The cold weather is upon us here in Chicago and it is time for me to switch to the "winter menu" as I call it. Lots of soups and stews - items that can cook all day and fill the house up with wonderful smells. A great way to braise tough cuts of meat and make them tender.
While I like chicken soup, I never cared to make it since most recipes start with a raw chicken and have you skimming the broth for what seems like forever. My solution: start with a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket.
A rotisserie chicken is already cooked and seasoned. Plus you can make a large batch of stock from one chicken. I usually turn my stock and the picked over meat into chicken stew and serve with dumplings or biscuits.
2 cups chopped onions
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large rotisserie chicken, cooked
4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1 14 oz can evaported milk
8 oz mixed frozen vegetables
1. In large stock pot, place onions and oil over medium heat. Cook for five minutes until onions are soft.
2. Meanwhile, remove large areas of meat from the chicken. Break carcass apart and place in stock pot when onions are soft. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
3. Boil chicken carcass for about one hour or until most bones are free of meat. Cool.
4. Strain stock using a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Pick over bones removing pieces of meat. Place meat in a separate bowl. Keep stock warm, at a simmer.
5. In a large dutch oven, melt butter over low heat and add flour. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly, to make a roux. Add 2 cups of hot stock to roux and cook until thickened.
6. Add remaining stock and pieces of meat. Add can of evaporated milk. Bring to a boil.
7. Add frozen vegetables and season to taste.
8. Variations: Add chopped rosemary while cooking onions. Add more frozen vegetables or greens such as kale or swiss chard. Also add roasted garlic.