Sometimes I need I break – really. When I need that break, I go straight to my butcher who offers rotisserie style chicken (only on Saturday). They are delicious! Sometimes I make club sandwiches, serve it whole with roast vegetables, and even make soup.
It was the first cool day we’ve had – so even though I picked up a rotisserie chicken, I decided to make chicken orzo soup, utilizing the whole chicken. First I strip the chicken of it’s meat, then use the carcass for a great silky stock. If you are just looking for a way to make stock with the leftover carcass this is still a great recipe, just freeze the stock, and store for up to 3 months.
Roasted Chicken stock – 12 cups
Carcass, wings, chicken legs from (about) 5 lb rotisserie style chicken
1 large onion, quartered
4 large carrots, peeled, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss together carcass, chicken legs, wings, carrots, celery and garlic with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 40 minutes (be sure to turn veggies at 20 minutes).
Prepare a large saucepan with 16 cups of water, thyme, bay leaves and black peppercorn, and add everything from the roasting pan. Bring to a simmer, and let it reduce until about 12 cups, about 2 hours. (Tip: place a clean rubber band around the narrow end of a wooden spoon when you have the 16 cups of water in the pot, you can use it as a measuring stick to get to 12 cups)
Line a strainer with cheese cloth, and strain the broth into freezer safe containers, cool, the cover and chill, or freeze.
Chicken Orzo Soup – 6 servings
6 cups of roasted chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3/4 cups Orzo
2 prepared chicken breasts, chopped (this is the time to use that meat you took off the carcass to make stock!)
In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add the carrots, celery and orzo – cook for about 8 minutes, or until orzo is al dente. Add the chopped chicken breast, and cook for another 2-3 minutes to heat chicken through.
Divide among six bowls and serve.
Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!