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In search of THE best chicken soup

SallyBR1's picture

Well, folks, after yesterday's rich dinner, we both need to take a step back

it will be a cold evening here and I think a chicken soup would be perfect, as I'm making a nice bread today

I would like to have a tried and true that would be not too spicy.

any suggestions?

Gretchen's picture

(post #37094, reply #1 of 42)

If I want something quick and easy I take my chicken stock, add some celery, onions, mushrooms, herbs, simmer for a while and then add noodles or rice. Mine is pretty thick because my broth is pretty rich.

Gretchen

Gretchen
SallyBR1's picture

(post #37094, reply #2 of 42)

Actually, I have great turkey stock in the freezer - was thinking about putting it to use.

maybe I will gently poach chicken breasts and shred the meat

Gretchen's picture

(post #37094, reply #4 of 42)

That would be even better--it is heartier, in my opinion.  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
Florida2's picture

(post #37094, reply #3 of 42)

When we lay low, I take my home made stock out of freezer and add spinach, a squirt of lemon, and a few other likely suspects from the fridge that sound like they might be good. Often will shave in some Parmesan just before serving. Have fun. Pick up dinners are sometimes my favorite.

LuciaK's picture

(post #37094, reply #5 of 42)

I love homemade chicken noodle soup, but my favorite cold weather food is chicken and dumplings!

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.


www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.

www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com

SallyBR1's picture

(post #37094, reply #6 of 42)

reporting back - made one of the simplest possible chicken soups - found a recipe adapted from Donna Hay that was exactly what I was hoping for tonight

I poached chicken breasts - simple method, water, carrot, celery, peppercorns, salt - once it reached a boil, turned the heat off, closed the lid and allowed the meat to stay there for 25 minutes.

Next, I warmed turkey stock, cooked some orzo in it, with slices of ginger - when orzo was cooked, I added shredded chicken, seasoned with S+P, some lemon juice and added minced parsley at the very end

it was soooo good, fresh, light, but comforting at the same time

With it, some home-made bread (Bread Baker's Apprentice Basic Sourdough, page 233 - very good, crumb a little more tight than in other recipes I use)

 


 


The garbage disposal is your friend. Treat it nicely.


(A little pearl of wisdom, February 2009)

Maedl's picture

(post #37094, reply #7 of 42)

That sounds good. I've got chicken soup on the agenda soon. I bought some frozen chicken backs at the farmers' market and the farmer threw in some chicken feet as well. It's all residing in the freezer at the moment and the feet are finding their way to the far recesses because I can't bear to look at them. Chicken feet? EWWWWW!!!!!!!!! But they are supposed to make the broth very rich and thick, so I will overcome my squeaminess and qive them a try. I think I will make matzo ball soup--that's always been a favorite and is a good meal on a cold day.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Marcia's picture

(post #37094, reply #9 of 42)

That does sound good, Sally. Glad things worked out well.

I wish I could make soup more, but my husband is not a lover of soup. His mother was perhaps the worst cook in the world and she made a LOT of soup. I had it many times, and I'd be a soup hater, too, had it been served to me on a regular basis during my childhood. Ah, well.

tones's picture

(post #37094, reply #10 of 42)

Oh, got back from Little League practice (T-Ball- my husband is our 4 year old grandson's first-time coach.)  It's been about 30 years since my husband was our son's Little League coach.  Where does time go?  Oops, I realized I was off on a tangent.  Anyway, it was so cold outside today and we were hungry right then after practice so we went out to eat.  I had chicken tortilla soup at Chili's.  I don't know if there are franchises in your neck of the woods, but I have to say I wish I had the makings at home for chicken soup...the tortilla soup was sadly disappointing.  From the sound of your ingredients, it must have been very good.  I will need to make some chicken stock soon as I used the last of it a week ago.  I also had some great turkey stock that is gone.  I do have a frozen carcass from Thanksgiving and maybe I should put that into a pot soon.  Did you like the taste of the turkey stock in the chicken soup?   I would think so.  And I may even poach the chicken as you described.  I am still shy of making chicken for such dishes as I am afraid of having dry chicken.  Do you recommend the way you made it and once it was poached, how long did it simmer in the soup?  I am so jealous of your bread making endeavors.  I made the potato bread dough for pizza last week and was so satisfied with how it turned out.  I really want to make either the bread or the rolls in a day or two.  I can't wait to make another of his recipes.  I was going to go with the French or ciabatta but I am a long way from being an experimental baker as you have been.  Thanks for the motivation, Sally.

SallyBR1's picture

(post #37094, reply #11 of 42)

I highly recommend doing the poaching that way - the meat is very tender and does not have the "tight" texture that sometimes poached chicken has. In the soup, I only kept the chicken until it was warm, maybe 3-4 minutes -

as to the turkey stock, I think it works wonders - very tasty

 


 


The garbage disposal is your friend. Treat it nicely.


(A little pearl of wisdom, February 2009)

soupereasy's picture

(post #37094, reply #13 of 42)

Another vote for poaching. Make a nice flavourful broth, simmer and let rest covered.


I keep dried sliced ginger and dried chiles on hand for a nice broth.

tones's picture

(post #37094, reply #15 of 42)

Are you referring to the chicken simmering in the covered pan with the broth?  Or making the broth on its own first?  Do you poach the chicken by letting the broth come to a simmer and then taking off the heat covered as Sally mentioned?

soupereasy's picture

(post #37094, reply #17 of 42)

Make a quick tasty broth. Poach chix and cover as Sally said.

tones's picture

(post #37094, reply #18 of 42)

Thank you, again.

tones's picture

(post #37094, reply #16 of 42)

Thanks, Sally.  Oh, were you using bone-in breasts or skinless, boneless breasts? 

SallyBR1's picture

(post #37094, reply #35 of 42)

Sorry, did not see your reply until now - yes, I used boneless

 


 


The garbage disposal is your friend. Treat it nicely.


(A little pearl of wisdom, February 2009)

teebee's picture

(post #37094, reply #19 of 42)

Sorry--I am late at reading the original post. I like to add fresh dill just before serving chicken soup. I just do a very simple soup (with noodles because my kids like them), nothing fancy--carrots, celery, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. But fresh dill really heightens the flavor of the soup (parsley can be added with the dill).

sally ryan's picture

(post #37094, reply #20 of 42)

I like chicken soup the way they make it in the Yucatan.  It's called sopa de lima and it has tomatoes and lots of lime juice plus all the usual suspects.  Plan to get me some next week in Mexico!

unbaked's picture

(post #37094, reply #21 of 42)

One of my cookbooks has a recipe for Sopa de Lima. You're going to Mexico next week? Lucky you! Have fun!!

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

Marcia's picture

(post #37094, reply #8 of 42)

I used to make chicken and dumplings no matter what the weather, but it's not exactly...ummm...light. Good stuff, though -- no question about that.

LuciaK's picture

(post #37094, reply #12 of 42)

Oh, c&d is definitely for fieldhands and stevedores, but when the weather is nasty and you want a bowl of comfort, it's the only thing that will do!

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.


www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com

Minivan Mom. Fueled by Caffeine.

www.acookandherbooks.blogspot.com

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #37094, reply #14 of 42)

It's all about the stock.  Start with the China moon double stock and you will have a wonderful soup.

CampRN's picture

(post #37094, reply #22 of 42)

Only if it is really cold out, Chicken Pho. There was a great recipe 2 years ago, but you can find one online also. Not spicy, but fun, tasty and warming.

beejay's picture

(post #37094, reply #23 of 42)

My problem is finding chicken that will make a hearty broth.  I I cook up backs of friers I get such a thin, nancy, liquid that I can hardy taste chicken.  I mean, if I had some illness that called for chicken soup, I'd never get better eating this stuff.  A while back I was visiting an Amish friend and I asked if he had culled any old laying hens. His wife, Mary, had gotten a new rooster and wanted to get rid of the old one.  So I took him home live in the cat carrier, did all the honors, and popped him into the kettle.  Five hours later he was still to tough to chew.  Twelve more hours and the bird was done.  Now this was phamaceutical grade chicken soup!


When Mary asked me how the rooster was I told her that I had cooked it 5 hours and the broth was still tough.  The next time I need to be there when she culls her layers.


BJ


Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
Jean's picture

(post #37094, reply #24 of 42)

and the broth was still tough


You are sooo funny! Don't expect the hens to be much better--at least that was the experience of DS and his DW.



What was the best thing before sliced bread?



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Gretchen's picture

(post #37094, reply #25 of 42)

If your broth is still "watery" you aren't using enough backs,, etc. or using too much water. Boil it down.


I just boil whole fryers.  And still concentrate the broth so that it doesn't take up so much room int e freezer. "Reconstitute" by adding extra water if I want to.


Gretchen
Gretchen
TracyK's picture

(post #37094, reply #26 of 42)

Commercially available chickens are never gonna compare to a tough old rooster or hen. Most commercial chickens are slaughtered at no more than 8 weeks old, it's simply not enough time for the flavor to develop.


I'm not saying you can't get good broth out of commercial chickens, you'd just have to use (and/or pay) a lot more to get the same depth of flavor.



"The happy StairMaster president is on his way to a mansionette in Dallas, to be the decider of where to put the sofa."
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Gretchen's picture

(post #37094, reply #27 of 42)

I guess I just don't know anything about flavor.  I also know I can't get an old rooster. So, I'll just do with what I have. It seems to work out pretty well, for our tastes.

Gretchen


Edited 2/20/2009 7:44 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
beejay's picture

(post #37094, reply #28 of 42)

You are right Gretchen.  And I think that I get more flavor from frier backs when I pressure cook them.  But I grew up where we didn't start frying up our chickens until they were at least 3 or 4 monthe old and had been chasing bugs and weed seeds.  We'd never heard of "free range".  I was just kinda lucky to get the old rooster but I don't really like the chores that accrue between coming home with a live bird and putting the durn thing in the pot. 


Beej


Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
Gardening, cooking and woodworking in South'n Murlyn'
Gretchen's picture

(post #37094, reply #29 of 42)

When you had that rooster you should have made an authentic coq au vin!!  DH's father kept hearing DH's mother opine about how good chickens "used to be"--before they were all wrapped up in the supermarket. We live in the middle of chicken producing country so he went up the road and got her one on the hoof. He REALLY had a hard time at this commercial producer getting ONE chicken--the guy may have finally just given it to him!!


Mama killed and cooked it, but said she was going to keep her mouth shut from then on.


Our family and a couple of others raised chicken and steers. I can remember going with Daddy to the other's "farm" and getting chickens for dinner.


Gretchen


Edited 2/20/2009 7:15 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen