Monday, December 10, 2007

Chicken Soup

After several weeks of craving chicken soup, I decided yesterday would be the day. I make this soup about 4-5 times per year. It's a variation on my grandmother's recipe.

It all starts off with the basic ingredients...Chicken. The amount of chicken depends on the amount of broth you want to make. I used one package of chicken carcass, one cut up chicken and the package in the back in my frozed turkey carcass from Thanksgiving. I wasn't sure if the spices I used on the turkey would affect the broth. It didn't.

Important to this recipe, use kosher chicken. The turkey isn't kosher. The one time my grandmother made soup with a non-kosher chicken, I took one taste of it and told her that something was seriously wrong with the soup. She admitted that it wasn't kosher. The taste is entirely different. I think it has to do with how kosher chicken is salted. If you're interested, here are the (somewhat gory) details of making sure chicken is kosher. Depending on the city you live in, kosher chicken can be significantly more expensive than non-kosher chicken.

Put all of the meat into a stock pot and cover with water (best to be conservative on the amount of water you put in to avoid a bland broth)

Add some salt at this stage and let the chicken/turkey cook for about an hour. Shortly after the water starts boiling, scummy stuff forms on the top of the pot. Skim this off.

After the chicken and turkey have cooked for a while, add the vegetables. I was running low on carrots, but in general I would probably use at least 3 big carrots.

From here, I leave the soup to simmer for 3 hours or so. Check it periodically to make sure it's not boiling too fast. Usually, I just keep it on low. About an hour before it's finished, add some dill.

Once this is all done. I strain the contents of the pot into a Dutch Oven (and second pot, if necessary). Save the meat on from the bones to make a chicken salad (or for a meal of boiled chicken, if you like it).

This time, since I had a large turkey carcass, I was able to get a lot of broth...and the flavouring was good too. I think it also helped to have fresh dill (instead of my usual frozen dill).

You can then put the soup in your fridge to cool overnight. But, let the soup cool down a lot first otherwise it'll warm your fridge. The next day, skim the congealed fat off the top of the broth.

At this point the soup is ready to be warmed for eating or put into containers for freezing. I was able to get a bowl of soup and 6 good-sized containers out of my stock.

I used a package mix to make some matzoh balls...but since my larger pots were not clean, I used a smaller pot (than required) for boiling the matzoh balls. As a result of that and not letting the mixture set for a long enough time in the fridge, the matzoh balls were harder than I like. was good.

I also added some mandlen for good measure.

All-in-all, successful soup-making day. StumbleUpon


Anonymous said...

That looks sooo good on this cold December day! I wish I could hop over and sample it.

Today, I'll be making "my own" Shepherd Pie recipe. The basic recipe has been in my family for generations, but each one of us seems to add something to it ... my own addition has been to melt cheese into the meat. It's a family favorite.

I'm going to have to explore your other recipes ... :o)

HP said...

You can never have too much chicken soup. Just what we need right here now!

Rositta said...

I love chicken soup and make lots of it during the cold winter months. Here's a trick I learned from watching Martha S. years ago. I put the chicken, carrots, onions and celery in a roasting pan. I preheat the oven to 600 degrees and roast the whole thing for about 20 minutes. Then I take it out of the oven, had some hot water, throw the whole thing in the stock pot to cook. The brown scrapings in the bottom of the roaster and the roasted skin seem to add some flavour and color. Not that I'm into giving advice or anything, just something I tried once and really liked...ciao

Anonymous said...

rositta - I've seen that done and you're right, it does add flavor. I have a friend who actually roasts the whole chicken before she makes her stock - the stock just comes out much darker with a deeper flavor. It's all good.

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