I roasted a delicious chicken from Tara Firma Farms during the week.
One of the things that I love about (attempting) to buy local, healthy foods is that you know where they come from, you know how they were raised, and you know you’re not feeding your family antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, etc.
One of the bad things about (attempting) to eat like this is that a chicken – just one friggin’ 4 lb chicken – costs $28. If it had been fed unicorn bones, I’d undersand, but as far as I can tell this was a pretty normal chicken, albeit free-range.
Yes, I could go to the grocery store an get a regular chicken for $4, at a savings of… $24!
Which is why I’m attempting to eat this way. No guarantee I won’t just get fed up one day and binge on Foster Farms and Velveeta.
Point being, after we’d roasted our chicken, we had a leftover chicken carcass and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to do something with it, as it alone was probably $12.
There are quite a few recipies online for making chicken stock from a chicken carcass – or a few of them you’ve saved up – but not as much about making a nice hearty chicken carcass soup same-day. I improvised with what we had available and came out with a fantastic soup, hearty and filling, that the family loved. And that made me feel not quite as awful – ok, still pretty awful – about a $28 chicken.
Michelle’s Chicken Carcass Soup Recipe
- 1 chicken carcass
- wild rice
- bay leaf
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup butter
- heavy cream
- sugar snap peas
- minced garlic
- a rustic bread to sop it up with
Put the chicken in a pot, cover it with water and throw in a bay leaf. (I’m not certain why every soup recipe in the world calls for a bay leaf, but I put one in just for good measure). Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 1.5-2 hours.
While your chicken carcass is simmering, you can take a few minutes to prep the other ingredients – cut the potatoes, onions and carrots, trim the yucky bits off the peas, get a pot of rice steaming.
Here’s my veggies bin all ready to be souped:
The chicken carcass is done whenever you feel like taking it off the stove – after an hour it should be flavorful. Mine went for about 2 hours.
Pour the soup through a strainer into a big bowl or another pot. Pick out all the yummy chunks of meat from the strainer and throw out the yucky bones and cartilage. Here’s what I had left at this point:
Put the meat back in the pot, with the soup liquid.
Set it to simmer again.
Then take your veggies (but not the snap peas) and and give them a quick stir-fry with some butter:
This should take about 5 minutes. You’re not cooking them all the way through.
Stick the veggies in the soup pot and let it simmer away. I did mine for about 30 minutes. If your potatoes or carrots are in bigger chunks, you might need to go a bit longer.
Once the veggies are soft enough for your taste, season your chicken carcass soup with salt and pepper.
Turn the heat off and throw in your sugar snap peas and as much of the wild rice as you and your family like.
Swirl in some heavy cream if you have it on hand like I did to give the soup a little more body.
When all was said and done, here’s what I ended up with:
Zach says the picture doesn’t do it justice.
Everybody went back for seconds – and thirds – so I can believe them. I’m not a huge soup fan, but I really did enjoy this recipe.
Of course, any veggies can be subbed in or out to suit your family’s taste, and the rice can be switched for noodles or nothing at all.
Chicken carcass soup is very flexible and it’s tough to make a mistake, as the flavor comes from the chicken, not your seasoning prowess!