Last night, I wanted something warming and easy for dinner, and resolved to see what was in the hot deli case at our neighborhood grocery.
Got there a little after seven last night. The parking lot was full and the deli case-- Was not. Four little chickens with various seasoning profiles and no hot side dishes. Plenty of nice cold sides, including my favorite vinegar-pepper coleslaw.
So: One butter-garlic roasted chicken, two cans of Amy's low fat* Barley Vegetable soup and one can of their Southwestern Vegetable soup. When I got home, after getting the groceries put away, I poured one can of Barley Vegetable and one of Southwestern Vegetable into a large pot, and proceeded to disassemble the roasted chicken, skin and all, adding everything but the bone and gristle to the pot. Almost everything -- Tam is fond of drumsticks, so I saved one back for her. The meat fell right off the bone of the other drumstick! In it all went, making a very thick stew. I had saved the third can of soup back in case it needed more liquid, but it didn't. A little dehydrated onion for luck along with parsley, sage, rosemary and za'atar (I know the thyme is somewhere on the shelf but the other spice showed up first), put the lid on and set a timer for ten minutes.
Ten minutes later, chicken stew! Is it as good as a slow-roasted chicken with fresh vegetables, simmered for hours in chicken stock? Nope. But it's pretty darned good, pretty darned fast and very little work. I'll take it. Especially with slaw on the side.
* Look, there's all kinds of chicken skin and bits of fat going into this. You'll never miss the soup fat.
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