The Hungry Writer #1, Chicken Bones Soup

Monday night is cooking night. I spend the rest of the week either studying, zoning out in class, working, or sleeping, so I try to make a large enough batch of whatever I’m cooking to reheat and possibly repurpose for the rest of the week. 

Last week I roasted a whole 5-pound chicken in the oven, and saved the bones and carcass to use this week for making soup.

This is a chicken that was bought for less than $2.70, and has so far provided upwards of 4 meals, not including the soup I made tonight. Plus some pretty groovy gravy. I have to admit that even though I was planning on cooking the giblets too, I got squeamish at the last minute and threw them away. Go ahead and lecture me about wastefulness and starving people in other countries; but please remember that I spent several hours boiling the carcass of a chicken for soup when I could have just as easily tossed it into the dustbin.

Several hours? You might exclaim to yourself, which is exactly the train my thoughts were on when I, a newbie to all this business, read the pages returned by Google under the search making soup with chicken bones. Before you go praising my devotion to domesticity, I have to admit I cheated and just threw the thing into the crock pot with some water, onions, and carrots. I’ve got more important things to do than stir a steaming pot of bones, thankyouverymuch, things like conjugate Sanskrit verbs and sort out Final Obstruent Deletion in Afrikaans, all important life skills. 

The whole crock-pot trick was a gamble, but it worked out pretty well, anyway. When I came home I pulled all the solid stuff out and pulled off the usable meat (and I’m very picky about my chicken meat. There shall be no funny business with chewy bits like skin or cartilage.) When I was done I tossed out rubbery mess of bones and mush. 

In a pot, I softened some onions and garlic, and then strained (again, no funny business with little flecks of awful in my soup) the stock in. I added bay leaf, chopped carrots, chicken, and some rice. Finally, I added the coup de grace, a little tomato paste, which is a trick I learned from my grandfather, one of the most important cooks in my life. 

The G-meister (I’ve always wanted to call Giru that) made me some delicious biryani- seriously, the man’s 10 times the cook I’ll ever be- so I won’t be enjoying this soup tonight. Luckily, soup tastes better the next day, after all the flavors have mingled. I only had a small spoonful, but it definitely tasted like success 🙂 

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About Haley Dziuk

Haley Dziuk writes both fiction and narrative nonfiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in "The Hoot Review" and "Nail Polish Stories." She works as a librarian for the Phoenix Public Library. When she's not writing or patrolling the stacks, she likes to sing along to her guitar, and go on mini adventures with her boyfriend.
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