If you tell me that you throw out the carcass after you eat a rotisserie chicken, I am going to have to find you and hurt you. Grocery store rotisserie chickens are not only a life saver on a busy weeknight but they make amazing chicken stock. The chickens are all highly seasoned, nice and salty and full of flavour - I think of them as the gift that keeps on giving. Roast chicken one night, quesadillas the next and soup on night three.
One of my favourite things to do with a naked bubble chicken (we have always called them that because, well, they come in that plastic tray with the bubble lid) is make Sopa de Lima, a Mexican chicken soup full of lime and cilantro.Sure, you don't need a pressure cooker for this but without one, you have to simmer the bones for the soup stock for a good hour or two to extract all the flavour but with my Instant Pot, I get the same depth of flavour in about half an hour so I can have the soup on the table, start to finish in about an hour.
I use my pressure cooker to do this in an hour but if you don't have one, you can do it old school on the stove top in a pot, it will just take longer. Before my Instant Pot, I would make the soup stock during the day and throw the actual soup together right before it was time to eat.
Rotisserie Sopa de Lima
1 rotisserie chicken carcass
3 cloves garlic
a handful of cilantro stalks
kosher salt and black pepper
1 celery stalk
Remove all of the big chunks of meat left on the carcass and set aside. Break up the carcass into a few big pieces and put in the pot along with the rest of the ingredients. Just barely cover with water. The chicken is cooked so you can taste it to check if it needs a bit more salt and add some fresh pepper. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for about 35 minutes. If you are not in a hurry, cook it for an hour for maximum flavour but 35 minutes will do.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, simmer this concoction in a stock pot on the stove for at least an hour and a half or even two hours.
When the time is up, release the pressure and strain the solids out of the pot, returning the stock back to the pot. Pick through the carcass when it's cooled down enough to handle and rescue any big chunks of meat and put that back in the pot with the stock.
For The Soup:
2 tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
all of the leftover chicken meat, shredded
handful of cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1 to 2 limes, according to taste
fried tortilla strips
(for fried tortilla strips, cut up some corn tortillas into thin strips - great thing to do with stale tortillas. heat a small pot of vegetable oil until a test piece sizzles as it hits the oil and fry them in batches just until golden brown, maybe a couple of minutes at most. Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside)
Throw the tomatoes, onion, chicken and cilantro into the pot with the stock, cover and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure and do a quick release. Now, remove the lid, add some more fresh cilantro to taste and squeeze in the lime juice.
Again, if you don't have a stock pot, simmer this on the stove for about 20 minutes.
Ladle into bowls and top each one with some deep fried tortilla strips (you can use store bought tortilla chips in a pinch)