How To Get An Extra Meal Out Of Your $5 Costco Rotisserie Chicken

There are a lot of things Costco is known for. Maybe you think of wandering through the gigantic warehouse aisles past pallets of cheese balls and mixed nuts. Maybe you think of membership fees and exclusive club levels. While all of these things are generally what the bulk supplier is known for, there's one particular item that might pop into your head when you hear the word Costco: rotisserie chicken.

At first glance, Costco's rotisserie chicken might not seem all that special. It looks like the average roast chicken from any supermarket. But fans love this particular chicken, boasting that it's not only delicious but also a versatile ingredient for many chicken-based dinners.  Want to make chicken salad without cooking the meat? Grab a Costco rotisserie chicken and shred that bad boy. Want to make buffalo chicken dip? Get a rotisserie chicken, and you're already halfway done. Want a quick dinner? If you can find an easier dinner than a Costco rotisserie chicken and some mac and cheese, we'd love to hear about it. Whether you serve them as-is or as part of another meal, Costco's rotisserie chickens are a useful ingredient for any kitchen.

But did you know you can squeeze an extra meal from that roast chicken out of something that you usually throw away? If you've been tossing rotisserie chicken bones, you might want to save them to make chicken stock.

You can use the bones to make stock

When you shred the dark and white meat off of your Costco rotisserie chicken, you're left with the bones and scraps sitting in the plastic tub. Instead of throwing out those bones, clumps of fat, and drippings, you can use them to make a pretty good chicken stock.

Let's say that you want to make some homemade chicken stock. You have a pot or slow cooker full of chopped vegetables (such as celery, onions, carrots, and bay leaves), chicken broth, and a few bouillon cubes for good measure. While this is a perfectly good stock recipe, it wouldn't hurt to use the leftovers from your Costco chicken from last night to add some extra flavor. Not only will the leftover fat and skins, which have already been cooked and seasoned, add some delicious poultry flavor, but the pre-cooked bones will also provide a deeper, richer taste. You can use the stock to make soup or enjoy it by itself.

Of course, you'll still have to chuck the bones away when you're done. But you'll get more use out of them this way, at least.

You can also use the chicken skin for a snack

As you shred the chicken apart, you're probably pulling off all of the skin that's still on the meat. Truth be told, you probably wouldn't want to eat the skin the way it looks now — flabby, oily, chewy, like balling up a piece of rubber and soaking it in chicken grease. While it's not an appetizing treat in this state, you can use it to make a delicious and easy snack that's similar to potato chips or pork rinds.

A simple method for frying chicken skin involves placing strips of chicken skin into a stockpot or pan of 350-degree oil. Lay your chicken skins into the oil and allow them to fry for around four minutes, or until the chicken skins are crisp. You can also prepare the chicken skins in the oven by baking them for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until they're golden and crisp. You can also season the chicken skins with whatever spices you want, similar to how you would if you were making homemade potato chips.

The end result should be a crispy, golden "chip" that tastes very similar to fried chicken breading. You can serve the fried chicken skins by themselves or with your choice of dip. So long as you aren't wasting the bones, skins, or meat of your Costco rotisserie chicken, you can do whatever you want with them.