks to the collagen released from the bones. It’s the secret ingredient to elevating soups, sauces, and stews.

And the best part? Making it is surprisingly easy. With 15 minutes of prep, you can have homemade stock ready to use or freeze for later. Simply toss the leftover carcass and any residual drippings into a pot with water, vegetables, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Then, let it simmer its magic for a few hours.

Here’s the beauty of this recipe: it’s adaptable. You can simmer the stock on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or even a pressure cooker. No matter your method, you’ll end up with a deeply flavorful broth that’s infinitely better than anything you’ll find in a box or can.

So, the next time you reach for that rotisserie chicken, remember its hidden potential. Transform its leftovers into a flavorful stock that will elevate your cooking to new heights.

Costco Rotisserie Chicken Broth Recipe


  • Leftover rotisserie chicken carcass
  • Drippings and gelatin from the container (optional)
  • 2-3 carrots, 2-3 celery stalks, and 1 onion – all roughly chopped (mirepoix)
  • Parsley
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 10-12 whole peppercorns
  • Water

Simple Stovetop Method:

  1. Place the carcass, drippings, and mirepoix in a large pot.
  2. Add herbs, peppercorns, and enough water to cover.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, partially covered.
  4. Strain the stock and discard the solids.

Crock Pot or Pressure Cooker Option:

Follow the same steps but adjust cooking times:

  • Crock pot: High for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours.
  • Pressure cooker: 15 minutes on high pressure, followed by natural pressure release.

Instant Pot Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in the Instant Pot.
  2. Set to Soup mode for 15 minutes.
  3. Allow for natural pressure release (about 10 minutes).
  4. Strain the stock and enjoy!

Pro Tips:

  • Add leftover rotisserie chicken skin for extra flavor (remove before straining).
  • Roast vegetables in the oven before adding them to the stock for deeper flavor.
  • Store leftover stock in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for longer storage.

Beyond Stock:

Use your homemade broth in countless ways, including:

  • Soups: From classic chicken noodle to creamy tomato, the possibilities are endless.
  • Stews: Add depth and flavor to beef, lentil, or any other stew.
  • Sauces: Enhance pan sauces, gravies, or even tomato sauce.
  • Risotto: Infuse your risotto with unmatched flavor.


Photo credit and shout out to the fine folks over at whose delicious recipe inspired us.