Roasted Chicken Soup

Roasted Chicken Soup

Up your game for deeper flavor.

Making Chicken Soup is part of a wholistic chicken management practice in my kitchen. I never buy chicken parts, only whole birds so as to make full use of every edible component. It’s a thing with me for all foods that come through the door, hereditary trait of my peasant stock, perhaps, or a survivor’s habit forged during the Texas S&L crisis during our early architecture career, when once we dug up loose change from behind the backseat to afford the cheapest ice cream cone in town, at McDonalds and still had to plead our case after coming up a few pennies short. Waste kills me.


-1 whole organic free-range chicken
– 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped into 3 pieces each
– 2 stalks celery with leafy part if attached still
– 1/4 med onion in a single chunk
– fresh parsley knot


I break the chicken down into leg quarters, wings, breast and backbone. The leg quarters and wings get seasoned and roasted immediately for the day’s main meal. Once they are in the oven I bone the breast and start a stock with the neck backbone, ribcage wingtips, heart and gizzards. I slice each breast into thin medallions, wrap packages of eight medallions to freeze for much anticipated future scallopini or schnitzel. Last, I sautée the liver, eat it on a cracker and contemplate the wealth of meals that lay ahead with enormous self-satisfaction.

With the bones coming to a boil in enough lightly salted water to cover them, I reduced the heat to low, cover and simmer for the rest of the day. If it’s evening I let it simmer till bedtime and leave it covered on the stove top to steep unheated overnight. In the morning I top-off the water, bring it to a boil again to kill any bacteria, and simmer until all the bones have separated from connective tissue. When cool I skim off the fat from the surface and refrigerate in a tight-lidded jar for future uses.

Wait! Wasn’t this supposed to be a recipe for ROASTED chicken soup? Right, that’s the special version I make when I’ve got some raw breasts in the freezer already. Then, I will roast the whole chicken at once, bone it to serve and put the whole roasted carcass up for a more flavorful stock enhanced further by my roasting herbs, and use the breast for casseroles, slicing for sandwiches or chicken salad. So the roasted version comes in cycles as a special treat in our house.

In either case, after skimming the fat, I move all the chicken scraps and bone with a slotted spoon onto a plate, draining any liquid from the plate back into the pot. Then, I add the carrot, celery onion and celery and simmer for 20 minutes. Then I remove them with a slotted spoon, reserve the carrot and strain the liquid from the other vegetables by pressing them against the screen of a strainer with the back of the spoon over the pot. I slice the carrot into small pieces and return it to the pot.

While the vegetables are simmering, I separate any meat from the bones, including the neck, being extremely careful to eliminate any tiny bone fragments. I add the meat back into the pot, re-warm and serve in broad shallow soup plates. Add-ins can include noodles, rice, or the classic: Matzoh Balls. Holly makes these.

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