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I’m in Antigua, Guatemala as I write this post. We are renting a small apartment in the center of town, and my kitchen here is very small and barely useable. For example, the smallish electric stove is mostly rusted out and one burner only offers up high heat. That’s it. The pots and pans are so worn that I bought myself one cheap fry pan and one cheap small saucepan. Oh, and I brought a couple of knives, a potato peeler, and a lime squeezer. Forget about the oven—smoke pours out when I try to preheat!
Amazing what one can do if motivated. I am someone who does not enjoy restaurant food too often. Saturday, while my husband was saving the world, I ventured out and bought “pollo entero de horno” or whole roasted chicken. The first night we had a bit of roasted chicken with some vegetable laden rice and sauteed veggie that I made. . The next day I composed large salads with sliced chicken, mango, tomato, cucumber tossed with Tamarind dressing for lunch. There were a few chicken sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, and four days later, the only bits left were untouched parts with very little meat on them. Waste not, want not. Besides, I craved soup.
So…I rifled through the fridge and cupboards. Into the pot went the chicken neck, back and part of a thigh. I added water to cover, probably around five cups. Since this wasn’t going to be any type of gourmet dish, I added everything else at the same time: half of a large green zucchini, chopped in half-inch bits, one regular carrot peeled and chopped into half-inch pieces, some white skinned potato cut up, three quarters of a white skinned onion, a few cloves of garlic, about a half a cup of Basmati rice and a handful of cilantro. Salt and pepper. Cooked for 45 minutes partly covered. Lime juice at the end.
For some reason this tasted really great—it was hearty and thick, and fed four adults some nice servings along with raisin macadamia nut bread slices slathered with butter, and cubes of papaya with lime.
The next time you have some chicken bones or parts left over, make soup with everything but the kitchen sink. And make it your own. I’d have added some green beans or white cooked beans if I had them, some sliced celery, perhaps pasta in lieu of rice…honestly, this came about just because of what I had in the kitchen here.
Kitchen Sink Soup
Makes 4-5 servings
- Leftover cooked chicken parts (i.e. neck, back, wings or whatever you have)
- Water to cover said chicken
- ½ large zucchini, cubed ½ inch
- 3 fingerling potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces but unpeeled.
- 1 large carrot, cubed ½ inch
- 1 small white onion, unpeeled but cut into half
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- ⅓ cup raw white basmati rice
- A handful of cilantro or dill
- Salt (it takes a fair amount)
- Black pepper
- Juice of ½ lime for the end
Cover chicken bones with a little meat clinging to them in a large saucepan. Cover with fresh water by a ½ inch. Add everything else on the list but the lime. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook partly covered for 45 minutes. Fish out the onion, garlic and chicken bones (pick any chicken meat you find and return to the pot). Squeeze fresh lime juice and add to taste along with extra salt and pepper.