Last Ditch before You Pitch Rotisserie Chicken Soup

Over the last two weeks, I have had my annual late winter/early spring allergies and dramatic cough that happen when trees start to bud in Nashville. I have socially distanced myself this time around because, you know, coronavirus. This self-imposed quarantine has been hard to maintain because of an F4 tornado that came through Middle Tennessee. I am someone who looks to be helpful. I have been a disaster nurse for the Nashville Chapter of the Red Cross since 2005 in the aftermath of Katrina. I have worked in shelters all over Middle-Tennessee with other tornadoes. But last week, with a persistent cough, I could not be a nurse or a cook (at The Nashville Food Project ).

I find soup to be infinitely satisfying when I get to feeling like this.

I have been known to eat a bowl of homemade soup over brown rice or pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner when I don’t feel well. As such, every morning, I dug through our garage freezer chest, past all the cookies and quart containers of marinara, to get to my beloved stash of frozen pasta e fagioli, Aunt Bridget’s soup, Portuguese kale soupturkey gumbo (too spicey to qualify for sick soup), roasted butternut squash, and duck stew. Eventually, my husband and I finished all of them. We were plum out of soup.

Looking in the refrigerator, I spied this lone, half-eaten rotisserie chicken.

Five years ago, I would have pitched it after four days. A few days ago, it became a colorful bowl of flavorful, healthy soup.

I’m going to show you how I made the soup, in pictures, with links at the end that describe in detail how you can do it. There will be answers to questions like, Why do you put vinegar in it? And, Where’s the salt? One thing I do want to say is if you make this soup, please double-strain the stock to get rid of small bones.

[So many people have called about how to make this soup. Refer to this post for details: Chicken Stock from Rotisserie Chicken Bones. Tip 1: add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar to the water for one carcass. The vinegar helps draw the collagen out of the bones. Use more vinegar if making a large pot. Tip 2: do not bring the stock to a rolling boil. Hard boiling makes the broth cloudy. Tip 3: for a golden-colored broth, use yellow onions, not red onions.]

A Pot of Last Ditch before You Pitch Chicken Soup — in Pictures

Yield: about 6 servings


Making Large Quantities of Chicken Stock
I am very into the concept of zero food waste; I typically throw finished rotisserie chickens into a storage bag I keep in the freezer. When I get 4 or 5 carcasses, I cook the stew out of them for twelve hours and freeze the strained stock in quart containers.

Here are the recipes that describe how to do that:
Chicken Stock from Rotisserie Chicken Bones
Sick Soup, Sometimes Known as Snow Day Soup
Rotisserie Chicken Soup, Revisited

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13 thoughts on “Last Ditch before You Pitch Rotisserie Chicken Soup

    1. Thank you, Theresa! I’ve made about 15 banana bread recipes in the last two months!! Wish I had taken better notes on the pros and cons of each… Am now revisiting. Yours was good. Stayed tuned. xoJudy

  1. I have made your kale soup and pasta e fagioli (or pasta fazooool -complete with hand gesture) and they were very popular with my guys. I have a rotisserie chicken carcass at home. Guess what I am going to do?? When I am not feeling well, I eat chicken or miso soup for breakfast.
    I was thinking about you when I read about the tornado. I am glad you are well.

  2. Thanks for this reminder, Judy! I do the same thing, AND I have a half-eaten rotisserie chicken that I wasn’t feeling inspired to make something else from (Like chicken pot pie or chicken salad…) – but soup is ALWAYS my middle name, and why not go back to basics.
    Sorry you’re having a cough etc that’s keeping you from NFP – bet they miss you too! I do want to volunteer there, but new people are probably not their favorite thing to have show up right now, huh?

    From: “@judyschickens”
    Reply-To: “@judyschickens”
    Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 5:51 AM
    To: Mary Stevens
    Subject: [New post] Last Ditch before You Pitch Chicken Soup

    Judy’s Chickens posted: “Over the last two weeks, I have had my annual late winter/early spring allergies and dramatic cough that happen when trees start to bud in Nashville. I have socially distanced myself this time around because, you know, coronavirus. This self-imposed quara”

    1. “Soup is my middle name.” Me, too! I just now thought about Wonder Roasts. When our children were babies, didn’t Hills carry a rotisserie chicken that was then called a Wonder Roast??
      About volunteering at TNFP, just go online to Hands on Nashville and sign up for a shift. They would love to have you. I was at TNFP yesterday and almost everyone I observed making Relief meals was a newbie.
      Thanks for writing. xo Judy

  3. Love this… my kids say my soups will be part of my legacy… love the portmerion dishes… they are plentiful,in our family 🤗

  4. Soups are definitely on my mind now. I’ve stocked up on dried legumes and yesterday poached a chicken and made soup, using veggies in freezer and produce drawer in fridge. I tried something new, tossing in a bag of frozen cut okra at the last and couldn’t believe how good it was. Tonight we’ll have it again before freezing the rest. Adding some buttermilk hoecakes to go with it.

    It’s wonderful that you work in the Nashville Food Project. Good food means so much when people are dealing with health worries and tornadoes. When my husband and son have been responding to our customers’ calls from East Nashville last week they saw so many volunteers delivering food to the residents, and homeowners told them that it was so heartwarming to know that people cared. It helped their feelings of being overwhelmed.

    1. Thanks for the okra tip. Will definitely try that. I so agree; it makes you feel well-cared for when people show up with food (especially soup!) when you are unwell. Take care.

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