The very first time I made my own chicken stock and soup, I was pregnant with my first daughter. I simmered my beautiful, delicious soup all day, and therefore got to smell it’s amazing aromas all day. Sadly, by the time evening rolled around, my morning sickness got the best of me, and I couldn’t stomach a single bite of all my hard work. In fact, for almost a year afterward, I couldn’t even look at my dutch oven without feeling sick. True story. So, for obvious reasons, I’ve shied away from tackling chicken soup again.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I made this beautiful chicken (from Sap Bush Hollow Farm):
It was a pretty big bird for my little family, so I had MAJOR leftovers. We had chicken sandwiches for a few days…I made some chicken salad…I made TWO chicken pot pies (one is banked in the freezer, thank you meal-planners!)…and there was still more chicken. It amazed me just how many meals we could get out of one chicken. Because I appreciate that this chicken was, well, a living breathing chicken that died for my dinner, I really wanted to use every possible edible part. So, when there was just a little meat left on the carcass, I took a deep breath and tackled chicken soup again.
To start, I put the carcass in my slow cooker, covered it with water to just the top of the chicken, and set it to low. I also added some of the garlic cloves and rosemary that were roasted inside the chicken. I left this overnight to simmer and cook all the remaining meat off the bones. In the morning, I turned it off, let it cool, and then pulled out all the bones. This was the most tedious, slightly icky part for me. Everything else involved in making homemade chicken soup was SO easy. I followed this recipe, from A Year of Slow Cooking.
I made a few changes from the above recipe, based on what I had in the refrigerator. I added a few extra veggies (carrots, zucchini), and increased the overall veggie quantities a bit. I also used whole wheat macaroni instead of spaghetti. Everything else was kept as is, and this soup was delicious. The entire family enjoyed it, and it made enough to last us (with seconds all around) two meals. I forgot to take a picture to share with you, but please take my word: this soup is worthy of your kitchen. :)