Rustic Chicken Chowder

So it’s been a long day, and you stop and get one of those tasty rotisserie chickens from the grocery store deli, dig in like a ravenous beast and throw the leftovers (if any) in the fridge.  Now if you’re like me, you think, “don’t throw that away, you can make something out of it like your grandma would!”  I’ll be honest.  Sometimes I just throw it away.  But sometimes I get industrious and soup happens the next day.

I know it SOUNDS like a lot of work, but what it really is is throwing everything in a pot and letting it simmer while you’re having a lazy day at home. I love how the chicken just falls off the bones in little shreds that permeate the whole soup.  You just don’t get that when you cut chicken up in neat little bites.  You end up with something that tastes rustic and homey, and honestly tastes like you slaved over it, when maybe you just know how to boil.  And if that’s the case, it’s okay, because it’s still going to be awesome.

Rustic Chicken Chowder

Rustic Chicken Chowder

Leftover roasted chicken (with the bones if you have them)
6-8 cups water or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4-5 russet potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. paprika
1-2 tsp. chicken bouillon (optional)
2 tsp. cornstarch (optional)

Put the whole chicken carcass in a soup pot (including any meat left on it and the weird jelly-like stuff in the bottom of the pan or package) and cover with water.  Add bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down, cover and simmer for a couple of hours.  (If you want to skip this step, you can always use prepared chicken broth and add cooked chicken).  Before adding the other ingredients, remove the bones and skin and return broth and chicken to the pan.

Add onion, celery, potatoes and corn.  Cook for 30 minutes or more until veggies are all soft.  Add cream and seasonings.  If you want more intense chicken flavor, add some chicken bouillon (I like the “better than bouillon” paste stuff) for an extra punch.  I like my soups to be soupy but if you prefer a thicker, more “chowder-like” consistency, mix some cornstarch with water until it dissolves and stir into boiling soup to thicken.

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4 thoughts on “Rustic Chicken Chowder

  1. Angie Koch says:

    My nutrionist says to break up that carcass in pieces, yep break the bones in half and again and again. You get so much more nutrional benefit from the bones and of course it tastes better too. I have a friend that just freezes her carcasses and when she has enough she gets out all her big pots and simmers away, then cans the broth. Of course you could freeze it too. Just a little chicken bone info….

    • aprilarnold says:

      I do freeze them sometimes until I have a day at home to let them simmer. Such an easy way to make soup. And I do agree that you get more flavor if you crack the bones, although I don’t break them up a lot because I don’t want splinters in my soup and the bigger bones are easier to pick out.

  2. Sharayah says:

    Sounds delicious! I would like to try adding a tsp of liquid smoke and throwing it into the crock pot!

    • aprilarnold says:

      Extra smokiness is always nice. I think the paprika also adds a little smoky flavor too. Let me know how it turns out in the crock pot. I think if I was going to do that I’d cook the chicken stock one day and the soup the next day.

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