Anytime I need a week of light but hearty food, soup is my go-to meal to bring with me to work for lunches or quick dinner when I get home at 9 pm.
This chicken soup is no exception. I make it the “hard” way – meaning from scratch. Like, real scratch. I try to get all of the nutrients and less of the crap additives that make me feel bloated, weighed down and drowsy in the first place. Feel free to modify with boxed chicken stock, a rotisserie chicken, pre cut veggies, etc. – Do what feels right to you and is most accessible! It’ll still be delicious 🙂
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 lemon
- garlic infused olive oil (or regular)
- kosher salt & coarse black pepper
- bay leaves
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 bunch celery stalks
- 1 bag petite carrots
- 1 large baking potato or 3-4 red potatoes
- 4-6 cups shredded kale
- 1 bunch green onions
- optional Frank Red Hot Sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Unwrap your chicken. Say “hi,” then reach inside and remove gizzards from the inner cavity – it’s only polite. Put them aside, you’ll need them later. Rinse the chicken in the sink, inside and out. Pat dry, like as try as you can get it, with paper towels. (Immediately discard the paper towels to not contaminate your kitchen. Also, I’d recommend bleaching your sink and counters after rinsing the chicken just to be safe!)
Once chicken is dry, salt and pepper generously all over the outside and inner cavity. Cut up your lemon into about 8 pieces and stuff inside the cavity with about 3 bay leaves (option to stuff garlic cloves inside). Generously apply olive oil all over the outside of the chicken, drizzle a little inside if you’re feeling really into it. Rub it into all of the leg and wing crevasses, you want that skin to get crispy, not mushy.
I never tie the legs together, no real reason. I just don’t. My chickens turn out fine. But, I do flip the wings under. (See this image, it says turkey… but you get it.)
Place chicken on a roasting pan or in a baking dish. Bake for 1 hr 30 min or until your chicken reaches an internal temp of about 165 degrees. Remove chicken from the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
Carve all of the meat off of one half of your chicken. Remove the skin (And eat it! Best part!) and shred it up into hearty but bite-sized pieces. Carve the rest of the meat off of the chicken how ever you’d like. I always save it for easy dinners and lunches!
Put chicken carcass (with lemons still inside), gizzards you took from the inner cavity in a deep pot or Dutch oven on the stove. Pour in water until about an inch above carcass. Turn heat to high and add 2 bay leaves, 2 celery stalks, half bag of carrots, about 3 tablespoons salt and pepper. Bring water to a boil then turn down to medium. Allow low boil for about 30-45 minutes. Water should begin to look like chicken stock.
While stock is forming, dice up 4-5 stalks of celery, potato and half bag of petite carrots.
Then, put celery, carrots, potato, butter and salt and pepper in a deep pot or Dutch oven on the stove with butter at medium heat. Let the veggies soften, stirring occasionally.
Once stock is cloudy strain into large container, another large pot, or bowl, etc. let sit, straining for a couple minutes as you throw the kale in the pot of veggies. Allow it it wilt a bit then pour the stock over the veggies in the pot on the stove. Add the shredded/diced chicken. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
And, you’re done! Using a ladle, serve to large bowl or crock. Add diced green onion to the top and serve with a few dashes of Franks Read Hot if you like a little spicy. Eat with crusty bread for serious heart-melting happiness!
Homemade happiness at it’s finest 🙂 enjoy!