Rotisserie Chicken Soup, Mexican Style


I know, I know. It’s summer and I’m talking about soup, but trust me. This is a good summer soup recipe! It has nothing to do with writing, but since we had one of those supermarket rotisserie chickens for dinner last night, this recipe’s on my mind and I thought I’d share it. It’s the addition of fresh avocado, lime and cilantro that makes this soup taste so summery to me.

My best friend, Cher, gave me this recipe long ago. It’s simple, inexact, and very modifiable, so here we go.

After eating as much of the chicken as you like, cut or pick off the remaining meat and refrigerate. Then you’re going to make a stock with the carcass (we really need a nicer word for it!). You can do this right after you’ve finished your chicken dinner or you can wait until the next day.

  • Put the carcass into a large pot, along with a quartered onion, a bunch of celery leaves and stalks, some chopped carrots, some mushrooms (I use the stems for the stock and save the caps for the soup) and a couple of bay leaves. Cover with water and/or low-fat, low sodium chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a couple of hours. Strain all the solids out of the stock and refrigerate overnight or a few hours to let the fat rise to the top. (Or, if you’ve mastered one of those fat-removing gizmos, you may use that, but they’ve never worked for me). Now you have a yummy base for the soup.
  • When you’re ready to make the soup, skim the fat off the stock, then add the following:

             -one large onion, coarsely chopped

             -carrots, coarsely chopped

             -mushrooms, quartered

             -any other vegetables you’d like–zucchini, turnip, potatoes, etc   

             -another couple of bay leaves

             -salt and pepper to taste

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about fifteen minutes
  • toss in a handful of rice and the reserved chicken
  • while that’s cooking, chop up a bunch of cilantro leaves, juice a couple of limes, and cut an avocado into chunks. Pour half the lime juice over the avocado to keep it from turning brown.
  • when the rice is cooked, turn off the soup, remove the bay leaves, and stir in the cilantro and some of the lime juice (taste the soup–you’ll be adding more lime with the avocado, so you don’t want it to be too “limey” at this point.)
  • ladle the soup into bowls and let people top their servings with the avocado

Serve with a crusty bread or corn bread.

Enjoy! And let me know if you have a prettier word than “carcass” to use in this recipe.  





  1. brenda on July 16, 2008 at 12:17 am

    As a vegetarian…I can’t do this recipe…but ironically, have to share a summer soup story. When my daughter and her family came for the 4th, the eldest granddaughter asked, “Where’s the potato soup, Nana?” Thinking soup would be inappropriate for SUMMER…I had not made it…She replied, “Even if it is 150 degrees, Nana, please always have that potato soup…” She continued, “It is tied for your mashed potatoes and your spaghetti as favorites.” Well, I will continue to make that soup no matter how hot it is…I must admit it is a special soup…and I have not tasted it anywhere else…but Nana’s…I’ll bet your chicken soup is just like that, Diane, and who’s to say that soup can’t be good in the summer?

  2. Margo on July 16, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I love soup and this recipe sounds wonderful Diane. With our weather nearing 98 degrees today I do think I’ll wait till it’s at least in the 70’s before I make it (-: Brenda, is your potato soup a secret or would you be willing to share the recipe?…I’ve been looking for a good 1 for a very long time. My homemade vegetable soup is Gary’s fav and it’s become a tradition that I make it for him the 1st cool day of Sept. or Oct….I make a HUGE pot of it and each day it seems to get better after sitting overnite…I usually serve French or Italian bread with it.

  3. Leigh on July 16, 2008 at 11:09 am

    How about “bones”?

  4. brenda on July 16, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I am involved in Shakespeare this week-long days…and we drive to D.C. tomorrow and fly to London and then go to Stratford…I will send you the recipe, but I have to tell you that I am a lot like Rachel Ray, “I don’t follow the recipe perfectly-just wing it…” 🙂

  5. Alexandra Sokoloff on July 16, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Honestly, D, it annoys me when writers can cook. (Except male writers – they can cook all they want). Isn’t writing enough? Do we really have to be good at ANYTHING else?
    But you did say two magic words – cilantro and avocado. So maybe I’ll have to try it.
    – Alex, back from Thrillerfest and sick for the first time in 6 months…

  6. Gina on July 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Oh boy! This sounds delicious. I have to give it a try. I’m printing it out now. Thanks Diane.

  7. Denise on July 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    This sounds fantastic! The lime and avocado are what appeal to me most!

  8. Diane Chamberlain on July 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Well, Brenda, when you get back from London, you’ll have to share your potato soup recipe. It can’t be any less structured than the chicken soup recipe. And Margo, I’d love your veggie soup recipe, too.
    Leigh, I just popped over to your blog and saw the recipe for blueberry muffins. Your daughter is adorable!
    Alex, so sorry you’re sick! Wish I had some of the soup left to bring you. That cilantro and avocado will always warm a Californian’s heart.

  9. Margo on July 17, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Diane, I don’t follow a specific recipe but here goes:
    1 lge can/jar tomato juice, lots of water, half can chicken broth, small can V8 juice, wine or sherry to taste…bring to a boil…add lge pieces of chopped onion, sm amt chopped caggage, celery, carrots, fresh green beans and 1 lge can of whole tomatoes (which I really don’t like but Gary LOVES them…I fish these out when I dish up my soup!) season with salt/pepper, parsley flakes and sweet basil…cook on low for abt 3 hrs or so…then add chopped potatos to cook for another 1-2 hrs (I put these in last otherwise they get soggy)…Many times I serve this with homemade hot roast beef sandwiches but if Gary just wants a vegetarian dinner we have hot French or Italian bread out of the oven with butter. (-:

  10. brenda on July 17, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Margo-I could use this one and use veggie broth…sounds great…will you copy it to my email so I can print it? I use veggie broth in my potato soup…
    Well girls-I am getting ready to take off…I made the decision (as Margo and I discussed via email) not to take side trips this time…just DO London again. After all, we will be in my favorite Stratford-upon-Avon for a couple of nights anyway…I am going to do THE LONDON EYE this time…and of course, we are seeing Shakespeare (KING LEAR at the GLOBE) and a Jacobean play at National…Some of the teachers (We don’t KNOW each other-just meeting) plan to see a movie just to say they did-I will go if perhaps it is the opening of “MAMMA MIA”…I pretty much do what the others like to do-we have some structure in the trip but not a lot…it is a grant by the Humanities…
    I’ll email from there.

  11. Margo on July 17, 2008 at 9:17 am

    P.S. on veg soup recipe…it is naturally good to season this to your own personal taste…I tend to spice it up a bit with lots of sweet basil, parsley and wine but others might not like it that way…(-:

  12. Diane Chamberlain on July 17, 2008 at 9:53 am

    margo, yum! just checking, though. Is this in a slow cooker?
    Brenda, I am so jealous! Enjoy every minute.

  13. Margo on July 17, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Diane, I use a large pot on the stove (I think they call it a stock pot or a dutch oven)…since I usually make this on Sat’s while home I can watch the burner and make sure it’s not overcooking…after the broth starts boiling and after I add the first round of vegies, I turn my burner way down to slow cook all afternoon…not really simmer but so it’s just slightly boiling or bubbling. I suppose you could use a slow cooker, tho…I’ve just always preferred my stove so I can watch it…I usually have the lid slightly tipped so some of the steam escapes and of course I LIKE TO SAMPLE IT ALL AFTERNOON!! (-:

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