From Roasted Chicken to Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

As a society we have allowed the big corporations to fill our heads with the notions that we are all far too busy to cook things from scratch. We never have enough hours in the day. Something has to give. The big corporations have decided that they will help us out in the kitchen. They will supply us with everything we need to cook what we think is a healthy meal. Isn’t that nice of them? I mean really….They are just so sweet to add all the extra ingredients to our food without us realizing it! There was a time when I would buy boxed or canned stock and broths. I never really looked at the ingredient labels to be honest. I assumed it was water, bones, veggies and spices. I thought the boxed or canned stuff was healthy. When I developed food allergies to Italian Seasonings. Yep, you read it right…Italian Seasonings. As in Rosemary, Basil, Marjoram, Thyme, and Oregano. Since I enjoy my life, I decided that there were better ways to spend it then going into anaphylatic shock. I started to really read labels. You would be amazed at everything Italian seasoning are in. I was shocked at what was in the broths and stocks. So much for thinking they were water, bones, veggies, and spices.

One example of store bought stock...
One example of store bought stock…
You guessed it! Ingredient list of said example...
You guessed it! Ingredient list of said example…

There are a lot of opinions on what the differences are between broth and stocks. Some say that one is made with bones and the other is meat. Others say that one is seasoned with veggies and seasonings while the other is not. Still others will say there is no difference between them at all. I will call it stock to make it easier.

When I make stock, I either roast a bird or visit my butcher for beef bones with marrow and knuckles. In this case 2 chickens won. If I do not have time to make broth or stock, when I roast a chicken or turkey, I just freeze the carcasses and/or bones and pull them out later when I am ready to make the next batch of stock. As it turned out I had 2 huge turkey carcasses in the freezer and 2 roaster chickens that I got fresh today. So I will be making both kinds of stock. One from bones and one from actual fresh chickens.

Stock Made From Full Chicken Or Turkey

Supply list of what you need….

Chicken or turkey

Cooking thermometer for meat and poultry

Roasting pan with lid or foil

Large bowl

Cheese cloth or mesh strainer

2 Large pots or 1 large pot and a second large bowl

Water

2 tsp of white vinegar

Seasonings and herbs

Onions, garlic, celery etc.

Start off with a chicken or 2 and place them upside down in a roasting pan after you have removed the organs and/or neck. I find that the chicken comes out more tender when placed upside down in the roaster.

Chickens getting ready to say hello to the oven....
Chickens getting ready to say hello to the oven….

Some people add about 1-2 inches of water to their chickens. I do not. I find that slow cooking releases enough water naturally. But feel free to add water if you want. Cover the roaster with a lid or foil. Place in the oven at about 230 degrees and forget about it for several hrs. Get on with your life and do things that are more pressing then watching a dead bird roast. Set a timer somewhere so that you remember to check it. Your house will smell incredible as it does it’s thing. I usually check mine after about 4-5 hrs….You should have some kind of a cooking thermometer for meat and poultry. They are not expensive. You are looking for an internal temp of 180 degrees and clear fluid when poked. It will begin to separate on it’s own as well. You will notice the skin and meat pulling away from the bone. The meat should literally fall off the bone when you touch it.

Roasted chicken chilling in it's own juices.
Roasted chicken chilling in it’s own juices.

So now you are looking at a roasted chicken sitting in it’s juices. Your next step is to debone the chicken. You will want to save the fat, bones, gristle and the liquid it is sitting in. You will need them for the stock. I put them in a bowl or a big pot that I am planning on using for the stock.. If the chicken is done to perfection (falling off the bone) it will take you no time at all to debone. If you get bored, catch up on a TV show or movie while you debone. Both my chickens took less then 30 minutes to completely debone.

Chicken that fell off the bone...
Chicken that fell off the bone…
The not so yummy parts of the roasted chickens.
The not so yummy parts of the roasted chickens.

Take the not so yummy parts of the roasted chicken with it’s liquid and place in a large pot, if you already have not done so. Add water to the top of the pot and 2 tsp of white vinegar.

Water added to the top of the pot.
Water added to the top of the pot.

Simmer on the stove on low to med heat. (You do not want the stock to boil. Just a light simmer.) until it condenses to about half of the pot. I like to simmer mine for at least 2 to 3 days. Some people will only do this for a couple of hours. That’s ok. There is no exact set time to simmer the stock. I have found that the longer I simmer it, the richer the stock flavor. It ‘s completely up to you though.

Time to finish up the yumminess that will be stock.
Time to finish up the yumminess that will be stock.

Remove as many of the bones and skin as possible using a pair of tongs, large spoon, etc. This will make pouring the broth out easier. You can either use a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth (my preference personally) or anything else you think may work. I am not going to squash your creativity here…. I do not however recommend a flat screen grease shield. Some people will tell you you can use it with no issues. If you choose to listen to them, do so at your own risk. I have tried it ONCE. It ended it in a LOT of swearing, my hard earned stock all over the surface surrounding my pot. None actually in my pot! If you are using a piece of cheesecloth you will either need a second person, a big ass rubber band or twine. If you are doing this solo, you will use the big ass rubber band or twine to wrap the cheesecloth around the top of the second bowl or pot. If you have a friend or enemy ( Hey, you never know!) have them hold both sides of the cheesecloth taut to GENTLY pour the molten lava on to the cheesecloth. You will then carefully lift off the cheesecloth (with the bones and skin still in it) off the pot. If you are doing this solo be careful. You may want to take the tongs or spoon and gently scoop the bones and skin off of the top of the cheesecloth before you take the rubber band off or cut the twine. At this point I usually rinse the pot out of any of the remaining stuff from the stock and do the whole cheesecloth thing a second time. Pouring it back into the original pot.

Cheesecloth making it's appearance.
Cheesecloth making it’s appearance.
What's left after a second straining of stock through the cheesecloth. YUM!
What’s left after a second straining of stock through the cheesecloth. YUM!
Freaking liquid gold in my house! The finished product.
Freaking liquid gold in my house! The finished product.

At this point if you choose to, you can put the veggies and seasonings in. Example for those who are not creative would be celery, carrots, salt, pepper, garlic, onions, to name only a few of what you can add. I would let it gently simmer for about 1- 2hrs to help blend them into the stock. If you do not want to add any seasonings or veggies that’s ok too. You can add them when ever you decide to use the stock catering to the recipe you decide to make. I took my stock and immediately turned it into homemade chicken noodle soup.

Stock Made From Turkey Or Chicken Carcasses

Supply list of what you need….

Chicken or turkey carcasses 

Large pot

Water

2 tsp of white vinegar

Cheese cloth or mesh strainer

Seasonings and herbs

Onions, garlic, celery etc.

I put the carcasses in a pot. Add the white vinegar to it and simmer until it is about half way condensed.

HUGE turkey carcasses I had in the freezer.
HUGE turkey carcasses I had in the freezer.
Carcasses enjoying the hot tub.
Carcasses enjoying the hot tub.
Ready to remove the bones.
Ready to remove the bones.

You will do the same thing here that we did with the chicken stock up above. You will strain the stock over cheesecloth 2x and  enjoy!

From Stock To Soup

Supply list of what you need….

Kluski Noodles*

Stock

Chicken*

Seasonings And Any Veggies You Want To Add

Pot

 

*Kluski Noodles….Are a thicker kind of noodle. You can find them in the pasta isle of your local grocery store. I use them because they do not dissolve or mush in the soup after a day like regular noodles tend to do. I did not go through all this work just to have noodles that mush when I take a bite of my soup.  

 

*Chicken…You can use some of the roasted chicken you made or a piece or two of raw boneless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces.

 

Place stock in a pot, add chicken, Kluski noodles, any seasonings or veggies you want to add. I use carrots, garlic, parsley, sea salt, pepper, onion, and celery in mine soup. Simmer until done. Around 30-60 minutes. You want the noodles to be cooked. If you used veggies they should be tender. Raw chicken should be thoroughly cooked.

Broth
Broth
Onions or shallots
Onions or shallots
Garlic
Garlic
Carrots
Carrots
Kluski noodles
Kluski noodles
Chicken cut into medallions....
Chicken 
Chicken, herbs, and seasonings added into the rest.
Chicken, herbs, and seasonings added into the rest.

ENJOY!

UPDATE:

I FOUND SOMETHING BETTER THAN CHEESECLOTH TO STRAIN THE STOCK WITH.  THE BEST PART IS THAT YOU DO NOT NEED A SECOND SET OF HANDS TO HELP YOU HOLD ANYTHING. I FOUND IT AT THE KITCHEN STORE FOR $10 FOR A SET OF 2 DIFFERENT SIZES….

MESH STRAINER THE SIZE OF A COLANDER...
MESH STRAINER THE SIZE OF A COLANDER…
FITS PERFECTLY IN MY SOUP POT...
FITS PERFECTLY IN MY SOUP POT…
HERE IS SOME OF THE BONES I POURED INTO IT WITH NO ISSUES (WITH NO ISSUES)...
HERE IS SOME OF THE BONES I POURED INTO IT WITH NO ISSUES (WITH NO ISSUES)…
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6 Replies to “From Roasted Chicken to Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup”

  1. I may be prejudiced because I helped with this project by taking some of the pics and holding the cheesecloth, but this article is great and….by the way the broth and soup were mouth ‘wateringly’ yummy. Love you, Mom (in-law)

  2. Mindy, what is the vinegar for? I’ve never done that! I used to work with food scientists, and I always like to know the “why” behind things!

  3. absolutely love the way you write! 🙂
    since i am totally new here and don’t want to offend you on my first visit i so want to keep my mouth shut on the white vinegar – but as you see: i can’t 🙂
    even though it is ONLY 2 tsp the way white vinegar is made it should only be used for cleaning :O ok, my opinion, but look into it, please?

    1. You definitely have not offended me in anyway. There are multiple kinds of vinegar that are often used in cooking. Sugars and starches from apples, grapes, berries, melons, coconuts, potato, corn, barley, rice, wheat, rye are all examples what is used to make vinegar. White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are often the 2 most used in making bone stocks. Distilled white vinegar is made from grains (usually corn) combined with water and then fermented (a process in which the nutrients change the natural corn alcohol into vinegar under controlled conditions)into white distilled vinegar.The fermentation process is complete when the remaining alcohol has been depleted from the product and then it goes through a multi step filtering process. No preservatives or additives are added to it. Distilled vinegar is usually less acidic than apple cider vinegar and range from 4 to 7 percent acidity. All natural apple cider vinegar can sometimes change the taste of recipes. They can both be used to clean with, although white vinegar is the one favored by most people. It comes down to personal choice and preference.

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