So, here’s the thing…I roast a whole chicken every week or two. They’re a great value. They can feed a family of five and leave enough leftovers for a good lunch or dinner like pasta or rice with chicken, or chicken quesadillas. So for less than ten bucks, I can feed the family unit two or three healthy meals.
But the best thing about roasting a whole chicken is that when I’m done with most of the meat, I wrap the carcass in aluminum foil and freeze it. A month or two later, I have enough chicken in the freezer to make soup.
Now that winter is setting in and the noses around the house are starting to sniffle, it’s time to bring out the birds from the freezer and make the magic soup; a hybrid of chicken and vegetables and Caldo Tlalpeño.
This concoction makes everyone feel better and strengthens their immune system.
And trust me, it’s way easier than it sounds.
Read Related: Chef Ema Quevedo’s Chicken Flautas
EASY, QUICK CHICKEN SOUP
2-4 chicken carcasses (depends on how much meat is left on each carcass)
3-4 mild Italian sausages
3 cups green beans, cut into two inch pieces
3 cups sliced carrots
3 cups sliced celery
3 cups sliced zucchini
½ green pepper (cut into medium pieces)
1 medium onion (cut into medium pieces)
4 cloves garlic, diced.
1 pinch cumin
Salt (to taste)
½ medium onion, diced
1 Jalapeño, sliced or diced
1 cup cilantro, diced
1 or 2 limes, quartered
1 avocado (sliced into cubes)
Chipotle peppers in a can (optional)
You will also need to make a separate pot of rice.
Okay, so you can make variations on this but I am going to give you the, “I’m really busy and I feel a cold coming on so I can’t spend too much time on this” version of the recipe.
- Fill a large pot with water about ½ to ¾ of the way. Place it on the stove and turn it on high. Drop the frozen birds in the water. Let it boil with the birds for a good half an hour but it’s not a problem if you let it go as long as two hours. Just watch for evaporation.
- Take out the birds and set them aside.
- For the veggies, I sometimes buy the pre-packaged, washed, and ready-to-eat carrots and green beans. Place the vegetables, the sausage, and spices into the hot water and simmer or keep at a gentle boil. If you need to add more water this is a good time to do it, just remember you will be adding the chicken meat in a little while.
- Let the vegetables and sausage simmer for about an hour. This will allow the chicken to cool off a bit. Then, tear into the chicken. I use my hands to pull all the flesh and skin and drop it into the pot. Be careful not to put in any bones.
- Once that is done and all your ingredients are in, just let it simmer or boil gently for at least half an hour. This gives you time to make your rice and prepare the garnish.
- When the rice is ready and you’re ready to serve, tell the kids to stop watching TV and set the table. Then, add a spoonful or two of rice to each plate, ladle the soup, and garnish with a few pinches of the diced cilantro, onion, avocado, and jalapeño. Personally, I like it picante so I add one or two canned chipotles!