chicken soup from leftover roasted chicken
I have a carcas from a 7 lb bird with 1/2 a breast in tact. How do i turn this into chicken soup? I have carrots, celery, onion, bay.... thanks for the help.
Use everything you have from the chicken, except the meat. Cover it with water, add carrots, celery, onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, salt, thyme, whatever seasoning you want. Simmer for as long as you can (hours), checking liquid. Drain w/ fine sieve and you have stock. Add your remaining chicken breast (cooked, I'm assuming?) chopped, whatever else you want for the soup.
Take the breast meat off and reserve it for finishing the soup. Break up the carcas and put it in a large pot. Cut up an onion, no need to peel, a couple of carrots, again no need to peel, chop some celery and celerty leaves and add to the pot, a healthy dose of salt and some peppercorns. Add cold water to cover. Bring just to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer skimming any scum or foam that comes to the top. DO NOT BOIL. Simmer for 3-4 hours or so, even a little longer. Then remove from the heat and strain the stock. Discard all of the solids, bones, used veg and peppercorns. Your stock is now ready to become chicken soup. Add fresh vegetable to it, a carb of some sort like rice or noodles if you want and just before serving shred that chicken breast and add to the soup.
If you want flavorful soup from an already cooked chicken carcass, use a can of chicken broth. Or use chicken boullion like Knorr (or better) instead of salt. Once the chicken's been roasted, an awful lot of the flavor from the bones has leached out. If you have the grease/non-thickened drippings, add them but cool and skim before you serve. Pick out the bones and gristle and skin. Parsnips and dill add a wonderful flavor cooked in (and this can be done once the bones are cooked to death) in addition to the tried and true celery and onion and carrots. If you cook them after the bones and nasty bits are gone, it's easier to pick out the pot. Add the shredded cooked chicken only at the last moment go heat through as it will add little flavor to the broth and lose what flavor it has. Dark meat could be added a bit earlier.
I agree with addition of Knorr's boullion. You can add flavor back into the chicken soup. This is my usual go to soup when I have a chicken carcass left over and it is so delicious.
To make the broth:
Put the entire carcass into the pot and cover with water and bouillion
3 garlic cloves, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, 1 med onion -rough chopped.1 tsp of garlic powder. When the broth is done, take it all out and strain through cheese cloth. Make sure to strain it well. clear broth is good.
Taste the broth add more bouillion if you need to.
Then cut 1 cup carrot, 1 cup celery - 1 onion small dice, and chop the rest of your chicken. Salt and pepper
Make matzo balls from the Manischewitz mix as directed on the box (make sure you put the mix in the fridge) and add about 1/3 cup of the small (tiny Manischewitz egg bowties)
Then when its almost ready add the chicken and at the very end a nice handful of fresh italian parsley. Serve it and smile.
I just have to insert a word of caution about the drippings. I roast my chickens at high heat, which I think produces a a nicer bird - crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. But the one negative is that the drippings can take on a "burnt grease" flavor. If you save the drippings, be sure to dilute them a bit with some boiling water and taste it before adding to your stock. If it has that scorched taste, once it's added, you can't hide it.
i've stopped putting celery in my chicken stock, because i feel it's too bitter.
another good trick after straining is to refrigerate the stock. the fat will congeal on top and is very easily removed while white and firm the next day. makes a much lighter cleaner tasting broth.
The cooked breast meat, if you want to eat it, should not be re-cooked if you don't want to compromise its quality. Rather, it should be shredded (rather than chopped; chopped cooked meat is more rubberty than shredded) cold and then the hot soup poured over it to heat it up (and to cool the soup off a little bit).