I’m one of those people who just can’t throw a chicken carcass away; I am compelled to make soup with it. Growing up as I did it was sort of a crime not to. I just plop the carcass into my largest pot along with a few quartered limp onions, some saggy celery, some hairy old carrots, a few garlic cloves, 3-4 bay leaves and some peppercorns.
I add enough water to just barely cover the chicken carcass, then heat it up. I let it cook down to where the upper half of the chicken is visible, then I lower the heat and give it a few minutes. By this time, the kitchen smells wonderful.
I strain everything out into a large bowl, and then toss the carcass and its vegetable companions out. Then comes the fun part; I pour the liquid from the bowl into a pot and add chopped onions, celery, carrots and a can of corn niblets. If there was any chicken left over from the carcass, I chop that up and add it in as well. I shake in salt and pepper to taste and heat it up until the vegetables are soft.
Once the soup has cooled, I put it in the refrigerator to let all the ingredients get comfortable with each other. By the next morning, the soup will have about an inch of rich gelled topping. That’s the proof that the soup will be rich and delicious.
I like serving it with wheat crackers and cheese or a salad. As we’ve gotten older, the Crankee Yankee and I generally eat our “big” meal around noon time. At dinner time, a good bowl of chicken soup makes a good meal and doesn’t haunt our systems late at night.
Besides, chicken soup being the most delicious medicine, we always say, “it couldn’t hurt.”