I had a very fine left over carcass!  

I am making soup.  Chicken soup. 

A savory roasted chicken having been consumed, I extracted from the freezer stock made at various times in the summer, to which, as it was warming, chopped up bones and meat with herbs were added in order to cook up soup. 

(That last sentence would be great in Latin, btw.)

I have also added herbs from my surviving kitchen garden, now actually in the kitchen.  Parsley, and rosemary, and even some new tarragon, which is growing back.  The thyme has dried out, but I added some dried thyme.  I couldn’t keep it going like last year.  I have some carrot and green onion and carrots.

Did I mention carrots?

Furthermore, I am able tonight to watch a movie and enjoy a fire, which has been going for some of the day to keep the house a little warmer than usual. 


I just watched the end of Kill Bill Vol. 1*… the better of the two.

Quentin Tarantino belongs in jail.

That said, he has the mastery of the shot, that’s for sure.  That scene in the garden was amazing.

The music sure is fun.  I have used some of it in PODCAzTs.



*I wish it was "Kill the Bill" instead!



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Fr. Z's Kitchen, SESSIUNCULA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Girgadis says:

    Well done, Father. I find it interesting how your dishes, even soup, always have a very distinct rustic appearance. It’s been snowing all day here in Philadelphia and we just put the finishing touches on our tree. My husband’s only regret is that we don’t have a fireplace. I’m glad you do and I hope you enjoy your evening.

  2. amylpav22 says:

    I have some carrot and green onion and carrots.

    Like carrots much? :)

    It looks fabulous.

  3. wanda says:

    Fr. Z., That soup looks wonderful, happy to see the celery. It’s not soup without it. To Girgadis, Have you seen/heard of the DVD that you can buy – it turns your tv screen into a picture (moving) of a roaring fireplace? It comes with a cd of Christmas music, not my personal taste, but you can turn down the sound and play your own favorites on a separate cd player. Can you tell that I bought one? It’s not like the real thing, but it’s not bad.

    We have about 20″ of snow near Baltimore! Happy Advent to all!

  4. New Sister says:

    Bon appétit!

  5. I do like carrot. It adds color and a natural sweetness.

    This is really good soup. I tried some tonight. Tonight I will skim some of the fat, but this is really good stuff.

    I can get just a sense of the tarragon….

  6. Jaidon says:

    One of the reasonsI’m still hoping to get invited to WDTPRS county manor for dinner some day.

  7. ron.d says:

    Peace on earth, good will toward men.

    Good night, Fr. Z.

  8. frater says:

    Forgive me for what may be a stupid question to some. I”m not a cook but you mentioned above a “savory roasted chicken” is that the way you buy in from the supermarket or do you put something on it to make it a “savory” roasted chicken? The picture you put up makes me drool. I wish I was more of a cook. Thanks for any help, Father.

  9. frater: I am capable of roasting a chicken. It isn’t hard. Try it. You don’t need a supermarket roasted chicken.

    Try it.

    Start being a cook. Just do it.

    Buy a chicken. Buy a lemon. Obtain some rosemary and/or sage and/or thyme. Salt and pepper the thing inside and out. Stick some herbs in it, and under the skin, and some lemon… I like to slice off the zest and stick it under the skin….

    Stick it in the oven. When it is done… let it rest for ten minutes…. eat it.

    The bones, etc., make good soup.

  10. Also… remember the Italian proverb that guides my life in many respects….

    Tutto fa brodo.

  11. Timbot2000 says:

    Father You may Enjoy this little bit of fun, courtesy of The Onion as regards Mr. Tarantino


  12. Vincenzo says:

    That looks so good.
    Joanna Bogle is interviewing Fr. Finigan on EWTN now.

  13. ckdexterhaven says:

    Frater, Fr.Z is right. Roasting a chicken is SOoooo easy! I make it exactly the way Fr. Z makes it. Throw some baking potatoes in on the sides of the oven, and you’ve got dinner. Then you get to make soup the next day. :) My mother in law made chicken corn soup, it was my favorite recipe of hers. I always think of her whenever I make it, that’s the beauty of “handed down” recipes.

    Fr. Z, your picture of the fire looks like the “yule log” they used to show on tv on Christmas day! LOL

  14. Vincenzo says:

    A Fire-Z-cam would be cool.

  15. The version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” in that movie is addictive.

  16. biberin says:

    Frater, I don’t see that anyone has mentioned times or temperatures to you. When I roast a chicken, I generally do it at 350F for somewhere between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending on the size of the bird. Breast-down is juicier, but breast up will make a crispy skin which you can peel right off and eat. I have to do this steathily to make sure I get some before my children realize what’s happening and come swooping in for their share.

    Right after the meal, while the carcass is still a bit warm, is an easy time to remove large pieces of meat for a casserole or chicken salad and then pick off the little ones for soup (I hate picking over it after it has been in the crockpot and the carcass has fallen apart). I drain the drippings for gravy on rice the next day. Breasts and upper wings go right into the freezer, small bits of meat into the fridge, and the bones and everything left into the crock pot for 24 hours on high. I throw in a palmful of whole peppercorns and whatever veggie scraps are saved up in the freezer. It cooks all night and the next day and makes the house smell divine!

  17. dimsum says:

    Father, I did the same, but used left over turkey bones. I also watched again one of my favorite Chinese (Cantonese) operas: Princess Chang Ping (with Lung Kim-Sang, and Mui Suet-Si)….a classic 1976 performance

  18. Melody says:

    For those interested in learning to make stock, this video is amusing and informative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_9QvNtEftc

    The same chef also has some very nice instructions on roasting turkey, involving cutting it in half.

  19. Melody says:

    LOL, I meant chicken. In that chef’s words “You would need a bone saw” to chop a turkey in half.

  20. jdskyles says:

    If you liked Kill Bill, you will LOVE “Inglourious Basterds”.

  21. Sandy says:

    Father, your food pictures always make me hungry; so artistic! I overcame my laziness after Thanksgiving to make turkey soup with the carcass. The result is worth the trouble, but I don’t particularly like picking apart all the bones!

    If you like carrots, you would probably like the carrot soup I recently made. It’s cooked with onions, broth, rice and then pureed; seasoning, too, of course. Very tasty and nice thick texture!

  22. dcs says:

    Did I mention carrots?

    My wife is the same way. I doesn’t matter how many carrots I use to make soup or how much soup is left over – the carrots will all be gone by morning.

  23. Niall Mor says:

    Father, I did a double-take when you said that you had just finished watching Kill Bill, probably the most appallingly violent movie I have ever seen–and I watched the relatively sanitized cable version. Then, I read your next sentence: Quentin Tarantino belongs in jail. I heartily concur. In the cell right next to Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and other filth that sullies the reputation of comics and other forms of popular entertainment.

  24. jdskyles: you will LOVE “Inglourious Basterds”.

    I HATED that movie. Tarantino belongs in jail.

  25. That soup looks fantastic!

    Must be the spirit of Advent at work, surprisingly, there are no poisonous comments about you living the “high life” on this thread. Thanks Be to God!

  26. Roland de Chanson says:

    Fr. Z: (That last sentence would be great in Latin, btw.)

    Et quare non omnes tres sententiae? :-) Sequitur versio mea:

    I had a very fine left over carcass!
    Mihi erat praestantissimum cadaver reliquum!

    I am making soup. Chicken soup.
    Ius compono. Ius gallinaceum.

    A savory roasted chicken having been consumed, I extracted from the freezer stock made at various times in the summer, to which, as it was warming, chopped up bones and meat with herbs were added in order to cook up soup.

    Gallina assata sapida comesa, ex arca gelatoria extraxi ius interdum aestate paratum, ad quod, dum recoquebatur, ossa et caro concisa una cum herbis adiecta sunt ut ius coqueretur.

    (Difficile scitu quomodo “soup” et “broth / stock / bouillon” accurate Latine reddendum sit. “Ius” utique impar mihi videtur. Fortasse tu librum culinarium scribere vis? Programma televisifica in canali de esculentis mox tibi erit: Pater Zeta Latine coquit. Valde desidero praescriptum tuum de garo praeparando! ;-)

  27. xsosdid says:

    A little grated ginger is good in chicken soup, and finely chopped leak

  28. Melania says:

    Delicious sounding soup. Great photo. It puts me in the mood for roast chicken.

    But that will have to be after Christmas. Until then, I’m making Christmas cookes, pies, cakes and more cookies. Fun to do, but the time pressure takes a little of the fun out of it for me.

  29. Girgadis says:

    Wanda, thanks, no I have not seen that DVD. For now, I’ll make do with candles. Due to the overwhelming power of suggestion that Father Z’s culinary photos have, there is a nice pot of soup simmering right now – a cornish hen on a bed of escarole, tiny meatballs, carrots, celery, onion and assorted herbs.

  30. An American Mother says:


    Be not afraid. Cooking is not difficult, you simply plunge in and do it. I did not do any serious cooking until after I married – if an over-educated twenty-something with two left hands can do it, anybody can!

    The best and easiest recipe I have found for roasted chicken is Marcella Hazan’s from her Classic Italian Cooking.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Take a 3-4 pound fryer chicken – whole – two whole lemons and some salt and pepper. Take out the giblets, which come these days in a nice little paper bag inside the chicken. Wash the bird in cold water, picking off those little bits of yellow fat that adhere to the insides of the carcass, and let it sit on the drainboard or a tilted cutting board for 10 minutes to drain. Pat it dry with paper towels.

    Rub salt and pepper all over the chicken, inside and out. Wash the lemons, dry them, and squash them gently by rolling them back and forth on the counter. Then punch holes in the lemons with a carving fork or something similar – LOTS of holes! 20 or 25. Stuff the lemons into the chicken, and tie the body cavity shut with ordinary cotton string wrapped back and forth between the ankles of the legs – cross the legs to hold the lemons in.

    Put the chicken in a roasting pan, breast down. Put it in the preheated oven, on the upper rack. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over with a couple of large spoons (try not to pop the skin), put it back in and cook for another 30 minutes. Then turn the oven up to 400 degrees and cook it for another 20 minutes. It should add up to a total of 20 to 25 minutes per pound of chicken (it’s on the label!) If you’re lucky the chicken will puff up and look very nice. Bring it to the table whole, carve, and spoon the delicious juice over the slices. If there are any leftovers, they make great chicken salad, and the carcass goes (as Fr. suggests) for soup.

  31. frater says:

    Thank you all so much for your suggestions, recipes and encouragement. One question: How do you keep the chicken from tipping over if you put it breast side down? Seems like it would fall over. Also, could you use grapefruit or another citrus fruit in place of lemons?

    I shall give it a go tomorrow. Oremus pro invicem.

  32. dcs says:

    However, if you do happen to have a supermarket roasted chicken, or something from Boston Market, do save the bones and make a stock from it!

  33. An American Mother says:

    The chicken will not tip over if it’s breast side down. Old fashioned yard chickens were skinnier and had rather pointed breastbones, but modern fryers are VERY plump. You will be hard put to find a fryer between 3 and 4 pounds, but rummage through the whole chickens and there will be one at the back. It will still lie nicely on its breast. Be sure to use a smallish roasting pan if you have one (i.e. don’t have the chicken floating in the middle of a huge pan). You don’t need a cover. And if you have a little wire rack that fits in your pan, by all means use it, but you don’t have to. The chicken won’t stick – it’s self-basting.

    The only problem with a grapefruit would be that it is much too big to fit in a chicken!! Very small oranges would work perfectly well, so would limes although I’m not sure if that would taste good. The lemons do taste great.

    Good luck! Nothing ventured nothing gained. Nice accompaniments to this chicken would be a rice dish (you can buy rice pilaf with very plain directions printed right on the box – I prefer Near East brand original flavor), and an interesting green salad.

  34. irishgirl says:

    Oooo, that chicken soup looks so good, Father!

    Here in Upstate NY we ‘dodged a bullet’ when the Nor-easter went up the coast.

    I also like the fireplace picture, too!

  35. dcs says:

    And if you have a little wire rack that fits in your pan, by all means use it, but you don’t have to.

    An alternative to the wire rack is to line the bottom of the roasting pan with carrots. Just peel them and cut them to fit (lengthwise). This will also make for a nice side dish – if you like carrots, that is! If not, save them for a pureed soup, such as one might make with winter squash.

  36. An American Mother says:

    Great idea, dcs, I’m going to try the carrots.

    I’ll be the only one who eats them, though, because I’m married to a big lunk of an Irish-German man who refuses most vegetables . . . and his children all take after him.

  37. biberin says:

    I made turkey soup the other day, and instead of carrots, I added a roasted mashed butternut squash and quite a bit of tarragon. It was incredible.

  38. Rob Cartusciello says:

    It should be:

    I wish it were Kill The Bill”

    I confess, I am a member of the Society for the Preservation of the Subjunctive.

    As a fellow linguist, I’m sure you would agree. ;=)

  39. Desertfalcon says:

    You can’t go wrong with leftover carcass. “Nom, nom”

    As to Tarantino, I personally think his best work is his least…odd. “Jackie Brown” is a masterpiece. Clearly not for the kiddies, but a great example of a skilled director taking a great script and creating an exceptional film.

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