Day 4 of Rotisserie Chicken Week: Chicken Stock, Chicken Soup

by Randy Murray on December 5, 2013

Making chicken stock sounds like some complex, Le Cordon Bleu mastery. Trust me, it ain’t. It is the simplest, easiest thing to do and will reward you not just with another meal, but with the basis of so many great meals.

And it’s practically free. You’ve been eating off this little chicken for an entire week. Why stop now just because the meat is gone?

Here’s how you do it. Take the chicken bones and toss them in the pot. Cover to the top of the bones in water, about two quarts typically. Set this on your stove, set the burner to the lowest setting, cover the pot, and leave it alone for 10 to 14 hours.

Safety note: do not leave the house with your burners on!

After that time has passed you’ll have a beautiful golden yellow broth. Fish the bones out and now you can throw them out. If you want to go the next step, toss in a stalk of celery, one of those from the middle of the bunch with the leaves still on, along with half of an onion, and perhaps a quarter of a green pepper. Cook these at a slightly higher heat for one hour, then fish them out and discard them, too.

I like to strain the broth through cheesecloth to keep out the stray particles. You can refrigerate this for a week or freeze it. It far superior to the canned stuff.

Or if you’re hungry, keep the fresh broth on the stove and turn the heat up to medium high. Toss in a handful of pasta or rice (and I mean just what you can hold in a single hand—not much at all), a can of diced tomatoes, any remaining chicken meat, and whatever vegetables you might have in the fridge—your choice. Cook until the pasta or rice is ready.

This will make another 4 or 5 dinner servings and goes great with a big chunk of crusty French bread.

All of the meals for this week, enough to feed two people for five or or six days, should cost you under $15 dollars, including the side items. A little over a buck a meal per person. And this is just the start. Using the broth you can make an amazing risotto. You can make an infinity of soups. With the chicken off the bone you are at the threshold of a dizzying array of dishes.

Cooking isn’t hard. It’s about imagination. I’ve shown you just a few possible meals. Now go and create some of your own.

Day 4 of Rotisserie Chicken Week: Chicken Stock, Chicken Soup by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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