You will need a giant pot. My chicken stock pot is 18 quarts. I can submerge 2 full chickens in it. That's an important quality in a stock pot!
It started over a week before Passover. I was on the night shift, and Dan was home all day Saturday. I told him we should make a whole chicken for dinner (and several more dinners) so I could use the bones in my soup. He made a beer butt chicken, coated with Stephanie & Dan seasoning. It sounds odd but is SO delicious, we even got a special grill roaster for it (we registered for it on Amazon).
Anyways, after eating most of that chicken, I put the remnants in the freezer until soup day.
- 1 whole chicken, in pieces
- 1 carcass of roasted (or grilled) chicken (you can use 2 whole chickens if you don't have any leftover chicken bones, but I wouldn't recommend two carcasses)
- 1 lb of chicken necks (my grocery sells them in a package, specifically for soup)
- 1 lb carrots
- ~4 stalks celery
- 1 bunch parsley
- A few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 white onion, quartered
2. Dump all the ingredients in the pan. Fill the pot with water until it all ingredients submerged.
3. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
4. Leave loosely covered for ~2 hours. Taste at this point, if it tastes watery it needs more time. (It's impossible to overcook chicken stock, so don't worry too much about leaving it on if you think it needs it.)
5. Let cool a bit before you try to strain. We use this stock for matzah ball soup so we save the carrots and discard the rest of the vegetables. Make sure you save the boiled chicken for chicken salad, but you can toss the carcass and necks.
6. Refrigerate overnight. The fat will rise to the top and solidify. Scrape about 90% of it off before reheating and serving.
*If your pot is as large as mine, it will take awhile to boil and then a long time to cool. Though its mostly passive, this soup is a whole day project!
*HIGHLY recommend using the remains of a smoked chicken if you can. It gave the soup a bit of a spicy, smoky flavor.
*This made a TON of soup... enough to feed 20 people (2 nights of Passover dinner) with plenty leftover. Usually I stick some in the freezer in small batches and pull it out when recipes call for chicken stock.
As for what to do with the boiled chicken? I made this chicken salad (swapped out the mayo and instead did all 2% Greek yogurt) and brought it to Easter brunch with our friends. There are tons of combos you can use with chicken salad, so go crazy. I love this soup, but I also love that there's a chicken salad in my future!