This morning as we were enjoying our breakfast soup, I thought about what an economical grocery purchase a whole chicken is. Earlier in the week, I made my Fabulous Salt-Rubbed Roast Chicken. During the week, I had two huge lunch salads with chunks of chicken breast topping them. Yesterday, I took the carcass left from the roasted bird and made chicken stock. Today, I froze a quart of the stock and made this mornings Leek and Sausage Soup! So let’s count them up, that was three different meals, with a total of 8-10 combined servings between them. And a quart of stock to boot!
Fabulous Salt-Rubbed Roasted Chicken
This is my all-time favorite roast chicken recipe. It’s got it all; a crispy golden skin and tender, juicy meat. I put the left-over carcass bones and skin, neck, innards and wing tips, (and the skinned feet if you are lucky enough to have them) into a stock-pot with carrots, onion and celery. Simmer for 3 hours and you have stock for soup, braising, etc.
- 1 whole 3-4 # roasting chicken
- Celtic Sea salt (or Kosher Salt)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.Salt the cavity, then tuck the wingtips under the thighs.
- Now, salt the outside of the chicken—I like to rub the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1/2-1 tablespoon total). Season to taste with pepper (optional, I don’t do this).
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan on a rack and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone—I don’t baste it, I don’t add butter. Roast it until it’s done, 50 to 60 minutes. You can tell it’s done when the thigh moves easily and the juices run clear. Remove bird from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. (Go ahead and snitch some of the crispy skin immediately, it is soooo tasty)!
Turkey or Chicken Soup Stock
I like to use the poultry bones, neck and wingtips for this. If you can get them, chicken feet make an especially good stock. Stock can be strained and put in quart plastic containers in the freezer to be used as needed.
- 1 turkey hind quarter or whole chicken in parts (3#)
- 2 stalks celery with leaves, 2” chunks
- 2 large carrots, unpeeled, 2” chunks
- 1 med. onion quartered
- 2 T apple cider vinegar (the vinegar draws out more of the
- Place all ingredients in large stock pot, fill with cold, filtered water until the chicken is covered. Bring to a very slow simmer, cover and simmer overnight or at least 8 hours. This can be done on low in a slow-cooker. If starting with a carcass left from a roasted chicken you can reduce the length of cooking time (3 hours on stovetop works well).
- Once the chicken meat is cooked (about 2 hours) it can be removed and put in the refrigerator to use later in soup, sandwiches, casseroles or on salads. Put the bones and skin back in the pot and continue simmering.
- After 8-12 hours of slow simmering, strain out all the solids and discard them. You now have a wonderful stock full of minerals and nutrients. It can be cooled and the fat will congeal on top for easy removal.
Leek and Sausage Soup
As Carol can attest, I rarely follow a recipe exactly. This is a modification of a recipe I was inspired by from Epicurious.com. I’m going to give you rough measurements, follow your instincts, substitute what you have; smell and taste as you go and it will be delicious.
- 2 large leeks, cut off roots, slice lengthwise and rinse out all the dirt between layers of leaves, slice into 1/4″ rings
- 2 carrots, peeled & sliced
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
- 8 cups home-made chicken stock
- 1/4 stick organic butter
- marjoram, dried aproximately 1 teaspoon crumbled into soup
- 4 links of Aidell’s Chicken Apple sausage, sliced (no preservatives in this, keeps great in the freezer, buy at Costco)
- 1-2 cups cauliflower florets (this is a substitute for potato)
- wedge of cabbage sliced into 1/2″ ribbons
- celtic sea salt to taste (this is a good place to used the more economical large chunk celtic salt)
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- Italian parsley
I started with a bit of the chicken fat I skimmed off the stock, heated in large stockpot, sauté leeks, carrots and celery. I think adding some salt now brings out a richer flavor. Add the butter and the cauliflower and cabbage and continue sautéing a few more minutes. Add stock, sausage, marjoram; taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Simmer gently until all the vegetables are tender. Garnish with minced parsley. It’s good ladled over some left-over grains, but not necessary. Now this is a breakfast of champions!