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".