The Reason Your Chicken Stock Started To Gel

If you're not turning your leftover roasted chicken carcass into chicken stock, you're missing out. It's a perfect opportunity to use up some of those stragglers that are just about to go mushy in the crisper drawer and is one of the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it recipes. Once it's cooled and strained, you can use it for anything from chicken noodle soup to chicken and dumplings, or to deglaze your pan. And it's super healthy — according to WebMD, chicken broth is loaded with fatty acids, protein, and iron. These are essentials for healthy muscles, skin, and bones. The vitamins and minerals extracted from the chicken bones and any accompanying vegetables, like carrots or onions, also amp up the nutritional value. Chicken stock is also excellent for easing inflammation and clearing stuffy nasal passages. If you're worried about sodium levels, just limit the salt added.

Chicken stock and broth are also soothing; there's nothing more comforting than a mug of chicken stock when you're feeling under the weather. So it's a no-brainer to have some on hand in the freezer. But during your prep, if you come back to your chicken broth after it's cooled to find it's a bit ... wiggly, you might wonder if it's still okay to eat.

A gelatinous chicken stock is ideal, actually

No, your chicken stock isn't ruined. A gelatinous, wiggly chicken stock just means much of the collagen has been extracted from your chicken bones — which is a good thing, and what you should be aiming for. It means your stock will have a rounder, smoother mouthfeel and be a much better base for soups and sauces than store-bought stock, which can be thin and watery, according to Reddit. If you're worried about the texture, don't fret — the jiggly mass will melt as you heat it for whatever you're going to use it for. If the flavor is too strong as a soup base, adding a cup or two of water as it heats will mellow it out.

And your happy accident is very trendy – bone broth is a huge thing right now, especially amongst proponents of clean eating and those maintaining a paleo diet. Adding a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar is said to help with breaking down collagen, per The Paleo Diet. According to Healthline, the collagen from bone broth breaks down into gelatin, which our own connective tissues are made of — think tendons and ligaments. Consuming bone broth could help support joint health, amongst other health benefits. Drinking a cup of bone broth a day is ideal, but if you don't like the intense flavor or texture, you can use it as a base for hearty soups and sauces.