I‘m not a big convenience food lover. But there are those days occasionally. Have you tried the rotisserie chicken at Costco? If you haven’t, you should. It’s cheap–4.99 for a plump 3 pound chicken. It’s already cooked and well seasoned with a combination of spices I have been unable to reproduce.
This chicken is good for at least 3 meals at our house. (Please note there are no teenagers in sight around here.) The first will be straight off the bone, sliced, white meat. Eat it while it’s still hot. The second meal will use the big chunks of meat that are easily picked off. Good in chicken salad or some sort of rice or pasta dish. But the best meal of all comes from the last little pieces of chicken left on the bone.
This chicken and mushroom chowder is comfort food on a rainy day. Even better is the leftover planned-over soup served like gravy on top of toast, mashed potatoes or biscuits. The soup will thicken as it chills and sets in the refrigerator a day or two making it a perfect gravy-like consistency.
Homemade Chicken Stock:
Before you make chicken stock, remove all the big pieces of chicken. Put remaining bones and skin (with the mysterious spices) in a large pot. Nevermind the fat. We’ll get rid of it later. Cover with water.
Then clean out the vegetable drawer. Onion pieces or limp green onions hanging around? Check. Dried out carrots–maybe even with some greenery growing out the top? Check. Celery with leaves in the middle you won’t be using in your salad? Check. Not necessary to cut up these vegetables. Grab a bay leaf, parsley or cilantro and add them too. Easy on the salt but heavy on the pepper.
Now turn up the heat and boil those bones for at least an hour. Turn off the heat and let sit for another hour until it cools off. Put the broth in the fridge to chill so the layer of fat that rises to the top can be removed.
Once chilled, remove the sheet of fat on top. What remains will be the most delicious chicken stock you’ve ever tasted–at least better than what you can buy in a can, with a lot less salt.
I like to pour small amounts in ziplock bags and place in loaf pans to freeze. The square shapes are easier to store in the freezer.
Back to the bones: Pick off all the remaining chicken. It will be just enough to make this soup.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
- ½ cup flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 5 oz can evaporated milk
- ½ cup skim milk
- 1 to 1½ cup cooked chicken, finely diced (or whatever leftover chicken you can pick off the bones of your rotisserie chicken)
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- salt to taste
- carrots, celery and onion (chopped veggies leftover from cooking chicken broth)
- parsley, chopped
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot. Saute sliced mushrooms. Combine flour and skim milk in glass jar with tight fitting lid and shake until smooth. Pour into pot. Add broth and evaporated milk. Simmer until thick.
- Add chicken and any vegetables (chopped) left over from making the chicken stock. Stir until warmed and heated through. Add chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste.