When Nick and I buy a rotisserie chicken, we get at least five meals from it. The first night, we play primal caveman. We take a drumstick or thigh, and a few slices from the bird. That first night is always the best. On days two and three, we cut successive slices from the beast, usually eating it with my homemade bread, or potatoes, and always a salad. On day four, it's chicken soup time.
My chicken soup varies with my mood, but it always starts like this. Pick the remaining meat off the carcass and reserve. Meanwhile, sweat some onions (mandatory), and, possibly celery, green pepper, carrot (depending on mood). Then crush and toss in some garlic (or not). Take the bones of the carcass, from which most of the meat is stripped, and separate them, so that they will lie in the bottom of the kettle, and will be totally immersed in 2 or 3 inches of water. Add the bones, the water, and various herbs (I used whole fresh ones from the garden in summer, which I later remove, a la bouquet garni). The herbs I used today were rosemary, parsley, and thyme.
Simmer (don't boil) for about 1 hour. Remove the bones and the herbs. Discard the herbs. Scour the bones for any remaining meat, and return the meat to the pot.
Now, is when I can get creative. Today, we picked a zucchini from the garden. That, and my love of basil, made me think, "summery provencal style". So I added the squash and some chopped tomatoes and 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans. (I cook beans in quantity and keep them in 2 cup portions in my freezer). I simmered about 15 minutes more, then I added some chopped basil, and finally, the reserved meat from the chicken, which I chopped up before adding to the pot.
We had this tonight, and have enough left over to have again on Monday (a worknight, when cooking time is nonexistent). I love when I can do two meals in one!
I served the soup salad and Ruhlman's "3-1-2" biscuits, which, for just Nick and me, was 1 cup flour, a few tablespoons butter, 1 t. baking powder, salt, and enough milk to make it stick together.