You may be throwing out a great side to a meal or even a light lunch and not even know it. It comes with those rotisserie chickens you buy at the grocery store when you’re running late. It also comes with the whole chicken you buy, either to roast whole or cut into pieces to save money over buying a chicken that is cut up already. Here’s how you get your free soup:
- Take the remains fo the chicken – bones, skin, back, neck, meat clinging to the bones – and throw it all in a large pot. Add about four cups of water, a little salt (if you’re using a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, maybe skip this step since it may be salty enough already) and set it to simmer on low. If you can fit it all in the pot, put a lid on. If not, just turn the heat up slightly and let it cook uncovered. Check periodically and add water if it’s boiling down.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. Using a fork, remove any usable pieces of meat and place in a bowl. Throw away the skin, bones, and grizzle.
- Place the chicken broth remaining in the pan in a container. Let it cool for 30 minutes to reach room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator. Place the chicken pieces in a separate container and refrigerate.
- The next day, spoon off the yellow fat layer that develops on top. Throw the fat away, unless you want to use the fat as a starter for gravy or something. Pour the broth into a large pot.
- Add the chicken meat you’ve reserved to the pot. Add a half teaspoon of pepper and a little salt if needed. Slice a piece of celery thin and add it, then maybe a carrot. Cook these until the vegetables are tender. (You can really add a lot of things here – be creative!)
- Add a handfull of egg noodles or spaghetti. Cook until pasta is al dente (soft but still chewy).
And there you have it – chicken noodle soup with very little effort and practically free ingredients. Note there are a thousand other soups that start with chicken broth, so you can do a lot with your leftover chicken. You can also freeze the chicken broth in a plastic disposable container, then once solidly frozen use warm water on the outside of the container to release your chicken broth ice cube and store it in a gallon freezer bag with other cubes until you need some chicken broth. Then you just throw your cube in a pan and heat up to melt. You can freeze the chicken as well if you wish.
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