For years my mom has been telling me to make stock from leftover chicken and turkey. Last week I finally decided to listen to her. See, we started buying organic meats and now we are realizing the financial commitment it takes. After paying $25 for two tiny young chickens, I was determined to make the most of it.
Up until a few days ago, I didn’t even know how easy the process was. You can certainly go the slow cooker route, but it can be done right on the stove in very little time. This is how I did it.
Step 1: Clean Your Chicken
This step is messy so if you want to keep your hands clean, wear gloves. Remove and discard the skin, fat and smaller bones. Set aside any chicken that you’re able to peel from the bones. You’ll be surprised at how much meat you’ll find.
Step 2: Make The Stock
Place the meat and the larger bones/carcass in a large pot along with 2-3 bay leaves. I used an enameled cast iron dutch oven. Pour water into the pot until everything is 80% covered and boil for about 30 minutes. When finished, remove the bones from the pot. If there is still some meat on the bones you can let them cool on a plate until you can remove it and add it to the pot. Skim any fat from the top with a spoon if you’d like. You’ll be left with collagen rich bone broth.
Step 3: Add Veggies and Start Your Soup
If needed, you can add broth to your stock and season with your spices. I like it with italian seasoning, garlic powder and sea salt, but season to your own personal taste.
Chop the onion, carrots and celery and saute for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through. I don’t like the veggies to be too mushy, so I prefer a little underdone rather than overdone. Add any leftover chopped rotisserie chicken. Add your stock and broth and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Cook Your Noodles
Certain noodles will keep absorbing your broth until it’s gone. I learned this the hard way. It’s best to boil your noodles separately instead of adding them to your soup or you’ll be left with a noodle dish instead of soup! After cooking, just strain and let sit in cold water. I keep the leftovers separate too.
There is nothing quite like homemade chicken noodle soup and it’s a whole lot healthier than the kind you can buy in a can. Enjoy!
We highly recommend using an enameled dutch oven like this one (affiliate). I use mine for everything from soups to chili and roasted chicken. It can do it all efficiently and is super easy to clean.
- Rotisserie chicken leftovers
- Water (enough to almost cover chicken bones)
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 peeled carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 t. italian seasoning
- 2 t. garlic powder
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Noodles or rice, boiled separately (optional)
- Remove skin and fat from chicken leftovers. Peel off as much chicken as you can and set aside.
- Add larger bones to a large dutch oven or pot, almost cover with water and add bay leaves.
- Boil covered for at least 30 minutes.
- Strain the stock to remove any bones and (optional) add broth. Set aside.
- Once bones are cooled, you'll be able to pull even more chicken from them.
- In the dutch oven, saute the onion and veggies for five minutes. Add chopped rotisserie chicken.
- Add the stock, mix in additional seasonings and simmer for around 4-5 minutes until veggies are tender.
- Meanwhile, prepare noodles in a separate pot. Strain when done, and allow to cool in cold water.
- Ladle the cooked soup over cooked noodles in a bowl and enjoy!
Originally published January 15, 2014