January 13, 2020

My pain-in-the-rear and totally worth it, Chicken Soup!

I am serious about chicken soup. I have spent a lifetime perfecting this. I am also, by nature, lazy. I will find the simplest route to anything, every time. After so many failed attempts at dumbing down chicken soup I finally gave in. It takes a few steps and two days, but it’s worth it!

PART ONE: Make the broth and  cook the chicken:
  • 1 3 to 4-pound chicken, whole
  • 1 large carrot, broken into a few pieces
  • 1 small onion, cut in half, “pin” a bay leaf to the onion with one whole clove (I told you this was going to be tedious…)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled but whole
  • 6-8 parsley stems
  • 1 sprig fresh dill
  • 1 turnip cut into 2 pieces (I know you don’t like turnips, don’t worry you are not eating this turnip but I promise this stock suffers if you leave it out)
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

In a sachet or spice bomb, place black peppercorns or peppercorn medley, 1 sprig of fresh dill, and parsley stems.

Put everything else in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer, skim scum, and continue to simmer for 40 minutes. Carefully remove chicken to a shallow bowl and let rest about 20 minutes.

Let broth continue to simmer. When chicken is cool enough, pull meat from bones. Discard skin, and set meat in a Tupperware and let cool completely – cover and refrigerate.

Return chicken bones to pot. Let simmer gently 1 hour longer.

Strain broth through a fine strainer into a clean pan or container that fits in the fridge. Discard all veggies and spices.

Cover strained broth and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove cover and scrape off fat-cap.

You now have chicken broth to use for chicken soup or in recipes.

Whew.

PART TWO: Homemade Chicken Soup:

This is part two of the above recipe and day two, hence the “pain in the rear” in the title….just remember it’s worth it!
Serves 4 as a main course

  • 1-pound cooked chicken meat
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in ¼ inch rounds
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups homemade chicken broth (recipe above)

In a large soup pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat.  Add celery, carrots and shallots and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until celery is beginning to soften.  

Add broth all at once and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook about 8 minutes, just until the carrots are tender.

Remove from heat and gently stir in chicken and taste for salt – add more if you like.

Place cooked noodles in each of 4 bowls, and ladle hot soup with some chicken and veggies into each bowl.  Serve warm.

PART THREE: Chef Andrea’s “I want Chicken soup and I want it now” Chicken Soup

The forever lazy part of me did finally create a cheater chicken soup and this will definitely soothe any cravings for easy comfort you have; but keep this one for yourself and close family – this is a cheater version – if the boss is coming, follow recipe above.  
Serves 4 as a main course

  • 1 small frozen chicken
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 1 carrot broken in half
  • 1 bag frozen peas, carrots and pearl onions
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 thelma boullion cube (this brand is found on the international isle by the kosher foods)

if you have a turnip, add it. Same with fresh dill. Not deal breakers when we are already cheating but those two items bring a lot of flavor.

Put everything except frozen peas and carrots blend, (we will add those at the end) in a pressure cooker and cover half way with water, set for 45 minutes pressure.

Meanwhile cook some rice in your rice cooker.

Carefully depressurize pressure cooker, and remove chicken, shred meat and discard skin and bones.

Carefully strain broth.  Place hot, strained broth, shredded chicken and frozen veggie blend back to pressure cooker and cover and let rest warm for 5 minutes to thaw and warm veggies.  

Taste for salt and season if needed.  

Ladle over cooked rice (I like mine in a big coffee mug).  

Enjoy!