Last night I made dinner.. for several nights at once. I started with a whole baked local chicken. My favorite recipe for baking whole chicken is from Thomas Keller, found here. The high oven temperature makes the skin crispy and the meat juicy. I can’t say enough good things about getting your chicken locally. The meat has a depth of flavor and there is less fat than on a commercially produced chicken.
While the chicken was baking in the oven I began preparing the soup, adapted from a recipe, I thought it came from Cooking Light, that I can’t find now (if anyone comes across it, I would love to have the original). But basically this is how I make it:
- In a large (10+ quart) pot boil 6 quarts of water
- Add salt, pepper and bones, skin, neck and carcass of chicken
- Add celery heart (inner 3-4 stalks), 1/2 orange quartered, 3-4 garlic cloves
- Let boil for 45-55 minutes
- In a large stock pot add 3 Tbsp olive oil, sauté 2 bags of frozen mirepoix mix (onions, celery, carrots) until soft and slightly browned
- Add salt, pepper, garlic and thyme
- Pour chicken stock through a strainer into this pot, return to heat
- Once boiling, add chicken picked clean from baked chicken, 1 bag frozen peas and 1 large bag frozen cheese tortellini (I shop at Kroger and they have a store brand of frozen tortellini that is delicious)
- Let cook 2 minutes, remove from heat and let cool.
So, last night after cooking the chicken and removing the breast meat for our dinner, I picked all of the dark meat off of the bones, cut it into bite sized pieces and reserved it. Once the stock was made I compile the soup as listed above. I also had some leftover grilled chicken from earlier this week that hadn’t been eaten, so I added that also. My husband prefers lots of ‘stuff’ in his soup and very little broth, I like an equal broth to chunky pieces ratio. Once the soup had cooled some I divided it into portions for tomorrow nights dinner to have with grilled cheese and then into 1-2 serving containers to freeze. All said and done, one nights work produced dinner last night, dinner tonight and six 1-2 serving portions of soup in the freezer to use for quick lunches and dinners.