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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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