When the local markets advertise 10-lb. packs of chicken thighs/legs, I purchase two or three packages, cook them and do this: Cool in broth and skim off fat. See number 4.
1. The skin goes in the food processor and is chopped and frozen in small packages to mix with dry dog food for our pet.
2. The meat is pulled from the bone and canned with the broth in pint jars (see local agricultural extension office for canning tips). Each pint is the basis for quick meals: Chicken and noodles; chicken pot pie; chicken and rice; mexican chicken; chicken and dumplings.
3. Any surplus broth is canned and I use it to flavor canned vegetables, soups and gravies. It is an excellent way to flavor dried beans without adding a lot of fat.
4. Speaking of fat: Any fat goes into my solid fats from other cooking and saved until I have enough to make a batch of homemade laundry soap (6 pounds). The recipe is on a can of lye. Be very careful, this is caustic soda…if you choose to make soap, send the kids away while you do! This is a most rewarding enterprise and the soap is a most excellent stain and grease remover.
5. Pat yourself on the back! You’ve used everything except the bones and gristle!