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Leftover roast chicken soup

(Food styling by Lisa Falso; barry chin/globe staff)
By Karen Leland
March 25, 2009

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Serves 8

Many people buy a whole roast chicken from the grocery store on the way home (see left). Once the chicken is picked over, the remaining carcass can be the beginning of a simple and rich soup. Add kitchen staples such as carrots, onions, celery, and mushrooms, season the pot with paprika and cayenne pepper, and this versatile supper extends the life of a simple bird. The soup is made in two parts: the chicken carcass simmers in water while the vegetables saute for about half an hour. The stock on its own can be the base of other soups, or use it as the broth for risotto. The recipe calls for a single leftover chicken, but you can also use two carcasses without altering the remaining ingredients. Food dollars need to do double duty these days. Why not have your chicken and eat it too?

BROTH

1 leftover roast chicken carcass (skin, bones, and any meat)
4 quarts water
1. In a soup pot, combine the chicken carcass and water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the mixture for 1 hour.

2. Place a colander or strainer over a large bowl. Tip the contents of the pot into it. Let the mixture cool. Pour the strained broth back into the soup pot.

3. Pick through the bones and remove any meat; discard skin and bones. Add the meat to the broth; set aside.

VEGETABLES

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
7 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)
1. In a large flameproof casserole, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the butter and when it melts, add the onions. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until softened.

2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the mushrooms, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and parsley. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more or until the carrots and celery are almost softened.

5. Add the vegetable mixture to the broth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.