Every time I roast a chicken, I make stock from the carcass, stripping the bones of the last shreds of meat before, and then again after, the stock is cooked. You can also make good stock from a rotisserie chicken. It’s deeper and more flavorful than stock made from a raw chicken, but probably a little less versatile since the seasonings meld into the liquid.
I used the stock and the stray bits of chicken that fell off the cooked bones in a delicious soup made from escarole and Romaine lettuce sautéed in butter and onion. As we are getting a lot of lettuce from our CSA these days, I end up with a lot of greens. Escarole stews well, and so do the robust leaves of Romaine lettuce. With the addition of rice, the soup was filling enough for supper.
Roast Chicken Stock
Carcass of a roasted chicken, meat removed
1 stalk of celery (or trimmings)
1 carrot (or trimmings)
1 medium onion
Break the chicken carcass into pieces that can fit easily into a pot. Cover with cold water. Bring the liquid just to a boil over medium high heat, skimming away any foam. Do not let the stock boil. Turn down the heat, add a little salt and the vegetables, cut into chunks. Simmer for about an hour and a half. Carefully remove the bones, setting aside any small bits of meat, and stain the stock into a large deep bowl. Taste and adjust for salt. (Do not over salt since you will probably use the stock in combination with other ingredients.) Let the stock cool completely and refrigerate it overnight. Remove any fat that has coagulated or solidified on top. Store in the refrigerator for a few days or pour into containers and freeze them. It’s best to use the frozen stock within 6 months.
Escarole and Romaine Lettuce Soup
1 head of escarole
1 small head or ½ large head of Romaine lettuce
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp butter
4 c (more or less) homemade chicken stock
1/3- ½ c uncooked white rice (or some leftover cooked brown rice)
Small pieces of chicken (optional)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated
Wash and drain the lettuces. Cut out the core and slice the leaves into slivers, crosswise. In a large saucepan, saute the onion slowly in butter until it is translucent. Turn up the heat and add the slivered lettuce leaves, turning them to coat with butter. Add chicken stock to cover and bring the stock to a boil. Add rice and turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Add the optional chicken pieces, if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.