When I was a few years out of cooking school I went to France to do a 3 month apprenticeship at a 1 star restaurant in Chartres France. I certainly expanded my cooking knowledge but most of all I learned how to be thrifty. The French (and most Europeans, and probably all cultures except ours) do not waste one piece of food, raw or cooked. We served an amuse (little freebie hors d’oeuvres) at the restaurant at the start of each meal which my chef generically called “pizza.” He would throw everything in there – leftover fish, sweatbreads, rabbit liver, tomatoes, cheese, etc, all repositioned leftovers from the day before. It was horrifying. But none of the guests seemed to notice or care, it was a happy little freebie at the beginning of the meal. And the rest of the meal was spectacular.
One of his other little habits was to take the leftover bones from our roast chicken and other cooked chicken dishes and make a stock out of them. Who would think that cooked bones could contribute much to a stock? The stock was a bit weaker than the version made with raw chicken bones but we just boiled it down more to concentrate the flavor.
So, recently, I was getting ready to throw out yet another rotisserie chicken carcass and I stopped myself remembering Chartres and my chef. I made a stock. It was delicious. Actually it had great depth of flavor (probably because it was a Peruvian roasted rotisserie chicken). I was shocked. Then, recently, I happened to be given a huge smoked goose. I cooked it for dinner on mother’s day, cut the extra meat off the bone for the freezer and a rainy day and then stared at the carcass. The same brilliant idea came to me and I made a smoked goose stock. Wow!!
So, don’t throw out those used bones or carcasses – stockpile them in the freezer until you have enough to make a stock.
Here is a recipe for regular chicken stock, just used cooked bones in place of the raw ones.