Thursday, November 1, 2012

Homemade Chicken Soup

Well, this year has not been good for blogging for me. I am honestly going to try and pick this up again because I like it and really do enjoy cooking and learning new things in the kitchen. I don't think I've been too creative in the kitchen this year and I want to change that.

So let's start with something that is perfect for fall. Chicken soup. I've had a hard time making soups from scratch- they never come out as I intend them. This time, however, I think I finally nailed it. My recipe is based loosely from The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Soup recipe, however, I did tweak it be on my own and didn't do much in terms of measurements. I think what really made the soup work was that I browned the chicken first, before adding stock and the vegetables. I also used chicken w/ bones, which I really do think helps bring out the flavor. Here's my recipe (and again measurements aren't exact):

1 bone in chicken breast
2 chicken legs
1 yellow onion, diced
4 stalks of celery, diced
6 carrots, diced
Parsley, roughly chopped (about 3 tbsp)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp of thyme
1 quart of chicken stock (4 cups)
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups of water
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat pan & add olive oil. Once your pan is properly heated, add chicken breast and chicken legs. Brown on each side for about 5 mins each- just enough to brown the skin.
2. Remove chicken from pan and add chicken stock. Make sure to run your spoon under the chicken bits still stuck to the pan (they'll add flavor).
3. Add back chicken to the pan, plus the two cups water and chicken bouillon.
4. Add carrots, celery, onion to the pan and bring to a boil.
5. Once the soup is at a boil, reduce heat to simmer.
6. Add parsley and bay leaves to the cheesecloth & securely tighten w/ baker's twine and add to the soup. Shake in thyme.
7. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours, adding salt and pepper to your liking.
8. Remove chicken from the pan and shred & then add back to the soup.

I actually didn't eat the soup the night I made it. Instead, I let it cool and refrigerated it to the next day and then warmed up. The nice thing about this is you can remove the fat that hardens up at top and customize your soup if you're like me- sometimes I want chicken and rice soup, other times I enjoy chicken noodle soup. Just cook up some rice or boil some pasta and add to your soup. Enjoy!