Over the weekend I took advantage of some unseasonably nice weather and busted out the smoker. I own a huge smoker and wanted to ensure we’d have plenty of leftovers to freeze so I smoked a 10 pound ham, a 10 pound turkey breast and a whole chicken. There is always something satisfying from cooking with the smoker. You rub everything down with your preferred spices, choose the wood, your liquids, then slow cook as needed. For me, I used a combination of chili powders, garlic, salt and pepper, some Cajun additions as well as superhot powders, though I also included mustard with the ham. Always a nice addition. We ate the chicken for dinner but from all the nibbling during the carving of everything else, we had plenty of chicken leftover. Does that ever happen to you? You know it does! Half the times I make large family meals I am stuffed before the dinner starts. Oh boy.
What to do with all the leftover chicken? Soup! Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Soup, actually. The chicken is already seasoned nicely from the rub and the smoking process, and it was totally begging to be made into a soup. I'm serious. I heard it. "I want to be soup! Bawk." Of COURSE I had to make this with extra chili peppers. Nothing too crazy - jalapeno peppers and some Cubanelles - though you can portion those out to your personal preference.
I also used the chicken bones to cook up a homemade chicken stock, which made all the difference in the following meal, though you can use any store bought stock. If you’ve ever cooked with homemade stock, you’ll notice the flavor. With the leftover chicken breast and some of the stock, I cooked up this quick and easy lunch. It was delicious. Quick and easy is important around here sometimes! Especially when we're getting crazy busy with work and when I have a writing project underway, which I do. Yep. Craziness! I better get to work on that next screenplay. And novel. Oh boy.
Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Extra Peppers
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1-4 jalapeno peppers, chopped - Use your preferred amount
- 2 Cubanelle peppers, chopped- Use your preferred amount
- 1 small yellow potato, chopped
- ½ cup chopped spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 seasoned and cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) Great Northern beans
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large pot to medium heat and add a bit of olive oil.
- Add onion, peppers and potato. Cook about 5 minutes until the ingredients begin to soften.
- Add chicken and chili powder. Mix well and cook about 3 minutes.
- Add spinach and garlic. Cook another minute.
- Add beans and chicken stock. Stir.
- Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes, or until everything is nicely cooked through and softened.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.