Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chicken Soup

Spring is here, and so are spring colds. Nothing to make you feel better than homemade chicken soup! Here's my take on this old classic. It takes awhile, but it's worth it.

For stock:

1 whole chicken, bones, skin, giblets
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
one medium onion
3-4 cloves garlic, whole

Wash and coarse chop all veggies
Rinse off chicken, inside and out. Remove giblets from plastic bag in cavity, if necessary
Put veggies and chicken in stockpot, add water to cover chicken by 2-3"

Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a simmer until the chicken is falling apart.

Here's the messy part. Remove the solids from the broth, and sort out the chicken meat from the bones, skin, and veggies. Cut up or shred the larger pieces of meat, then set aside. Discard the rest(including the giblets). Strain the broth, let fat settle to top and skim off, and then return broth to stockpot.

For soup:

Fine chop another two carrots, two sticks of celery, and a small onion
Add vegetables to broth
Add 2 tablespoons of tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer until onions and celery are translucent, then add the chicken meat.

I like to serve with oyster crackers, or if I'm feeling adventurous, I slice flour tortillas into strips and pan fry or bake them till crispy, and sprinkle them over the top.

You can also turn this into a cheater pot pie, although it relieves the dish of the homemade healthful benefits. Put about 3 cups of soup into a cast iron skillet, thicken it slightly with corn starch, and then cover with bake and serve biscuits (the kind you buy at the grocery store in the cardboard tubes). You'll have to cook it about 10-15 minutes longer than the biscuit directions indicate.

Happy Eating!

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