With all of the rainy weather we’ve been having it’s no surprise that chicken soup has been on my mind at least once a week. Chicken soup is actually one of the easiest foods you could ever make, and it is also one of the most nutritious. When I make up a big pot of soup Devin always says something about how he feels there is more nutrition in a spoon of the soup than in any food in the world. The lovely gelatin from the bones, and a little fat from the skin, also add great body and flavor.
In culinary school we were taught that stock comes from the bones and broth comes from the meat. But, you can actually make yourself a nice broth, and then simmer the bones in the broth as you would in making a stock.
Or, you can just put a whole chicken in a pot, add a couple of chopped carrots, celery stalks, and onions. Technically the ratio is 50% onion, 25% carrot, and 25% celery. But, I always just use what I have on hand. Put in a bay leaf, some black peppercorns, and maybe some parsley stems if you them. Cover all of this with water to just about 2 inches over the chicken and then bring to a very low simmer on the stovetop. Let it cook for several hours until the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165F or until it falls apart.
At this point you would strain the stock/broth through a mesh sieve into another pot or large bowl. You don’t have to use all of the chicken meat, which is nice because you can reserve it for another meal. Back into the pot put the strained broth, the cut up or shredded chicken pieces, and any vegetables you love. Plus, you can flavor it just about any way. Do you like Asian foods? Add some soy sauce, cabbage, maybe chili peppers/flakes. Want some carbs in there other than potatoes? Try quinoa (especially when in a hurry) or brown rice.
Another way to make a delicious chicken soup is to roast a whole chicken plus root vegetables, cut up the unused chicken meat and reserve it in the fridge with the leftover root vegetables. Put the bones of the chicken into a pot and follow the same steps as mentioned above (the longer you simmer the bones the better, but you’ll want to have some liquid so don’t let it reduce too far). After the stock has been strained add in the cut up chicken and the already roasted root vegetables. The soup won’t have to cook very long because everything is already done.
And, you will have a very nourishing and warming meal in your home and in your belly.