Monday, August 10, 2009

Start with a chicken...

We started with a rotisserie chicken from Sam's Club, a good deal at $4.99, particularly with the size of the bird. (The small ones at the Erie County Farms for around $3 are pretty cool, too). I carved off the breasts (a serial killer diary entry if ever I saw one) and sliced thinly across the grain. Layered on a croissant with some orange tomato and some quick spiced aioli et voila, lunch.

Aioli is actually something a little more complicated than what I made, but the truth is Darling Husband won't eat mayonnaise. He will eat things called aioli or remulade, though, so I mixed a bit of mayo with some sambol olek, black pepper and a bit of lemon zest and gave it a fancy name. It really punched up the sandwich, though.

In the past, this would have been about all I would have done with the chicken. Oh, I'd continue to carve what I could, but in the end, I'd either give it to my mother or (and I'm ashamed to admit this) toss the carcass.

My mother would pick over the bird, boil it to make stock, pick over it again and then make 200 more meals from it. I'm only slightly exaggerating.

Tonight I became very brave and, for the first time in my life, made homemade chicken soup. I don't like soup. I don't like chicken soup especially. I don't like the smell of boiling bones. But I made the soup and I'm not exactly sure why.

I put the bird in a pot and covered with water, bringing to a boil and simmering 2 hours. Then I strained out the chicken, which had fallen apart into approximately one inch pieces. The spine was particularly unnerving. I strained the broth again, then began picking over the chicken pile. I was surprised at how much good meat I found. The boiling had removed much of the connective tissue, making it very easy to extract the meat. I tossed onion, carrots, zucchini (yes, still that zucchini) and pasta into the broth, followed by the chicken meat.

It looks good. I hope it tastes good. I might even taste it myself, since it made quite a bit. I'm kinda proud of myself.


  1. Wow! This one sent me to the dictionary to define aioli, remoulade, and sambol oelek. In the process I discovered that the British make four syllables out of aioli (A aye all' E) and two out of remoulade (rem' laid). Now, I not only know what they are, but I can say it in two languages!

  2. Oh, those crazy Brits!

    And I like that I further your culinary research with my ramblings.