The main reason that I purchase whole chickens is to make homemade chicken stock. I love the fact that I can control the amount of salt as well as season it according to the recipes I plan on using in the coming weeks. If you have never tried this you really should...it is super easy!!!
Easy Chicken Stock
large, whole chicken carcass
several stalks celery, including leaves
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
several cloves garlic, skin on and halved
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
spices of choice (basil, rosemary, or thyme)
Put the leftover bones and skin from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add celery, onion, carrots, garlic and spices. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for at least 4 hours, occasionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface. Remove the bones and strain the stock. If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by simmering a few hours longer to make it more concentrated and easier to store.
This stock can be used in any recipe calling for chicken broth. I love to use this broth when preparing rice. It give the rice an excellent flavor!! Freeze in 1 cup portions for easy use.