Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chicken, Chicken

    When I was a senior in high school, we traveled to Old Quebec on a school trip.  While staying with my host family, we sat down to a chicken dinner one evening.  The son's friend said to me, "Chicken, chicken," to which I replied that is was lovely or delicious or something in French I don't recall.  Canadian French turned out to be different than the old school French we were learning so much of what I said sounded like I was talking to my grandmother and not a teenager.  Anyway, this went on for a few rounds of "chicken, chicken, " until Ingrid the teenage daughter haltingly explained in English, "My brother's friend is thinking it is funny that chicken is food and also scared. It is a scared bird, no?"  To which we all had an "Ahhh, chicken, chicken" laugh.
   This tidbit is being shared with you because I spotted roasters on sale this week for 69 cents a pound, so it became a "chicken, chicken" week at my house. I really think we need to make up a new word for leftovers.  I enjoy taking leftovers and using them as material for another meal.  The first night we had roast chicken with mashed potatoes and broccoli.  The broth was put aside in the freezer to add to other recipes. Two nights later so it's not reruns every night, I tossed cubed chicken with leftover spaghetti, plain yogurt, mayonnaise, cheese, dill and garlic and baked it in the oven for a chicken casserole.  I sauteed up some green beans with garlic on the side.

    The chicken bones were boiled down for soup.  I have my own method for making soup using a steamer pot.  I find it easier than pulling bones out of the pot.  Once I get my broth ready, anything in the fridge is fair game to go in the pot.  This week, I found fresh carrots and celery, a cooked potato, leftover green beans, and corn.  I had overdone the garlic on the green beans so I didn't have to season the soup with much more than parsley.  I sometimes add a bay leaf as well.  Soup makes an excellent use of lots of bits of food and if you are lucky, you will have a bowl leftover for lunch!

Micky's Chicken Soup

  Place chicken carcass in a steamer inside the stockpot with celery leaves.  Cover and let it come to a boil.  After 20 minutes remove the steamer pot and let chicken cool about 5 minutes.  In the meantime, chop up any carrots, celery or fresh vegetables and add to the broth.  Pick the chicken into 3 bowls: good chicken for the soup, fatty chicken rejects and skin for the dog, and bones for the trash.  Believe me, the dog loves soup day.  Dump the chicken pieces in the pot and let it simmer for about an hour.  Add any cooked vegetables later so they don't turn to mush.  I've even used up cabbage after St. Patrick's day.  By cutting it into long strips the kids thought it was like noodles.  It's never the same soup twice since I throw in whatever is handy, but it is always a satisfying meal. 

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