Let's start with the pesto-crusted roasted chickens, please. There was NOTHING wasted in my house growing up. If you are raised that way, I don't think you ever quite get that sentiment out of your system. This recipe is a tribute to that. So easy, so economical and so ridiculously delicious...how could you EVER throw away a chicken carcass?
I always make a stock from whatever poultry I have roasted. It's extremely rich, easy as covering the carcasses with water, why wouldn't you?
So, for the stock, take your chicken carcasses and place in a large pot. Add any of the onions that are not super charred and whatever drippings may be left in the pan. Cover with water and simmer for a few hours, skimming off any scum from the surface. After a 3-4 hours, remove the carcasses from the pot and strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve. Skim off any fat and cool until ready to use. You can, alternatively, freeze the stock (after you have cooled it) and it will keep for 3-6 months.
In keeping with the rustic feel of this soup, I've used farro. For those unfamiliar, it is an ancient grain, packed with protein and iron.
chicken soup with farro and swiss chard
home made chicken stock
2 c cooked chicken, cubed
1 c farro
1/2 bunch swiss chard, chopped or jullienne
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stacks, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
salt and pepper
In a large pot sauté the carrots, celery and onions in about 3 T of olive oil.
Cook for a few minutes until the onions have some color.
Add the swiss chard and cook for a few minutes more.
Add the stock and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Add the farro and continue to cook the soup over medium heat until the farro is tender. Taste for final seasoning. Serve with crusty bread and butter.