Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leftover Roast Chicken?

That roast chicken from last week...gone in a flash. The portion that wasn't eaten was sent home with the daughters for a quick after-class meal. The only "leftovers" was the carcass.
I used it to make soup and it just might have been better than the original roast chicken meal.
No recipe because you don't need one.  Forage in the refrigerator and pantry and go to town!  Here's what I did:

Put the refrigerated chicken carcass in a pot and covered it with cold water.  I scrubbed a carrot (no need to peel) and a stick of celery and chopped them into large chunks; washed an onion and put half of it into the pot, skin and all.  The skin gives your broth a beautiful golden color.  You'll be discarding these veggies, not eating them.  They're for flavor only.  Add a small handful of whole black peppercorns and let the carcass mixture simmer for 1 hour, straining off the foam as it develops. 

 I don't add salt at this point.  Remove the carcass to a plate, strain the stock, discard all of the solids and rinse out your pot.  Pick the chicken meat from the carcass, put it back into the pot, and throw that poor naked carcass out.  It's finished; gone; done; it's "given it's all" and worked every last bit of magic it has in it.  Skim off some of the fat from the stock and put it back into the pot with the chicken meat.

Now go back to the refrigerator and get another couple of carrots and some celery (I used just one rib).
Wash, peel, and chop them into bite-size pieces.  Put them back into the pot along with a 1/2 cup of long cooking barley (if you use short cooking barley, add it near the end or it will be mush).  Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes or until the barley is tender.  I had some Napa cabbage and some fresh baby spinach so I chopped them and added them to the pot.  Taste the broth and add salt and freshly ground pepper as desired. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes more to wilt the spinach and cabbage. 

SOUP HEAVEN!  Simple, clean flavors; the stock was the star but the veggies were tender and sweet and the barley added substance.  I could have eaten bowls of this soup but one bowl was all I needed.

Now that's what I call "Leftovers".


  1. This is exactly what I do with leftover carcasses. It's all about what's-in-the-frig soup. Yours looks delish! Thanks for sharing.

  2. A heart warming soup is so good this time of the year. Using the carcass from that beautiful chicken you baked make such a rich looking soup. I go foraging in my refrigerator all the time.

  3. Oh, Yum Yum! What a great idea! I never think to do this with my chicken carcass -- thanks for the reminder! Will you come and live at my house and do my cooking??? ;-D

  4. Yum! Do you know what I do? Every time I peel an onion, I save the top, bottom and skin. Every time I cut a carrot, I save the ends. Everytime I chop off the top of celery, I save that too. They all go into a freezer bag, and then whenever I need to make soup stock, I have all of the left overs and tid bits to throw into the stock. I also save left over fresh parsley and small garlic cloves...they all go into the freezer bag too.