I pretty regularly re-invent leftovers. Taking the chicken carcass and making chicken soup is pretty standard. This is another great recipe where you have a basic understanding of what to do and then can add your personal flavor profile.
In this case, I roasted a chicken last week and kept the leftovers for the sole benefit of making soup. And then I got inspired by Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. While I don’t watch a lot of tv, I am a sucker for the food network when I do. On Friday night, one of the showcased restaurants was Happy Gillis Cafe and Hangout, Kansas City, Missouri, and the featured recipe was Posole Verde. This sounded very tasty and I figured that I would recreate it. I was a little concerned that the soup would turn out too spicy for my kids, so I was trying to figure out how to try this out and still make the traditional recipe they enjoy.
Whole chicken carcass
3 celery ribs
1-2 onion (second onion optional)
2 garlic cloves
1-2 potatoes (optional)
1/2 cup corn (optional)
previously made chicken broth or gravy (optional)
seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, thyme, orgegano)
for green chili pepper slurry, you need
2 poblano peppers, roasted peeled and seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded
3 chile de arbol
1/2 cup of cilantro
2-3 garlic cloves
1. In a large pot, add the chicken stock, 1 celery rib (or equivalent tops) cut in thirds, 1 carrot cut in thirds, 1 onion quartered leaving outer peal intact, 2 garlic cloves smashed and cover with water.
2. Simmer for 1-1.5 hours periodically stirring and skimming the fat off the top. You don’t want it to fiercely boil.
3. Once the chicken meat comes easily off the bone and carcass breaks apart, let the stock cool for 1-2 hours.
4. Once cooled, strain the stock into strainer on top of another big pot or bowl.
5. Pull all the chicken meat off the carcass and toss the vegetables, bones, and fat.
This is where my recipe veered into two. At this point, I split the stock into to two smaller pots. I also added some pan drippings and previously made chicken gravy to the stock as well.
1. To stock, add chicken meat, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 potatoes, 1-2 celery stalks and any other vegetables that interest you
2. Taste broth and determine seasoning level. If needed, add salt (or Adobe, which is my goto season salt), pepper, oregano, thyme). This is also where you might add any previously captured pan drippings, gravy, frozen stock, chicken boullion cubes as you desire.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes
Chicken Posole soup
1. I purchased 1 jalepeno, 2 big chili peppers (looked kind of like poblano) and 4 small chili peppers (looked kind of like chili arbolo except green). My grocery store just labels all of them as “chili peppers” and since I’m still working my way through, I don’t have a really strong understanding of the flavor profile of the the peppers. Given this, I tried to follow the recipe at least for the chili pepper mixture from the original.
2. I roasted a single chicken breast I had, because there really wasn’t enough chicken for two soups.
3. Roasted the 2 big chili peppers under the broiler for 6 minutes on 1 side and 4 on the other.
4. After peeling and seeding large chili peppers, added them with 1 seeded and trimmed jalepeno, 3 smaller “chile de arbol” peppers, 4 tomatillos, 3 garlic cloves and about 1/2-3/4 cup cilantro to the blender and mixed
5. To stock, add chicken meat, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 potatoes, 1-2 celery stalks and any other vegetables that interest you. I added 1/2 cup of frozen corn.
6. Add 1/2 cup chili pepper green slurry to soup and stir.
7. Taste broth and determine seasoning level. I added a little bit of Mexican Adobo (a little heavier on the cumin and a little lighter on the salt than the Goya brand).
8. Simmer for 30 minutes.
The results were good. My oldest daughter was a little turned off by the green color, and after the first taste of broth tried to convince me that it tasted the same as regular chicken soup. She agreed to try a whole bowl when both my husband and I sat down to eat it. The flavor is great, but the heat builds on you a little bit. By the time we got to the bottom of the bowl, our noses were running a little bit.
Chicken soup is another vessel for whatever flavor profiles you enjoy. You can add
- lemon grass and ginger for an Asian flair
- more basil, parsley, rosemary for more Italian flavoring
- Add Sazon or Sofrito for more Puerto Rican flavor
- Maybe you just like more vegetables – what about spinach, broccoli, peppers – you can add whichever ones you want. Just be careful about cooking time and piece size (so it all cooks evenly)
- Maybe you are all about the carbs – what about pasta, rice, dumplings – you can add any (or all as we have done in the past for our “man soup”)
- Maybe you prefer barley, lentils, cous cous – those are all fair game as well