Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Chicken Soup from Scratch


There is a lot of information out there on the health benefits of bone broth. One thing is known for sure, many mothers and grandmothers for years and years have always made a big ol pot of chicken soup (from the whole chicken, with bones) at the first sign of a cold or sickness. While they may not (or maybe they did) know the science behind all the good immunity and health benefits of chicken soup, they did know... it worked.

Last week my son came home from work and said he had a cold. It is the season for it. Usually as soon as fall hits it's not long before someone in the house gets a cold. He won the prize.

I went to my freezer and pulled out a whole chicken. I'd been thinking about what I wanted to make with it but had not come up with a plan. It was perfect timing.

Making chicken soup from scratch is not hard. It does take a bit of time but not much labor. The longer your chicken bones cook in the stock the better. Much of the time requirements are just letting the chicken simmer on the back burner.

Here is how I make it...

I start with one chicken. When I buy a chicken I look for the biggest chicken I can find. The bigger the chicken, the more meat on it.

I put the chicken in my large stock pot and cover it with 1 ½ gallons of water. I add 1 tablespoon of salt and ¼ cup vinegar. Vinegar helps to pull out the minerals from the bones as it cooks.




I bring this mixture to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. I let this simmer anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

This is my first step. I'm going to cook the stock for longer but I now want to remove the chicken meat from the bones. I don't want my chicken meat over cooked and tasteless.

I use a hand held strainer or a small pan and scoop out the chicken. At this point the chicken has cooked enough that it is falling apart. I put the chicken into a large strainer basket that I set inside of a bowl to catch any broth.



Then I debone the chicken. I put the meat in one bowl and the bones in another as I work.


Next I set the meat aside and dump the bones and skin and everything leftover back into my stock pot.



I let this cook for another 6 to 12 hours. I want my stock to be as flavorful as possible but I also want to pull out the health benefits still in those bones. I cooked this stock for another 12 hours.

When the cooking time is done it is time to strain out the bones. I put a large pan in my sink and set my strainer basket inside of it. I then pour the pot of broth and bones into the strainer. The strainer catches all the bones and the stock goes into the bowl.



I pour the broth back into the stock pot and return it to the stove and begin making the soup. I cut up a few cloves of garlic (I used about 9 or 10 cloves for this batch) and a large onion.



I add those to the stock and turn up the heat so they can start to simmer. Next I get my chicken meat that I saved and I cut it up. Some people like to just shred the meat, and that works too. This is a personal preference for me. I like small chunks of chicken meat in my soup. I set this aside, I'll add it towards the end.




When the pot of soup has simmered for about 20 minutes or so I add the pasta. You could also add rice if you'd like. I like it both ways. For this pot I used pasta. Egg noodles are traditional. I did not have any egg noodles on hand so I used what I had, which was bow ties. I added about 10/12 oz of bow tie pasta.



I let this cook for the required amount of time for the pasta. For my pasta it was 15 minutes. When it was done cooking I added the chicken.


You could also add cut up carrots and/or celery if you'd like. If you add carrots or other veggies make sure to do this when you add the onions and garlic. Harder veggies, like carrots, need more time to cook. I added a jar (16oz) of canned corn to mine when I added the chicken as the corn did not need extra cooking time. The recipe is flexible.

After the chicken was added I tasted it. Mine needed more salt. I added salt to taste and I also added about 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon poultry seasonings.

The soup is ready to eat. This recipe does make a large pot of soup so you can freeze some of it for later use, which is always good to have on hand.



 



1 comment:

  1. Lovely recipe. I like making my own because not only does it taste better but makes a huge batch to freeze for a later date. Thanks for posting.

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