My last post featured an easy single person dinner, and I said you could use a store bought whole cooked chicken. But let’s not throw out that carcass! It has awesome flavor left in it and some good meat stuck to the bones!
I am not a precise cook and perhaps it’s because I have done it a while, but I get a good size pot, place my chicken carcass in the pot, and cover with water. Now my patience level is never long, kind of like my attention! So, I boil the carcass on high for about and hour, then I turn it to low (still a rumbling boil), while I cut up carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, and red peppers!
The next step is to take another pot of close to the same size and strain your chicken broth into your new pot. In your strainer is all the bone and meat – let this cool while you bring your broth back to a boil and add your veggies – now remember you can be rustic and imaginative with your chopping! If you julienne your celery and carrots, it would be more like an asian chicken soup, and you could even add some asian noodles instead of potato. I like to chop rustic and chunky, to make a meal out of my soup!
Now while that is coming back to a boil, I sift through my bones and meat and put the meat pieces back in the soup pot. Leaving nothing to waste, I then feed the bones to my pigs so they get some great calcium!
On a side note, at the ranch nothing is left for waste, carrot ends and onion skin gets thrown to the chickens, I grow more celery with my ends as I discussed in another post, and the bones can get thrown to the pigs.
Seasoning a chicken soup again can be your flavors! Garlic, parsley, salt and pepper are the safe bets! Remember to taste your food as you are cooking to check the seasonings! If you are wanting to jazz it up, try a little fresh tomato chopped and added with fresh basil and chives! Or leave out the potatoes, add asian noodles and a dash of soy sauce with some Chinese spice. Add some canned butter beans and chipotle and red pepper flakes to make it more southwestern! I like to make fresh croutons, big of course, and float a few of those in my soup with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! I’ll save the croutons for another day!
Cooking should be fun and it’s not the recipe, it’s learning what flavors and types of food go together… that’s how to adapt and create spectacular meals! Find your inner cowgirl and cook for her tastes! You will be amazed!