Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Rotisserie Chicken = Multiple Meals and Homemade Stock

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Our local grocery store often sells rotisserie chickens for $5.  Sometimes even less!  When they are on sale like this, I grab at least one.  Do you know there are SO many ways to utilize this meal starter besides the obvious chicken and a side of veggies?

For example, the last time I picked up a rotisserie chicken, I pulled all the meat off the bones (aka pickin’ the bird), keeping the breasts separate from the rest of the meat.  That night I used the breast meat for chicken wraps with an assortment of veggies, cheeses and dressings. 

Then, I used the rest of the chicken meat for a healthy chicken noodle soup recipe, utilizing the bones from the rotisserie chicken to make homemade chicken stock.  Sure, making stock might sound daunting, but its much easier than I imagined.  Here’s the resulting stock from my first try using only one rotisserie carcass…

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And the yummy resulting soup that I made with my very first batch of stock…

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Derek said that this was the most delicious chicken noodle soup that I’ve ever made.  That’s HUGE coming from my “It’s ok.” hubby.  I think it’s the stock.  It seriously seemed to add a whole load of flavor compared to my usual canned broth based soup.  I decided then and there that I would be repeating my stock recipe.  To make a larger batch, I saved bones in freezer bags whenever we ate bone-in chicken.  This includes chicken leg quarters, split breasts or whole chickens. 

When I made this soup, I happened to have zucchini and yellow squash so that’s what I put in it.   I feel like soup recipes, especially ones that contain a few different vegetables, are made to be adjusted and suited to the season and tastes of the family.  Get creative and toss in whatever you enjoy! 

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Chicken Noodle Soup with Vegetables

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 each yellow squash and zucchini, cut into rounds and then halved
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock or broth (I used some homemade stock and some canned broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, frozen
  • 6 oz. No-Yolk wide noodles, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (read this somewhere but it really adds just a hint of flavor, no heat)
  • 2+ cups chicken meat (mine was mostly dark meat leftover from my rotisserie chicken)
  • Pinches of salt, fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 –2 teaspoons of dill, dried (optional)
  1. Place oil into a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash in the oil. Cook and stir until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in fresh garlic; mix it for 30 seconds and then stir in the stock or broth.
  2. Increase heat until it just starts to boil. Add in the green beans and corn, bringing mixture back to a boil.
  3. Stir in noodles and cook for a few minutes less that the package directions.  
  4. Finally, add hot sauce, chicken, and seasonings to taste. Add dill if using.  Serve immediately. 

And now onto to the stock...

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Homemade Chicken Stock

  • 3+ chicken carcasses
  • 2 carrots, halved
  • 2 stalks of celery, halved
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water
  1. Place chicken bones at the bottom of a large stock pot. 
  2. Add carrots, celery and onion. 
  3. Add water until everything is covered plus two inches higher. 
  4. Bring to a low gentle boil and skim off any dark foam that rises to the top of the pot. 
  5. Lower temperature and continue to simmer for 4 hours, skimming foam as needed. Do NOT boil! Add one cup or two of water if liquid levels get low.  
  6. Remove from heat, strain and discard all bones, vegetables and solids through a sieve.
  7. Let resulting stock cool in the fridge overnight. 
  8. Skim solidified fat and discard.  Use right away or refrigerate for up two 2 days.  Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

A few tips…

  • Save chicken carcasses and bones in the freezer until you have enough to make a nice big pot of stock.  I saved bones from chicken leg quarters and split chicken breasts along with my rotisserie chicken carcasses. 
  • After the stock has cooled, it will become gelatinous.  (See picture below)  And this, believe it or not, is a good thing.  You can read why stock is so beneficial here and here.  I’m sold!
  • Leave the skins on the onions and carrots.  They add more flavor!
  • I prefer not to add salt to the stock.  That way I can add salt as needed to my future dishes.  Plus, there already will be some salt from the rotisserie bits. 
  • You can also add a ‘bouquet garni”, which is basically fresh herbs tied together and simmered along with the bones and veggies to add more flavor.  I don’t usually have these items fresh from day to day, but would love to try this addition sometime. 

Snapped this picture this morning of my second attempt at homemade stock. 

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Gelatinous.  Check!  This time I used a lot of saved up bones and it made twice as much stock.  I reserved enough to make soup tomorrow and then froze the rest.  Such an easy project with HUGE payoffs. 

So there you have it…rotisserie chicken = multiple meals.  And I really didn’t even touch the countless possibilities.  We’ve used rotisserie chickens for everything from  tacos  to casseroles.  Just remember…save those bones! 

Beauty and Bedlam Pin It

2 comments:

  1. Ooh, looks yummy! I love soups! I try to catch the chicks on sale too and I have made chicken salad, chicken wraps, chicken soup and well....my husband actually started clucking one day I had fed him chicken so much! LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  2. I freeze my homemade chicken stock in ice cube trays. So perfect to grab just what I need, so true... it adds amazing flavor to just about anything!

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