Whole chickens are one of my favorite things in the whole wide world to cook with. Let me rattle off a few reasons why:

1. Cost per pound, they are usually way cheaper than precut chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, etc.
2. They are super versatile. You can roast them, poach them, butcher them. They can go any which way.
3. You can do a ton with one beyond the first meal! Which is what I’m talkin’ bout today.

This is a wrap up post of my last several. First, I showed you my absolute favorite way to roast a chicken. It’s simple and leaves you with crispy, golden skin and juicy, perfectly cooked meat. I love this stuff. Here’s the recipe!

Roasted Chicken


    • 1 whole chicken
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/3 butter, softened
    • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
    1/2 onion, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Mix together the salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
2. Set chicken on layered paper towels and pat the chicken down with additional paper towels to soak up moisture, making sure to lift the wings and legs. Let it sit for a few minutes, then do it again.
3. Season the chicken all over with the seasoning mixture, including inside the cavity. Rotate the bird to make sure you cover all the skin.
4. Rub the butter into the skin and cavity. Again, make sure you’ve covered the entire surface of the bird with butter and put a liberal amount of butter inside the cavity.
5. Stuff the cavity with the celery and onion. Set chicken on roasting pan. If you don’t have one, you can stack a cooling rack on a cookie sheet.
6. Cook the chicken in preheated oven for 1 hour and fifteen minutes. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Let rest for 20-30 minutes.
7. Save carcass for homemade chicken stock.

Once you’ve thoroughly feasted on the chicken, don’t you dare just toss that oh so useful carcass. You’d be depriving yourself of the liquid gold that is homemade chicken stock, or bone broth. If you’re too tipsy tired to do something with it right after dinner, just toss the whole thing, bits of meat, cartilage, bones, and all into a large plastic bag and into the fridge until the next morning.

When you’re ready to deal with it, get all the remaining meat off the carcass. Honestly, it’s easiest to just do this with your hands, unless your a pro with a butcher’s knife. I am not. Refrigerate that for later. Then make yourself some stock!


Homemade Chicken Stock
Makes 8 Cups


    • 1 chicken carcass, including loose bones and cartilage (You can also use a whole raw chicken)
    • 3 carrots, washed, unpeeled, and roughly chopped
    • 1 onion, unpeeled, roughly chopped
    • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • 4 stalks celery, washed and roughly chopped
    • 1 stalk leeks, washed and roughly chopped (optional)
    • 1 tsp black peppercorns
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4 stems fresh parsley OR 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
    • 1 tsp salt (optional)
    8 cups water

1. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot or to a crock pot.
2. If cooking on the stove: Let simmer for 1-3 hours. If using a whole raw chicken, remove cooked chicken meat from pot after one hour, or until cooked through, and return bones and cartilage to simmering liquid for remaining cook time.
If cooking in the crock pot: Let cook on low for 6-12 hours. If using a whole raw chicken, remove cooked chicken meat from pot after six hours, or until cooked through, and return bones and cartilage to simmering liquid for remaining cook time.

3. Set a strainer over a large bowl and strain chicken stock to remove all the vegetables and bones. Discard vegetables and bones and refrigerate stock for several hours, or until fat has risen to the top and solidified. Skim fat off the top and discard.
4. Use within 6 days after cooking. If you don’t intend to use it right away, portion into 1-2 cup portions into freezer safe bags. Lie flat in freezer and stack on top of one another.

So now that you have stock, you have two choices. Both are excellent options. You can either portion the stock into usable amounts (i.e. 1 1/2 cups) or you can use it right away. One of my favorite ways to use the fresh stock and make the most of my leftover chicken is to make good ol’, hearty chicken noodle soup! I truly believe it’s the ultimate comfort food. Maybe just behind mashed potatoes. But it’s a close call. Here’s my simple recipe for chicken noodle soup:


Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4-6


    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 small yellow onion, diced
    • 3 medium carrots, diced
    • 3 stalks celery, diced
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper (I like my soups very peppery- if you don’t, use 1/2 tsp)
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 6 cups

chicken stock

    • 1 1/2 cup cooked & shredded chicken
    • 1/2 cup uncooked pasta of choice (I used small shells)
    Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once warm, add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onions are just translucent.
2. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
3. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add the chicken and uncooked pasta and bring to a boil. Boil for recommended time for al dente pasta on box instructions.
4. Serve topped with fresh parsley and bread or toast.

If you don’t already, start cooking whole chickens more often! You get so much bang for your buck and they’re incredibly delicious. Win, win. Oh, and you know those awesome rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store? You can absolutely make chicken stock with them, too!