I love a roast chicken. It’s one of my favourite foods ever and it really reminds me of being a kid. I would cover my mum’s beautiful roasts in ketchup – and only now do I understand her sad look of resignation as I squeezed red sauce all over my plate! Buying a whole chicken is a very economical way of getting your protein – not only do you get loads of lovely meat, you get a chicken carcass with which to make delicious stock!
I use my slow cooker to make my stock because you can leave it and forget about it for a while, but you can use a large saucepan over the stove instead if you’re going to be at home while you make it. Don’t go out if you’ve got something on the stove – it puts you at risk of a fire. Chicken and vegetable broth is a delicious and healthy way of using up the rest of your chicken and luckily, it’s really simple to make. I made this batch with the stock from one of my marmite chicken roasts – and it was divine.
For 8-10 portions, you need:
- a roasted chicken carcass – I used mine for a roast for two people so there was still a lot of meat left on it
- A few chunks of celery, carrots, and onion, plus salt, pepper corns, and 2 bay leaves for the stock
- 1 large onion
- 1 large celery bunch
- 2 leeks
- 6 medium potatoes (I use Maris Pipers)
- 6 carrots
- 2 tins of sweetcorn
- 2 tsp marmite (optional)
- First of all, strip and shred all the good meat from your carcass and set aside in a bowl.
- Now, place the carcass in your slow cooker (or in a large saucepan) with the veggies above (you can use whatever you have – there aren’t any hard rules here). Throw in the bay leaves with about 10 peppercorns and season with salt. Cover the carcass with cold water – at least 3-4 pints. Leave to cook for at least four hours – ideally six to eight. If using a slow cooker, set it to high and just leave it. If using a stove, set to a low heat so it’s gently simmering and do keep an eye on it.
- Once your stock has finished cooking turn off the heat.
- Now chop your large onion finely and pop it in your biggest saucepan (mine is almost cauldron size) with a little bit of oil or some low fat cooking spray. Sweat the onions for 5 mins or so until they are translucent. While they’re sweating, peel your carrots and potatoes and chop into small chunks. Pour a little bit of water over the onions so they don’t over cook.
- Now, move your giant saucepan to the sink and pop a large sieve over it. Very carefully pour the stock into the onions, taking care not to accidentally get any bones etc in your soup. If it’s easier, use a slotted spoon to remove the bones and veggies first. Set the carcass aside on some kitchen roll to cool.
- You should now have a big saucepan full of stock and onions. Throw in the carrots and simmer for 5 mins. While it’s simmering, chop your celery into small chunks and slice your leeks finely.
- Add the potatoes, celery, and leeks to the soup. Add in all the meat you stripped off the carcass when you started. Stir.
- Pick through the carcass for any leftover good meat. There is always more than you expect! I always get a bit squeamish when I come across the chicken’s spine, but it’s worth the effort…! Add remaining chicken meat and bin the rest of the carcass.
- Add the marmite to the broth if you fancy it.
- Simmer the broth for 20 mins and then turn the heat off. Drain the sweetcorn and chuck it in with the soup. Stir and taste. Season if if needs more seasoning. Leave to cool.
- Store in an airtight container (you will prob need two) and either eat over a week or freeze.