I feel like I made a big move forward in the kitchen this month. I challenged myself to make (a) roast chicken, (b) homemade chicken stock, and (c) homemade chicken noodle soup. Guess what, everyone? None of these things were hard. And I’m going to do them all again! I’m excited about this progress, and even though there are thousands (and more!) recipes online, I’m going to share the recipes I used in case you want to give them a try and also so I have a record of it for the future. If you have suggestions, please add a comment!
When I spotted a whole chicken on sale at the grocery store, I bought it although I was intimidated to clean it and cook it. No time like the present though, right?
I did a bit of research and settled on Ina Garten’s perfect roast chicken recipe. I had all the ingredients already (except the fennel bulb), and the recipe looked easy. I followed the instructions exactly, and the chicken turned out beautifully. It was tasty and moist. The carrots were sweet and a colourful addition. I added green beans (boiled, drained, then tossed with olive oil and garlic), and my weeknight meal was complete. I was completely surprised by how easy this meal was. (Note: I got over the icky feeling of cleaning the chicken before and after cooking).
I saved all the leftovers from the roast chicken and veggie remnants in preparation for homemade chicken stock. I cleaned off most of the chicken pieces from the carcass, kept all the bones, and saved all the carrot/garlic/onion peels/ends from the roast chicken meal.
I used this chicken stock recipe by Foodie Crush (for the most part; I didn’t use leeks or bouillon cubes). I was also influenced by Bowl of Delicious’ chicken stock recipe. My ingredients were: chicken carcass/bones, garlic (cloves, peels), carrots (ends, peels), onions (ends, peels), celery (ends), bay leaves, parsley (frozen), thyme (dried), peppercorns (8), and salt. (Note: I washed all remnant pieces and peels before I used them.) While I was initially intimidated to make homemade chicken stock, after I read some recipes, I was no longer intimidated. Basically, I learned, that you can throw in any whole or remnant pieces of the above ingredients into a large pot with water and simmer it for 1.5-3 hours. I simmered mine for 2 hours. The smell was awesome. The colour of the stock turned a lovely amber. After 2 hours, I strained the stock. Done!
Chicken Noodle Soup
I stuck to Foodie Crush’s site when I saw her recipe for the best homemade chicken noodle soup. Since at this point, I had small pieces left over from the roast chicken and freshly made chicken stock, all I had to do was cut up pieces of carrots and celery and add some egg noodles. (Note: I didn’t use parsnips or chicken bouillon. I would add fewer noodles next time.) This couldn’t have been easier! And it was oh so tasty!
So, with one affordable chicken, I made two complete dinners of easily four to six servings each. You can believe that I’ll be making these items again in the near future.