This is something I have been meaning to do FOREVER! Every time I roast a bird or pick up a quick rotisserie chicken for dinner, I think, boy, I should make soup too. It’s a great way to extend leftovers and make something out of the chicken carcass that is typically thrown away. And who doesn’t like chicken soup? But I somehow never quite got around to doing it. I actually started once, but, paralyzed by fear of not having a recipe to follow, I gave up.
This time, however, I was determined to follow through. On Monday night, after a grueling round of grocery shopping, Ben and I decided we were too tired to cook and picked up a “Bourbon” rotisserie chicken at Stop & Shop. Sadly, I think the chickie spent a little too much time under the heat lamps. It was a little overcooked and dry in places, but definitely still edible. Also, the “Bourbon” seasoning or whatever was not my favorite thing, but after eating enough to fill ourselves, I got down to business. Please note that this “recipe” is merely approximations of what I actually did, because I myself did not use a recipe, and went by taste.
Homemade Chicken Soup
Ingredients (Chicken Stock)
One leftover chicken roast
2 stalks celery,
2 medium carrots,
2 medium onions,
salt & pepper
2 bay leaves
Ingredients for the Soup
3 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
Half a box of pasta (elbows, radiators etc-small pieces)-optional
Spices to taste
- Grab your leftover chicken and strip all of the edible meat off the bones. Shred the meat and save it for later. Save the bones too.
- Wash and coarsely chop your onions, celery and carrots-don’t bother peeling them as long as you wash them well.
- Put bones and veggies in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add seasonings (see Note About Seasoning below)
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 4 hours, but up to a full day, skimming off any scum or fat that may rise to the top. Strain the bones and veggies out of the stock-make sure you reserve the stock. Discard bones and veggies-you’ve extracted all the flavor from them and don’t want to eat mushy, overcooked veggies! You may keep the stock refrigerated for a day or so or freeze it and make the soup at a later date
- When you’re ready to make the soup, wash, peel and chop all of your fresh, new veggies into bite-sized pieces.
- Add your stock, veggies, and chicken meat to the broth and bring to a low simmer-season to taste with salt, pepper, basil and thyme
- If you are using pasta, boil it separately so that the pasta doesn’t suck up all your broth, and add the cooked pasta just before serving.
I have to say, for a first attempt, the soup came out pretty darn good! We ate it for dinner last night and again for lunch today, and there’s still some left over! I definitely have some tweaking to do though-I only simmered my carcass and veggies for about 3 hours, and according to my dear friend Jaska (read her blog here), the key to a good stock is simmering the bird for a good long time-at least 12 hours, so I intend to do this next time.
**A Note About Spicing-I think all told I ended up using about 3 tbsp of salt, but the amount you use will depend on the amount of water you use, so start small and incrementally add more. Just be careful and patient! I also ended up using quite a bit of black pepper, and about 1/2 tsp each of basil and thyme.
What else did you try putting in your soup?