Chicken is such a versatile bird and utterly full of goodness. I’m going to show you how to take your Sunday roast chicken and transform the leftovers into a food base for many meals to come – nothing is wasted, and you’ll be sorted for meals all through the week.
I’ll take you through roasting a chicken, then using the bones for stock which will be used to make the most delicious, nutritious soup. It’s no surprise that some version of chicken soup is a staple in cuisine throughout the world.
But where to buy your chicken? If you live in Tooting, then I recommend visiting a local butchers like mine – Coppin Bros on Mitcham Road. Not only is it cheaper than the supermarket, it’s a much nicer experience to learn about the meat you’re going to eat. Ensure it’s free range – this doesn’t mean it has to be organic, but free-range is likely to mean it’s had a good life, which really influences how the chicken tastes!
Before we go on – be VERY careful not to handle raw chicken and then touch other surfaces as this could lead to food poisoning. Wash your hands thoroughly and clean any surfaces before you start on the veg!
• 1 whole free-range chicken
• 1 large onion peeled and cut into eighths
• ½ butternut squash (unpeeled) chopped into large chunks
• 3 carrots chopped into 2cm thick chunks
• Garlic cloves, peeled and sliced – see below
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tbsp mixed herbs
• Salt for seasoning
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 ℃ / 375 F / Gas Mark 5. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes per 500g plus 20 minutes extra (ie a 1.5kg chicken will need 1 hr 20 mins).
2. Spread the chopped up veg on the bottom of a casserole dish and season with a sprinkling of salt.
3. Place your chicken on top of the veg.
4. Using a sharp knife, make small slashes into the chicken and slip in some thin garlic slices – how much all depends on how much you like garlic!
5. Sprinkle around ½ a tsp of salt and pour the olive oil over the chicken.
6. Put the lid on and place the pot in the oven on the middle shelf. Leave it to cook.
7. Remove the chicken when the time’s up. Pierce the skin between the leg and body – if the juice runs clear, the chicken is cooked. If there’s any sign of blood, then stick the bird back in the oven for a while longer. Once it’s cooked, leave it to cool.
8. Once cooled, place the chicken on to plate, draining any juices back into the casserole dish with the cooked veg (we’ll come to that later).
9. Peel away the chicken skin.
10. Remove the meat from the chicken and place in airtight storage boxes.
11. Put all the veg left in the casserole dish, and the remaining juices, into more boxes.
12. Now place the bones back into the casserole dish for stock.
Chicken Stock Recipe
• Chicken bones
• 2 carrots, whole
• 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
• 2 tsp of mixed herbs
• Salt to season
• Boiling water
1. Place the veg and herbs with the chicken bones in the pot and add boiling water, just enough to cover the ingredients.
2. Bring back to the boil, add the lid, reduce to a low heat so it’s simmering. Leave for approximately 2 hours.
3. Using a sieve, pour out the liquid into a pan so that you separate the bones and veg (throw the bones away).
4. Leave the liquid to cool.
Chicken and Veg Soup Recipe
Take the stock and all the leftover veg and juices from when you cooked the chicken. Whizz in a food blender and add salt to taste.
Voila! You have a delicious soup that you can heat up or batch up and stick in the freezer for those busy days ahead.
Other chicken serving suggestions
• Add to my Summer Pea Courgetti.
• Add to the soup to give it a protein kick. You can add all manner of ingredients to your soup – chilli flakes, spring onion…whatever takes your fancy!
• Chicken and avocado salad – I like to cook up some buckwheat, then mix in salad leaves, chicken, avocado balsamic vinegar about a tbsp of olive oil.