Don’t Throw Out That Roasted Chicken Carcass
Question: When you roast a whole chicken for dinner or buy a rotisserie chicken at the market, what do you do with the carcass after cutting most of the meat off?
I bet many of you just toss it. I often do but last night I again realized what a mistake this is. Instead use it to make a simple chicken broth you can use to make a quick and easy chicken soup. It cannot be easier and the flavor is so much better than anything you can buy in a can.
I’m not talking about making a classic chicken stock that does take time to do properly. I’m talking about covering the chicken with water in a large saucepan or small soup pot and let it simmer for an hour or more with the lid mostly on.
You can remove most of the already cooked meat and just simmer the carcass or leave whatever meat is on the bird and remove it after you are done. Whatever is easier for you.
Last night, I let the carcass simmer for about a 1½ hours while I helped the kids with their homework and worked out. When it was done and the liquid had plenty of flavor, I removed the carcass and any remaining bones from the liquid and added some chopped carrots and celery.
While the carrots and celery were cooking, I removed most of the edible meat from the bones and reserved it until the carrots and celery were tender but still a little crunchy. I could have added leeks or fennel or broccoli but this was for my oldest daughter and me and this is what she wanted. You can add whatever you like or want to clean out of the refrigerator. It’s going to be good.
When the vegetables were done, I added the reserved chicken meat and some store bought cheese tortellinis that I just cooked for my younger daughter who doesn’t like chicken soup. I could have added cooked pasta; egg noodles or even cooked the pasta in the chicken broth. It could not be easier. This is a classic shortcut meal.
This simple chicken soup was incredibly flavorful. So much better than any commercial soup you can find. The flavors are fresh and clean without all the salt and artificial flavorings.
And to think, I almost threw out that carcass.