Friday, November 2, 2012

$avvy meals

Ever had the problem of eating roast chicken one night, and whatever is left manages to find it's way to the back of the fridge? I'm always looking for ways to use leftover roast chicken, because it's so hard to pull off the meat once chilled.

I think I may have found the answer in soup! Chicken noodle would seem the most obvious choice, but I'm not a big noodle fan any more. I also had a large pumpkin I needed to use, so decided to make chicken-pumpkin soup instead.

Stockpot, frame and meat

I just placed the roast chicken frame in a stock pot and covered it (almost) with water. I also chucked in a couple of chopped shallots. I then boiled for about an hour which was plenty to get the flavour out. Do remember though, stock made from a roasted chicken frame won't be as subtle in flavour, as the marrow in the bone has already been cooked out.

Once you're satisfied with your stock though, take the frame out and set aside to cool. The meat will fall off and makes it so much easier to remove. Even though we ate most of the chicken the night before (breast, legs and wings) a remarkable amount of meat still came off the frame.

Soft chicken meat

Below is how much of the chicken frame was left after pulling the meat off. Not much, and not too smelly to put in the bin (wrapped in newspaper) either.

Stripped chicken frame

While the frame was on to boil, I cut and roasted the pumpkin in a moderate oven. It caramelises the flesh, and makes it sweeter. Once cooked, set aside the pumpkin to cool a little, then scoop out the flesh from the skin, and place in the cooked stock.

Yummy, dry roasted pumpkin

I also had those few remaining roast vegetables from the night before. They were placed in the stock too. Potatoes and pumpkin. I reckon if you had leftover swede or turnip, it would taste great too!

Leftover vegetables from the night before

I then used my Bamix (stick blender) to puree it together. I then put the chicken meat back in and added a can of corn kernels. Although I *loved* the chunky sweet-corn in my soup, both David and Sarah said they would prefer it softer. So maybe add a can of creamed corn instead, if you don't want chunky kernels.

The spices I used were cayenne pepper (gave it a subtle bight) cumin, salt and white pepper and a lovely splash of Worcestershire sauce too. You can also add cream to the mix if you want, but we tend to add it after serving.

The chicken stock makes this a very filling soup!

This is the finished soup, minus the cream as I hadn't poured it yet. It was so delicious! Being pregnant and having awful reactions to meat for some bizarre reason, I found this soup a lovely compromise. I seem to be able to eat small amounts of lean meat, but nothing with fat. Cooking out the bones gave me a great boost of much needed protein, without the nausea!

My chicken-pumpkin soup - I'm having another bowl for dinner tonight! Out of one roast chicken and some vegetables, I was able to feed a family of three, three hearty meals. I'm very happy with that. No more roast chicken, hiding in the back of the fridge from now on!


  1. This looks really delicious. I have a few pumpkins ready for eating from the garden and some chicken thighs-that should do me:) How are you feeling?

  2. I'm sure you'll successfully tweak your own recipe for what you have on hand, and it will taste dandy! There is nothing finer than pumpkin and/or chicken for soup.

    Soup is such a comfort food for me. :)

    I'm doing better with each passing week. I've got my dating ultrasound booked for tomorrow morning and then in about another week I'll get the results of the bloodwork they did. It's all standard procedure, but will still be reassuring to know how it all goes.

    Ten weeks down. Only thirty more to go!

    I hope you're on the mend as well. :)

  3. Very glad to hear. Are you going to find out the sex or be suprised? I hated morning sickness enough to not wnt o go through it again. Mine was terrible. If you're eating this meal, I know you and baby are doing good...all the super helthy ingredients!

    I'm mending....I'll never be the same again but its okay. I might end up better than before in time since I finally have very good doctors.

  4. I hope healing comes eventually, even though it won't be straight forward. And it's great to hear you finally have medical care that is helping. As awful as recovering is sounding at the moment, I'm glad you're on the other side of treatment.

    I hope you are able to give yourself treat days, where you give yourself something small but meaningful. I had one the other day without realising I needed it. For some reason I had been craving jam and cream donuts for days. You know the fake cream ones with all the horrible preservatives? I couldn't eat my regular healthy food (which I love) and I'd been wrestling with preparing food for months.

    I told Dave about my cravings so on the weekend he drove us to the bakery. But when we got inside, there were no donuts left! So I ordered an apple turnover instead. Dave and Sarah got themselves a small treat too, and it only cost $4.50 all up. I felt so guilty afterwards however. I told Dave it shouldn't feel so right to do something so wrong, because bakery food is not good food.

    He replied, that's why it's a treat day. It's not meant to be every day. And really it wasn't eating the turnover that made me feel so good - it was being able to go to a counter and eat something I felt I could eat without the stress. I'd been wrestling food for months, opening the fridge and feeling sick. It felt so nice to be able to go to a counter and order something for the pure pleasure of it.

    Now I'm back to eating more of the healthy foods I like. Treat day served it's purpose. I'm less stressed and Dave and Sarah enjoyed themselves too!

    It doesn't have to cost a lot of money (or any at all) but treat days can be most helpful when you have to deal with a lot of stress. It's amazing the amount of stress we can cope with, but a small reprieve is lovely once in a while. :)

    And yes, we will probably try to see if they can sex the baby at our scan. We found out Sarah's sex at the first scan too. ;)


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