YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Chicken Bone Soup

We like to make this soup a day or two after we roast a whole chicken, and it has become sort of a custom in our house, a way of getting every last bit of flavor out of the bird, and not wasting a single speck. If we’re going away or we know that we won’t have time, we might stick the carcass in the freezer until we return. But usually we just toss it into a big pot, cover it with water, and leave it in the refrigerator until we’re ready to deal with it. Then, the next day, we put it into the oven at 225F for about 12 hours, and that’s how the recipe starts. Also, if anyone in your house happens to eat a low-salt diet, this is a fantastic option for them because it is frankly so flavorful that it does not need salt.

Step I
1 or 2 roasted chicken carcasses
cool water to cover

Place the carcass(es) and water in a covered casserole or soup pot, and cook at 225F for 10-12 hours. Carefully remove the pot from the oven, and allow it to sit on the stove for a little while. Meanwhile, in the sink, line a large colander with cheesecloth, and place it over a second pot. Then, slowly and carefully, pour the contents of the first pot into the cheesecloth-lined colander. The broth will drain into the lower pot, and the bones, cartilage and bits of meat will be caught in the colander, to be picked over and sorted as follows: bones go in the trash, bits of meat are returned to the pot, and the cartilage is for the dog.

Step II
4 carrots, rinsed, peeled and sliced in 1/2″ rounds
4 stalks of celery, rinsed and sliced very thinly
1 medium-large sweet potato, in chunks
2 medium-large white potatoes, in chunks

Then add the vegetables to the stockpot, and return it to the oven to cook overnight 8-10 hours, again at 225F. The stock will turn golden, the vegetables will cook slowly, blending together their flavors the whole time, the house will smell wonderful all night long, and the morning will greet you with a lovely pot full of delicious chicken bone soup, which you can choose to save for dinner, or take to work for lunch, or even eat for breakfast right then and there. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Hearty appetite!

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