The Hubs hates “chicken on the bone,” as we call it at our house. Hates it. His dad doesn’t like it, so he never really had it growing up. Unfortunately, it is much cheaper than buying boneless chicken breasts, so with our ever-tightening budget, I figured out that if I make a bunch of chicken on the bone, he will eat it in other things (once it’s been de-boned, of course!).
I made this soup the other night and it will definitely be one I make again and again. It was fast, easy and delicious. I was actually excited to eat the leftovers the next day for lunch (and that’s saying a lot because I detest leftovers).
Ingredients (Please keep in mind I didn’t measure anything, I just eye-balled it):
8 oz shredded, cooked chicken
3 stalks celery
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbl sp cilantro
2 cans prepared black beans (I used the Aldi, “Dakota Brand”)
1 can Mexican Tomatoes (i.e. Rot-Tel — I actually used the Hy-Vee generic brand)
1 box chicken broth (I used the Aldi GF Broth)
the juice from 1/2 lime
1 Tbl sp olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Saute chopped celery, onion and crushed red pepper in olive oil until caramelized. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer until soup is hot and to your desired thickness. Serve with Fritos Corn Chips sprinkled on top for a nice added crunch.
Little Z seems bothered by the various broths I have used (even the ones that are free of the top 8), and forget using bullion cubes – they all have soy! I’ve avoided using broths and bullion in the last year or so, and my soups and dishes often seem too salty and one-noted. I’ve considered making my own, but it seemed like a lot of work, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to use it all before it went bad, and I’d end up just throwing it away. And then the thought occurred to me, why don’t I just make a big pot and freeze it in the ice cube trays I used to freeze my homemade baby food in?
The key to this broth is chicken bones – they impart a wonderful flavor. I made chicken, reserved the meat for another recipe, and kept the bones for broth. I also started freezing the celery leaves and ends in plastic zipper bags to use in my broth, which I love because I have always felt so wasteful when I throw away the celery leaves and ends! This broth is really economical, delicious, and I know what is in it (no preservatives, thank you!).
2 quarts water
2-3 lbs of prepared chicken with the meat removed and saved for another recipe or meal
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped (peeling isn’t necessary if you are using organic)
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chopped bell pepper
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
Saute vegetables, spices and garlic in oil and season with salt and pepper. Add water and bones. Simmer for at least 1½ to 2 hours. You may need to add more water if a lot evaporates. Do not stir (it makes the oil and fat mix into the broth). Take off the heat and let it cool. Strain broth through a colander into a large bowl. Discard bones and vegetables. You may need to strain it again through a finer colander. Poor into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, put in gallon zipper bags, and label with the contents and the date. Use cubes when a recipe calls for broth. Each cube should be about 1 oz of broth.