How Can Leftover Juice From Cooking Chicken in a Crock Pot Be Used?

A bowl of chicken broth and soup.
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The flavor-packed juices leftover from slow-cooking chicken enhance any non-dessert dish. Once you observe a few important safety considerations, you can freeze leftover chicken juices in an ice cube tray, plastic zipper bag or other freezer-safe container for last-minute use. Add anything from plain water to heavy cream or good-quality wine, rum, brandy or vodka to leftover chicken juices to make sauces for casseroles and side dishes in just a few minutes.


Safety Considerations

Before using the juices leftover from slow-cooked chicken, check the temperature. Any foods or drippings held at temperatures between 40 degrees and 140 degrees for longer than two hours should go into the garbage for safety's sake. If the air or room temperature was 90 degrees or above, that number drops to one hour. If any chance exists for contamination through careless handling, such as ill children or adults who served themselves while sneezing or coughing, safe practice dictates discarding the juices.


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Depending on how strong you like your broth, you can mix up to four parts water with one part leftover chicken juices. For safety's sake, always bring the broth to a rolling boil both before you pack it into storage containers or ice cube trays and when you use it later. You should refrigerate the containers right away, even if you have glass shelves. A clean, folded kitchen towel will protect your shelf until the containers cool.


Gravy and Sauces

Water, juice, buttermilk, sour cream, plain yogurt or heavy cream in a 1-1 or 1-2 ratio turns chicken juice into sauce or gravy. If you have gluten sensitivity and do not wish to use wheat-based flour, try arrowroot, tapioca flour, potato flakes, ground garbanzo beans -- known as besan -- cornstarch or pea protein. Cranberry, orange, pineapple, lemon and lime juices all blend well with chicken juice to make sweet and sour sauces, marinades for poultry, fish, pork and ham, or warm dressings for "wilted" salads with berries and mixed greens.


Pasta, Rice and Potatoes

Use leftover chicken juice to bake or boil pasta, rice and potatoes. These starchy foods draw flavor from the chicken juices as they cook. Instead of discarding the liquid when pasta reaches the al dente stage, stir 2 to 4 tbsp. of your favorite thickener into an equal amount of any cold liquid until it forms a smooth paste. After that, strain the pasta liquid into the paste, bring everything to a rolling boil for two to three minutes, and pour everything back into the pasta. If you toss in a handful of diced bell pepper, onion, tomatoes or broccoli, it turns plain rice, pasta or potatoes into an instant side dish for a potluck or picnic.




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