Easy Chicken Carcass Soup Recipe

Temperatures are dropping, it's getting darker earlier, and sometimes it feels like the only thing that can chase away those cold weather blues is by enjoying a piping hot bowl of chicken soup. But please put down that can of chicken soup! If you've never made chicken soup before, this chicken carcass soup recipe from recipe developer Ting Dalton of Cook Simply is easy enough for a soup beginner to feel like a master chef in no time at all.

"This is the perfect winter warmer and so easy to make," says Dalton. "It's also a fantastic way to use up leftover chicken so that nothing goes to waste." All you need is some leftover roast chicken, some vegetables, a pot, and some water. You'll also need enough time to let the chicken flavor the broth, so save this recipe for a day that you can give it enough time to simmer on the stove. Don't let the title freak you out — the chicken carcass just refers to leftover chicken. Let's get started!

Gather the ingredients for chicken carcass soup

For this recipe, you'll need a chicken carcass, including any bones and leftover meat. You'll also want to add any leftover gravy, au jus, or juice from the chicken. Other than chicken, you'll also need some vegetables. Dalton recommends chopped carrots, chopped celery, chopped tomatoes, chopped potatoes, frozen spinach, and canned chickpeas.

"You can add other vegetables — any you want," Dalton says. "From greens such as kale, or cabbage, to other root vegetables or different pulses from lentils to butter beans, you can really make this soup your own." She also recommends using russet potatoes, but says any type of potato will work.

Dalton also doesn't personally feel a need to use additional seasoning in this recipe, but you can season to taste. "I've never felt the need to add seasoning here, as the natural flavors are enough," she says.

Start cooking

Add the chicken carcass, meat, gravy or au jus, carrots, tomatoes, celery, and half of the spinach and chickpeas to a large stockpot. Pour boiling water over the ingredients until they are just covered, and then bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Then, turn the heat down to low, and simmer for two hours. Over the two hours of simmering, stir the pot occasionally. If you think the water level looks a little low, add some more.

Add the rest of the ingredients

When there's an hour left of cooking time, add the chopped potatoes. Don't add the potatoes at the beginning, as they'll disintegrate and lose their shape if cooked for too long. If you use a starchy potato like a russet potato, it will also change the texture of your soup if it disintegrates.

When your soup is almost done, add the remaining spinach, and cook for five minutes. Why add some of the spinach late? According to Dalton, "This means you will have lovely green spinach that has retained its vibrant color."

Serve the soup

That's it! Your chicken soup is cooked and (almost) ready to go. Before serving the soup, make sure to carefully remove the chicken carcass and bones with tongs. Dalton recommends serving this soup in large bowls on its own, or with some chunky bread. It can keep in the refrigerator for up to three days, and will freeze in a suitable container for up to three months. If you do freeze this soup, just make sure to defrost thoroughly before reheating. Next time you have some leftover chicken, you have a healthy, delicious way to put it to work.

Easy Chicken Carcass Soup Recipe
5 from 226 ratings
If you've never made chicken soup before, this chicken carcass soup recipe is easy enough for a soup beginner to feel like a master chef in no time.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chicken carcass soup in bowl
Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • chicken carcass and any bones and leftover meat
  • leftover chicken jus, gravy, or juices
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  1. Put the chicken carcass, meat, jus, carrots, tomatoes, celery, ½ of the spinach, and chickpeas in a large stockpot.
  2. Pour boiling water into the stockpot so that it just covers the ingredients.
  3. On the stove, bring the pot to a boil on high heat before turning the heat to low.
  4. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If you think the water level looks low, add more water.
  5. An hour before the end of cooking time, add the chopped potatoes.
  6. Around 5 minutes from the end of the cooking time, add the remaining spinach.
  7. Before serving, using tongs, carefully remove the chicken carcass and bones.
  8. Serve in large bowls with chunky bread.
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