A while ago I realised it is much cheaper to buy a whole chicken than acquiring just my favourite cuts, like breasts or drumsticks. It took some practice to joint a chicken, and by no means am I going to win a chicken chopping contest any time soon, but when I’m done I’m beaming with pride. At first I threw away the carcasses and later realised there is actually more work to be done…
Chicken breasts usually go into stir fries or I stuff them with whatever yummy ingredients are hanging out in the fridge or pantry and make a spanking good sauce to accompany them. As for thighs and drumsticks, they are used in stews or are baked in the oven with some kind of marinade.
I literally made my first chicken stock three days ago and I must admit it tasted divine compared to the shop-bought stock cube version. Don’t be surprised when you see a chicken stock recipe on Greedy Gourmet in the future.
If you are looking for any more tips on how to get the extra mile out of your food, go to Love Food Hate Waste. This website is especially apt in these times of financial hardship.
Preparation: 15 mins Cooking: 1¼ hours
- 15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 15ml (1 tbsp) butter
- 900g (2lbs) raw chicken carcasses, including 4 wings
- 1 onion, chopped, weighing about 200g (7oz)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 leek, sliced, weighing about 100g (4oz)
- 1 carrot, thinly sliced, weighing about 100g (4oz)
- 1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock
- 150ml (½ pint) single [light] cream (optional)
- salt and pepper
- parsley, chopped
- Heat the oil and melt the butter in the pan. Add the chicken, onion, garlic and remaining vegetables. Add the stock and bring to the boil over a low heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
- Cover and simmer over a low heat for 60 minutes.
- Lift out the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. When it’s cool enough, pick the meat off the bones and throw away the skin and bones. Leave some shredded chicken on the side to add to the soup when it is done. Place the meat in a food processor or blender. Add the soup and process until smooth (this may be done in batches).
- Return the soup to the pan. If it is too thick, thin is down with a little more stock and water. If you are using cream, stir it in and heat through, but do not let the soup boil.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
- Slather butter on a thick slice of fresh bread to accompany the meal.
- If you don’t feel up to dealing with chicken carcasses, use 500g (1lb) of chicken pieces instead.
- Pluji and Shacia really enjoy the chicken skin I give to them as a treat. So instead of throwing it away, indulge your dog!