The Best Way To Rescue Gelled Chicken Stock Without Watering It Down

Homemade chicken stock is the ultimate secret weapon to upgrade any meal. It's low in calories, packed with protein and essential fatty acids, and rich in minerals like iron and selenium, making it good for your skin, bones, and muscles (per WebMD). Whether you stand diligently over the stovetop all afternoon skimming fat, or take a much-deserved shortcut with an Instant Pot chicken stock recipe, the results will be worth the effort. While chicken noodle soup is an obvious contender for your hard-won golden juice, it will also add richness and depth to casseroles, pasta dishes, and even rice.

Chicken stock made from scratch might be delicious, but it's not always aesthetically pleasing. Here's one common scenario. Let's say you tossed the leftover bones from your roast chicken into a slow cooker overnight, strained out the liquid, and found that after a few hours in the refrigerator, it had turned to jello. What should you do? Should you panic? Has something gone terribly wrong?

Absolutely not. Not only is there an easy fix for thinning out your stock, but this could be the best thing that's ever happened to your DIY soup efforts.

How to fix jello chicken stock

Stock differs from broth in that it's made with bones, which release collagen after hours of slow simmering break down the animal carcass (via Bon App├ętit). Collagen has become popular as a supplement in recent years, and influencers like to tout it as being good for everything from promoting heart health to preventing bone loss (per Healthline). It's even thought to act as an anti-aging element for your skin, though as the New York Times points out, the scientific results on this have been mixed.

A structural protein found in the connective tissue of animals, collagen is what causes your soup to become goopy and gelatinous, according to Nourished Kitchen, and it's often considered a sign of a successful home cook to achieve a thick, jelly-like stock.

If you like your soup on the thinner side, though, it's easy enough to turn your jelly back into juice. According to The Kitchn, you can add two or three cups of water or boxed chicken stock to your gelled stock and simmer until the stock thins out, and because the collagen-rich liquid is so dense and flavorful, watering it down won't impact the flavor. It also means you'll have more liquid gold to use in all the cozy, mouthwatering recipes on your list!