If you ever find yourself throwing away the bones, skin and remains of a roast chicken, roast chicken thighs or wings, stop! Approximately one hour separates you from that moment and a delicious chicken broth that will feel like a warm hug.
Throw those bones, skin and chicken debris in a pan with a few vegetables and olive oil, add water and small pasta, let the heat do its magic and you will be suitably rewarded. It really is that easy.
I’ve always felt a bit inadequate in the top-to-tail world of cooks that are creative enough to conjure the most delicious dishes from the strangest and unlikely animal parts. I know when compared to them this recipe is lame. I only used some of the most obvious and essentially made a chicken broth, really nothing special that millions of cooks all over the world do on a weekly basis, whether with chicken, beef or fish. But I felt proud. Not only because I ‘saved’ animal parts from going to waste but also because even though I had never tried this before, it turned out really yummy.
This was inspired by something very familiar to me called ‘canja de galinha’, which is a traditional Portuguese chicken soup that you are supposed to eat when you have a cold or the flu. Or just because you like it, which I very much do. It’s light, healthy but still flavoursome and significantly different from other soups. To make ‘canja’, raw chicken is cooked from scratch usually in a pressure cooker where it boils for a long time to make sure it is cooked throughout. This one is essentially a stock but the end result is similar, if only with a slightly stronger flavour. This is not really surprising as the roasted chicken will have been cooked with herbs, spices and other condiments and all of those will eventually dissolve in the broth too. Yum.
On this occasion, I didn’t add any herbs because I had cooked my chicken with lots of thyme but I can imagine that parsley, lemon thyme and even a little mint will be delicious here.