It's actually pretty disheartening that it's April 3rd and I'm still craving soup. Is it just me or does it feel like it's January 97th? Can this winter just end already?! Enough is enough Maryland. On the plus side, this weather gave me an incentive to make a delicious pot of chicken soup -although this soup would be good during any sort of weather.
My grandmother always taught me not to waste food. Like ever. Thanks to her I've always been pretty diligent about utilizing everything in my fridge and pantry, especially leftovers. Last week I posted a recipe for an air fried "rotisserie" chicken (which you should totally go check out), so this week I have turned said chicken into a comforting, soul soothing pot of chicken soup (no noodles because you know, Paleo).
This soup is reminiscent of a chicken noodle soup my mom used to make quite often during my childhood, minus the noodles and the bouillon. This just goes to show that clean eating and adapting to a Whol30/Paleo lifestyle isn't about giving up the foods you love, but rather recreating recipes so that they leave you feeling nourished, well-fed and great about what you just put in your body.
For this recipe, I stashed the leftovers from my air fried chicken in the freezer until I was ready to use them and then let them defrost in my fridge overnight. Any cooked bone-in chicken would work well for this. Using bone-in chicken adds a significant amount of flavor, so always save your bones! Not to mention, bone broth is great for boosting immunity and making you feel like a million bucks!
This recipe yields quite a bit of soup, so you're going to need a large stockpot!
How to Make Whole30 Chicken Soup Using Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
Begin by adding the leftover chicken to the stockpot and covering it with water. For recipe writing purposes I measured the water (16 cups), but as long as the chicken is completely submerged you should be good. Next, bring the water to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for at least an hour. After an hour, check on the chicken to see if the meat is falling off the bone. If so, remove all of the chicken parts from the stockpot and set them aside to cool. Do not discard the liquid! That's bone broth, my friends!
Once the chicken has cooled off a bit, using a fork and knife, pull as much much meat as possible off of the bones and return the meat back to to the stockpot along with the leg bones. The leg bones add even more flavor!
Now, add all of the chopped vegetables, dried herbs and garlic to the pot and bring the liquid back to a rolling boil. You may need to add a few more cups of water if the vegetables are not submerged completely.
Quick Thoughts About Using Dried Herbs & Spices
I'm pretty sure using dried herbs is frowned upon in the culinary world but quite frankly I am sick of wasting leftover fresh herbs. I have never once picked up fresh herbs for a recipe without the leftover herbs going bad before I found another use for them. If you prefer fresh herbs, go for it! Dried herbs are just my frugal preference.
Ok, back to the recipe. Once the liquid has returned to a rolling boil, reduce the heat back to low and let it cook for another two hours. Don't forget to add salt and pepper to taste and remove the bay leaves and leg bones before serving!
Like I mentioned before, this recipe yields quite a bit of soup. I froze nearly half of it for a rainy day -or yet another snowy winter day which is most likely this coming Saturday. 100% chance of snow in Maryland on Saturday guys! GREAT.
Anywho, check out the full recipe below and let me know what you think in the comments! Stay warm out there folks!
PIN NOW! COOK LATER!
Whole30 Leftover Chicken Soup
- leftovers from a 4 - 5 lb whole cooked chicken at least 1 pound of meat
- 2 yellow onions chopped
- 1 bunch of celery chopped
- 6 - 8 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups carrots sliced into ¼ inch thick coins
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- water as needed
- salt & pepper to taste
- Put leftover chicken pieces in a large stockpot and cover with enough water so that the chicken is completely submerged.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer (covered) for at least an hour, or until the meat falls easily from the bone.
- Remove all chicken pieces from the stockpot and set aside to cool. Do not discard the cooking liquid.
- Once the chicken has slightly cooled, pull as much chicken from the bones as possible and return the meat to the stockpot, along with the leg bones. Discard the remaining bones.
- Add the vegetables, garlic and herbs to the pot. Add more water until the vegetables are submerged.
- Bring the liquid back to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Stirring occasionally.
- Remove bay leaves/leg bones. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and most importantly, ENJOY! 🙂