Since time during the week is at a premium between work, school, and Allie duty, I try and batch cook as much as I can. Last weekend was a smoker filled weekend. Ribs, chicken, and pulled pork. This weekend the smoker is still in play, but supplementing with other menu choices. One of them being a smoked chicken chowder.
I am pretty adamant about making my own soup stock. If you haven’t tried and you make/like homemade soup, you are missing out. This week I had smoked chicken bones. Figured they would make a pretty unique broth. So I hit the Google’s and checked out ideas for smoked chicken in soup. Most common use, a chowder. While most recipes have milk, cheese, cream, or some combination of the three, I wanted to make something a bit healthier. So here is what I ended up with.
Stock is easy. This is not by any stretch of the imagination the only way to make chicken broth, but it has never done me too wrong. You will need:
- Chicken bones and/or carcass
- Chicken thighs (you can also toss in a few breasts if you want).
- Bell Pepper
- Bay Leaves
Quantities of each depend on the size of the pot and what you have on hand. Usually I make around 4-5 Quarts. I usually fill pot with bones and veggies until I cannot fit anymore. I would recommend buying a medium to large bag of carrots, 2-3 onions, one bunch of celery, 2-3 bell peppers, small container of mushrooms, and 1-2 lbs of chicken. For the bones or carcass, save it from a rotisserie chicken, or one you have roasted or smoked at home.
To make the stock, heat your pot, coat in oil, and toss in the chicken thighs (and/or breasts). Brown them up a bit. Then toss in all the veggies. You can course chop everything as you wont be eating it. You are just building flavor. Toss in peppercorns and bay leaves. Then dump in the chicken bones and/or carcass. I usually strip off any skin and chunks of fat. Fill with water to cover everything. Simmer for 4 hours. I usually take out the chicken thighs/breasts after an hour or so and put them aside for later.
Smoked Chicken Chowder:
This turned our great. Smoky flavor and honestly not much work needed. Longer to chop and prep everything then to make the soup. Here is what you need:
- Stock (use above recipe, but use a smoked chicken carcass), about 3.5 quarts.
- (1.5) lbs of Chicken Thighs from Making Stock
- (2) Andouille Sausages
- (1) Bell pepper
- (2) Roasted Pasilla peppers
- (1) Small can of diced hatch green chili’s (mild)
- (6) Medium Carrots
- (6) Celery Stalks
- (1) Yellow Onion
- (5) Cloves of Garlic
- (1) Cup Mushrooms
- (1) Sweet Potato
- (3) Ears of Corn
- (1) Tablespoon Mexican Saffron
- (2) Bay leaves
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
In a bowl, chop and prep your veggies except for the corn. The thicker you cut everything, the longer it will take. Heat your pot, slice up the sausage and toss it in . As it begins to brown, add in your veggies and Mexican saffron. Saute it all for about 5 minutes. Add in Stock and bring to a simmer. Let simmer to veggies are tender, about 30-45 minutes. Dice and add chicken. Using a knife, remove corn from cob and add to soup. Let cook 5 minutes and remove from heat. I used am immersion blender to make it a bit creamier. The smoked chicken carcass did wonders for the flavor and the sausage added a extra level of flavor. I added a bit of salt and pepper, but the chicken carcass added a ton of flavor (I brined it before I smoked it).
For the biscuits, I used this recipe: http://www.pauladeen.com/biscuits
I followed it except for two things: I let dough sit for 30 minutes before I made the biscuits and when I pulled them from the oven I brushed them in butter. They turned out great. I would make these again in a heartbeat.
Firing up smoker tomorrow, so if there is anything of note that I end up making, I will drop another recipe on here. As a side note, cleaning up a kitchen and putting the soup in containers while my daughter continuously loses her shit over dropping her pacifier is a real challenge. She is a pro at pulling it out of her mouth, but cannot figure out how to get it back in. Oh well. – The Nerd Dad