Hearty Chicken Soup

In my last entry I mentioned that rotisserie chickens offer quite a bit of bang for their buck – not only can you make gourmet sandwiches out of them, but once you’re done with pulling the meat off bit by bit, you can dump the bones and leftover meat into a crock pot and make a delicious, healthy soup. There are no rules to this recipe – anything goes! I do always try to include a substantial portion of vegetables and I only add one carbohydrate to my soup, but those are only suggestions. Here’s the recipe I recently made up, but please experiment and tell me about your own ideas!

Hearty Chicken Soup

Preparation:
at least 36 hours

Approximate Cooking Time:
at least 36 hours

Ingredients:
a crock pot
the bones of one rotisserie chicken with leftover meat and skin still on them
some extra cooked chicken, if necessary
water
6 carrots
1 small onion
3 ears of corn
1/2 of a 12-oz. package of egg noodles
salt and pepper
parsley

Directions:
Put bones with chicken meat and skin into the crock pot. Add water until the chicken is covered, or until the water reaches about one or two inch below the top of the crock pot. Cover the crock pot and cook on low or simmer for 24-36 hours. The broth will have turned a light tan color and smell delicious. Turn off the crock pot and let cool for a few minutes. Pull all of the bones, skin and chicken meat out of the pot. Once the pot and broth have cooled a bit you can either drain the broth (be sure to drain it into a container so you don’t lose it!) or fish everything out with a slotted spoon. If you choose to fish all of the bones out, be careful that you don’t miss the smallest ones that will be at the very bottom of the broth. Once all of the bones, skin and meat are in a single bowl, separate out the meat from the skin and bones. The meat should slide off the bones very easily. Be very careful to remove all of the tiny pieces of bone and cartilage. Put the meat back in to the crock pot with the broth and throw out the bones and skin. Add some extra cooked chicken, cut into small pieces, if desired.

Now that the chicken and broth are in the soup, cut the carrots into pieces and add them. Cover the crock pot again and cook on low or high for 6-12 hours such that it will be ready approximately 2 hours before serving the soup. Once the carrots are done, cook the corn in a separate pot, cool, and slice the kernels off. They do not have to be individual kernels. Add the corn to the soup. Chop the onion into medium-sized pieces and add it to the soup as well. Add the desired amount of salt, pepper and parsley. Cover once more and cook on low for 2 hours. As the soup is cooking, cook the egg noodles in a separate pot according to the directions on the bag. Drain and store in the refrigerator while the soup finishes. When the soup is ready, add the cooked noodles and serve the soup hot with crusty bread and butter.


Perfect healthy comfort food.

This is my most complicated recipe yet, and it has to be started way before you wish to eat it. I for one think it’s very worth it, though! If you’re in for a quiet day or two at home this is a great meal to prepare. You can also use up almost any leftovers. I had some corn in my refrigerator that wasn’t very delicious that I wanted to use up, and this was perfect.

I would love to hear your variations on this recipe. In the past I have skipped the corn and instead added celery and/or potatoes. Has anyone experimented with spicing their soup differently? Or perhaps tried vegetables or starches I haven’t yet tried?

So I still have some extra corn left… which means that homemade corn muffins are next!

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