Today we wrap up our budget buster bulk cooking chicken journey. We have made chicken and stuffing casserole, buffalo chicken pizza, Hawaiian BBQ chicken pizza, salsa verde, sour cream chicken enchiladas, chicken citrus super food salad of course our initial meal of roast chicken dinner and now for the grand finale. There will be nothing left after this! Taking the carcasses of the roasted birds as well as the bones and skin from what we have been using for all the rest of the goodness we have made and we are now making a delicious, nutritious and simple chicken soup.
This soup is so easy to make and really you are making a good quality bone stock that will have shreds of chicken meat that will shed from the bone over the long cooking time. I did not add anything fancy here. Only simple aromatics such as celery, onion and carrot as well as a half a lemon. I always like to add lemon to my chicken soup or stock because I think it helps to clarify the stock and reduce the "scum" that can sometimes build up while cooking.
I tossed everything in the pot from the freezer, added the veggies and a handful of seasonings. I like to add parsley, salt, peppercorns, sage, bay leaf,marjoram and a few other spices. You can add what you like, I would recommend going easy on the salt at the beginning. Over time and the cooking process the flavors can concentrate. You can always taste for seasoning in the end, and adjust to your taste.
I cooked my soup for three hours on a low simmer. Then I did my best to get all the bones and cartridge out of the pot. This can be a daunting task, but keep at it. Just when you think you get it all, another one pops up. It can be maddening, but make sure to tell your family to watch for bones. They can be small, but they are soft, and chewy most won't cause a problem. I just like to let everyone know. Don't give this to your dogs though because even a small chicken bone can splinter and cause a trip to the emergency vet and nobody wants that!
I don't ever cook my noodles in my soup. I always cook them separate. We each fix our bowls by putting the noodles in the bottom then ladling the soup over the top. This way everyone gets their preferred soup to noodle ratio! I much prefer to do things this way because I don't like the noodles in leftover soup. They swell and get mushy and very unpleasant. You should do what you like best. If we were going to eat this all at one sitting then I may consider cooking them right in the soup pot, but this way I can use the leftover soup for yet another meal.
In the end, we had a 6 quart pot of delicious chicken soup that was chock full of meat and veggies. We at well that night and we also had the soup for lunch the next day. Then I strained the meat from the stock and allowed the stock to cool before putting it in the fridge. I went through the remaining chicken to fish out all the bones and we fed it to our pets over a few days time as a treat. There were 2 quarts of "jellied" stock left that I froze for another time. Everyone saw benefit from these two chickens. Even our dogs and cats! I have some stock left for another use later down the line and overall I think we did great with two birds.
I hope this encourages you to challenge yourself and see how far you can make two chickens last for your family. Remember my chickens were 7 pounds each or there abouts. You want to keep that in mind. I don't think we could have stretched it this far if they had been smaller.
I hope you give this bulk cooking, chicken journey a try on your own and I hope you love it!
You can get a printable version of this recipe on my website here:
You can see how I made this in my YouTube video here:
Homemade Chicken Soup
Carcasses of 2 roasted chickens including any bones and skin saved and frozen.
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, cleaned and chopped
4 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried parsley
½ of a large lemon, quartered
Cold water to cover
Step by Step Instructions
Place all ingredients into a large stock pot, that is at least 6 quarts in size. If you prefer, you can place the peppercorns into a cheesecloth pouch to make it easier to remove.
Cover the contents of the pot with cool water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer. Allow soup to cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat has fallen from the bone and the bones are clean.
Turn off the heat and allow the soup to sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
Remove all the bones from the soup the best you can. It may be impossible to get all of them because small rib bones are hard to fish out. Just be sure to let your family know to be aware there may be small bones.
You can remove any large pieces of meat and shred them. Then return them to the pot.
Cook noodles of your choice or rice to go along with the soup. I like to do this separately because leftovers with noodles or rice are not that great.
Serve soup by placing rice or noodles in the bottom of each bowl then ladling the soup over. Add more parsley to each serving and you can also sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if desired and lots of cracked black pepper. That is my favorite!
You can store any leftover soup with the chicken and vegetables in it for another meal or you can strain out the chicken and veggies and have chicken bone stock to freeze for another use.
I strained my soup and fed the veggies and shredded meat that was left to my pets. Nothing went to waste with the exception of the bones.
The stock is “jellied” and perfectly delicious. We will use this in another meal soon.