A week or so ago I bought a whole chicken and decided to cut it up myself. I'd never done that before, so I looked up a couple of videos on YouTube and went to it.
It's an incredibly economical thing to do! I spent about $6 and got about $10-12 worth of meat out of it, and a nice carcass to make soup, which is what I did tonight. I never make the same soup twice, but there are always similarities, in this case, this is what I did:
- 1 chicken carcass, breast meat, thighs & wings removed -- don't worry, there's still plenty of meat
- several cups of water (5 or 6?)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can white beans -- including that nice, starchy water
- 1/2 cup frozen yellow corn
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- a good dose of ground pepper
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1-1/2 tsp dried parsley
- A few shakes of red pepper flakes
In a separate pan prepare a 1/2 cup of wild rice according to directions. My rice came from Bemidji, MN and I took 1-1/2 cups of water, brought it to a boil, added the 1/2 cup of rice, reduced the heat to simmer, covered it and let it sit for about 20 minutes. It didn't have to be made perfectly because it was destined for a large pot of hot liquid.
- Take the carcass and put it in a large pot or stock pot, add enough water to almost cover it, add salt & pepper.
- Place on medium-low heat, cover and allow to boil for a little over an hour.
- While that's going on you can chop all your veggies and put them in a container for later use.
- Turn off the heat and use tongs to remove the chicken carcass and place it on a plate, or in a large bowl and put it in the fridge to cool down.
- Put all the veggies, the tomatoes and the beans in the broth -- DON'T ADD THE RICE YET! Turn the heat back on medium and cover.
- Once your chicken is cool enough to touch you can break it apart with your fingers, it's messy and fun! Remove all the skin and bones, put them in an old plastic shopping bag (you know you have plenty) and put it in the freezer until garbage day. You don't want that stuff sitting in your trash for a week, the smell will kill you.
- Add the meat to the soup and let it heat back up.
- Finally, add the rice, remove the pot from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, that gives the rice a chance to heat up without cooking any more.
The garlic and the red pepper flakes definitely gave this soup a bit of kick, but the sweetness of the corn and carrots and the nuttiness of the rice added little flavor treats that came out and surprised me!
Of course, now I have soup for about a dozen people, but it'll freeze just fine.