The Day After Chicken Noodle Soup

If you read my last post, you learned all about making an oven-roasted chicken & hopefully you will be trying out the recipe with one of our birds in July. Being a family of 3, where one of us in only a half-pint, 9 times out of 10 we always have leftovers from our supper time meals. When it came to roasting half of a chicken, we had lots! 
While I have made it my personal mission lately to waste less and utilize more, I thought that I would share with you a recipe that will allow you to use every last bit of your bird. The Day After Chicken Noodle Soup is a great way to use up any leftovers from a roasted chicken & it is also delicious on a rainy day if I do say so myself. 
To begin, you will need to pick your chicken carcass clean, aka remove any leftover meat from the bones (or as much as you can). If you have more than two cups of meat picked, you are in good shape for whipping up some soup & utilizing all of your leftovers. If you have less than two cups of meat, you may want to grill up a chicken breast to add to your soup later on. 
After your chicken has been picked, you will need to use a knife or pair of kitchen shears to chop up the carcass just enough that it will lay mostly flat in your pot. Heating a tablespoon of oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, add your carcass pieces. Once they are browned, add a bit of water to deglaze your pan & scrape all of the bits from the bottom so that they do not stick. Then, add a few chopped carrots, celery ribs & onion, along with 10 cups of water & a pinch of salt. If the water has reached a simmer, it's time to set your kitchen timer for 90 minutes. 
Stopping by your pot on occasion to give in a stir & strain any excess fat off of the top, feel free to walk away and switch over that load of laundry to occupy your time. If you needed more chicken cooked to add to your soup, now is a good time to do it as well. 
When your timer goes off, your stock should have a good chicken flavor. If it doesn't, it may need to simmer longer to extract more taste. Once the stock is done, pour through a strainer into a bowl or additional stockpot. You officially have homemade chicken stock that did not come out of a box from the grocery store. *hands clapping.* 
Rinse pot & return broth to simmer, adding finely chopped carrots, onion, celery & spices. My spices of choice are salt, pepper, garlic powder, & bay leaves. Let your veggies simmer in the broth for about 20 minutes to soften and soak up all of the flavors. Then, add in your chicken leftovers that you had set aside earlier. I like mine shredded, but of course, you can chop it however you prefer. Continuing to summer, let the chicken heat through and add additional flavor to your soup.
Last but not least, it's time to add the noodles. There are many opinions on methods & the type of noodles that should be used in soup, but I say do whatever you darn, please. I choose to cook my noodles ahead of time in a separate pot so that they do not soak up all of the chicken broth that I worked so hard to make. Some like to add it directly into their soup and bring to a light boil to cook through. Normally, I prefer a spiraled egg noodle for my chicken noodle soup because every noodle is NOT the same. Since we are avoiding the grocery store as much as possible these days, I decided to use up what we had, which happened to be alphabet letters. No one complained. 
& just like that, you have used up your leftovers and made some very simple chicken noodle soup. I served this with a fresh salad full of greens from Fox's Market & leftover beer bread from the night before. It was hearty & filled us both up, and ended up providing me lunch the next day as well. Even the baby loved it & honestly, the alphabet noodles were much easier for him to handle than egg noodles would have been anyway. 

I hope you love this easy Day After Chicken Noodle Soup as much as we do in our family. Bon Appetit! 

***I feel like it is important to note, that even if you don't want to go through the whole process of making your soup from scratch, you can always cook down your chicken carcass and make the stock that you can save for later. You can take the broth and put it in a freezer bag or container, where it will last for about 3-4 months. If you like to can & are looking to make your broth in larger quantities to stock up (hehe no pun intended), that is always an option as well.***

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