The food cycle of Roasted Chicken or Turkey

Roasted chicken

We are all looking to stretch a dollar. Your chicken or turkey will go much farther if you extend their food cycle. Rather than cooking or roasting poultry, eating the meat and discarding the rest, we add a couple of steps to create beautiful, delicious, and health broth, soup, and stews.

We begin with roasting chicken or turkey, whole or bone in pieces, with whatever seasoning works best for you, realizing that if you roast the birds with a very strong seasoning such as cayenne, some of that flavor will be present in your broth and subsequent soups or stews, although it will be greatly diminished.  When this chicken is done cooking, cut most of the meat off the bone and serve as a meal or two with the side dishes of your choice.

The bones, the skin, and remaining meat can then go into a large pot.  Add diced or dehydrated onions, celery and/or celery seed, diced carrots, parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Top with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for several hours stirring occasionally and topping up the water as needed Be sure not to let the pot run dry. Stain out the bone and skin and separate the bones from the leftover meat.  Add the meat back into the pot and discard the bones.

Once the broth is finished, it can be used as an ingredient for any dish calling for chicken or turkey broth or chicken cubes (liquid in the recipe would need to be adjusted in this case) or made into soup, stew, gravy, or some of each. It doesn’t take a lot of bones to make a lot of broth.

This is so easy to turn into soup, just add any desired vegetables, return the broth to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Add noodles or rice to the broth or heat and add at the time of serving.  For gravy, strain a litre of the broth (add the strained vegetables and spice back into the large batch of broth) and thicken as you would any other gravy using a flour slurry. For stew, use the unstrained broth, and add additional vegetables as desired.  Green beans, cubed potatoes, or broccoli to name but a few. Then use a flour slurry to thicken and return to a boil, stirring constantly. This can be served over potatoes, rice, or noodles, or in a bowl with bread on the side. If you made gravy with your roasted chicken or turkey, any leftovers can be added to the broth or stew for thickening and additional flavour.

The price per serving drops drastically, especially if you got your chicken or turkey on sale. An additional benefit is that bone broth is an incredibly nutritious staple food.

The broth and soup can be frozen or, if you are an avid food preserver and own a pressure canner, the broth and soup can be safely sealed, following pressure canning safe practices for canning meats, and stored for future use.

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