Monday, March 22, 2010

The honeymoon ain't over...

The other night we enjoyed what is rightfully known as "engagement chicken". After eating a good portion of it, I threw the entire remnants of the dish, cavity stuffings and all, into a large pot. I also added some of the roasted lemons and onions from the gravy (but not the actual gravy liquid). I then poured 4 cups of low sodium organic chicken stock and one cup of water into the pot and started heating it up on the stove. Once it started to boil, I turned down the heat to a low simmer and cooked it slightly uncovered for 45 minutes. I let it cool, covered it and kept it in the fridge until I was ready to use it.

Well tonight was the night. I had nothing to make for dinner. Continuing on the theme of what to do with leftovers, I busted out the pot of boiled down "engagement chicken" leftovers. I heated it back up on the stove slightly to release all the liquids from the solids. I put a strainer over a large bowl and dumped all of the contents of the pot into the strainer. The delicious broth is all that got through into the bowl. I tried to skim a lot of the fat off the surface. Then I went through the stuff left in the strainer.
I pulled out as many good pieces of chicken as I could find and set it aside in a bowl, leaving the fatty parts behind. I disposed of the rest that was in the strainer and poured the broth (about 4 to 5 cups) back into a now empty pot (feel free to add more canned chicken broth or water if there is too little liquid) and heated it up on the stove.
I added 4 medium carrots and 3 celery stalks, all sliced 1/4 inch thick. Once the broth started to boil, I turned down the heat to a low simmer and cooked it for 7 minutes. Next I added about 1/2 lb of spaghetti noodles that I broke into 2 inch pieces by hand and cooked for 7 more minutes. Finally I added my chicken and let it all cook for 2 more minutes. I turned off the heat and threw in a tablespoon of chopped cilantro and seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.

After eating and loving tonight's chicken soup, I vowed never to make "engagement chicken" again without turning the leftovers into this soup. What a waste that would be! The chicken, lemon, garlic, thyme and onions all melded together into one divine broth. It was rich, flavorful and dark gold in color. There was even a tiny bit of bitterness from the lemons that was quite delightful. You get two great meals for the price of one chicken!

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