OK, I'm busted! I was just saying how I need to stop buying pre-cooked Rotisserie Chickens from the market because they continue go get smaller and more expensive, and here I go again. Well this time, It's not because I'm cheap, it's because I'm lazy! Hey, wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. OK, maybe it does. I've been alone for a few days (unless you count Coco the Cukoo Chihuahua), so I really couldn't be bothered to cook for myself. The chicken seemed like a good compromise. I decided to deconstruct it, use half in a soup and the other half in chicken salad.
For some weird reason, I have never been able to make chicken stock. No matter what I use for seasoning, it ends up tasting like dish water to me. Maybe I just need more salt. Anyhow, I decided to use the carcass, some herbs and veg to give a boost to a carton of chicken broth for this version. If you're in a rush, couldn't be bothered, or have your own fantabulous stock on hand, by all means skip that part, but I'm including it here for anyone else who may be interested.
Carcass of rotisserie chicken
32 oz chicken broth (more if you like a lot of broth)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1-2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
1-2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 med onion, quartered
Salt / Pepper / Cayenne Pepper
Herbs of choice (I used parsley and dill)
1 small onion, diced
5-6 large kale leaves
2 stalks celery, diced
1 can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
Cooked chicken, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
Once you have disassembled your chicken, set the meat aside and toss the carcass in a medium pot. To that pot, add your smashed garlic, celery, carrots (I was caught without any this time around, but if you've got some, they may as well join the party.), onion, seasoning and herbs of choice. I always like to include a little heat of some sort, so I threw in a shot of cayenne. For the herbs, I used a half bunch of fresh parsley and some dry dill weed.
Bring the pot up to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for at least a half hour, to give the broth a chance to reduce and soak up those flavors.
Pour the whole thing through a strainer to remove all of the bones and veg (wrap up the carrots for your pooch if you've got one), then start again ...
To the strained broth, add the torn kale and onion. Let that cook until the onion is tender, then add the celery, beans, and chicken to heat through. The time it takes to heat the beans and chicken through should cook the celery to the point where it's still a little crisp-tender. It's a nice contrast that way, but if you prefer it soft, by all means add it along with the kale and onion.
I served up a bowl for myself and topped it off with a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper. Achooo!