Chicken soup 101

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Thanks all for sponsoring! Click here for 20% off the sofa of your choice! We chose the whiskey leather three-seater with chaise. This is not a recipe. Here’s some general guidance for making a chicken soup: Buy a whole chicken and a roughly equal quantity of vegetables (by raw weight). Any vegetables are fine but definitely get some form of onion in there. Dry noodles or any other dry grains are nice, but you won’t need much because of how much they expand during cooking. Get whatever spices you want, but turmeric makes chicken soup look especially pretty. Maybe buy fresh herbs for garnish, and/or a little lemon to squeeze in. Put your chicken in a big pot, along with any giblets that came with it. If you have any old aromatic vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, etc) hanging around that aren’t super good anymore, you could throw those in but I wouldn’t waste good fresh veggies on this step. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is fall-apart tender, 1-2 hours. While you’re waiting, cut up all your vegetables. Remember they’ll shrink when cooking, so cut the chunks a little larger than how you want them. Pull the chicken out and let it cool. Fish or strain out any remaining inedible solids. Dump in the vegetables along with a couple pinches of salt (be conservative — you can add more to taste later) and simmer until they’re soft, 30-60 minutes. If you need to add more water to keep everything submerged, that’s fine, but keep in mind that veg will release a lot of water as it cooks. You can always add more later. If you’re using dry noodles or rice or some such, throw that in when you’re about 30 minutes from the end. Put in less than you think you’ll want — it’ll expand 2-3x as it cooks. While you’re waiting, pick all the meat off of the chicken — using your fingers will allow you to feel for any bones, cartilage or slimy bits you don’t want to eat. (If you want, you can brown all these scraps in the oven and then simmer them for a second stock you can use later.) Roughly chop through your pile of picked meat so that you won’t have any super-long strings of shredded. chicken in the final soup. Put the meat back into the soup before you taste for seasoning. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and any spices you like to taste. You could also stir in some fresh herbs and maybe a little lemon juice (or vinegar) to taste, or you could let people do that in their individual bowls.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I daresay you added too much turmeric 😅
    Turmeric is indeed an amazing thing with a lot of health benefits, but in Indian cooking we use surprisingly little – overdoing it can have the opposite effect and damage your liver. For a family of three, we usually use just a small pinch (a little on the tip of a spoon). Seeing westerners heap turmeric into their dishes is sort of weird.
    p.s. all this knowledge is from Mom, who is the best cook in the world!

  2. For stock, I will save onion peels, celery leaves, and the ends of carrots in a bag in the freezer. It will all be strained out at the end, so why waste the flavor? Onion peels will enhance the color of your soup.

    I usually take the extra step of roasting poultry first: that deals with the proteins that create the scum on top, and the browned skin adds a LOT of color and flavor. And, of course, add the drippings into the stock, deglaze the roasting pan, and add that liquid too.

  3. Adam has money. For us regular people the meat of 1 chicken is good for other meals. Cut off the breast and tenderloins ledd and thigh. 2 whole chickens feeds a family of 4 a entire week of chicken dinners. Stuffed chicken breast, chicken fingers, chicken thigs with rice, fried chicken and ALSO make the chicken soup.
    You can freeze the chicken parts you don't gave to make all the chicken stuff at once. Don't by 2 chicken every week and always have a chicken menu or your family's gonna hate it. I know because it's so inexpensive I did this VERY often

  4. Same family as "baby, you got a stew going" is the guy selling the fruit squeezer who berates the company selling it in their infomercial, points at the pulp and says "YOU CAN EAT THAT, IT'S FIBER!" and then scoops it into his mouth. Can't find it for the life of me.

  5. The best part of having a roast chicken one night is having chicken noodle soup the next day. We usually just use the roasted carcass, even browning some of the remaining bones to give it a deeper flavour. Personally, I prefer using the roasted leftovers to make a soup stock rather than an uncooked chicken.

  6. I normally take the wings off my whole chicken and make some hot wings a few times a year. I'm only one person, so you may have to buy more wings if you're cooking for more people, but I find the wings more valuable as hot wings than they would be in the soup (or a roast chicken).

  7. I recommend burning a bit onion on stove to give it nice taste. Also people, start eating more carrots and parsnips! Carrots all the way in every possibe way. Soup, grill, steam, even as side dish where you grind it to small peaces add some yogurt, sugar, mix it a bit and done. Perfect with mashed potatoes and some meat.

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