Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Soup

Posted by Kimberly:

We have some dear friends here in Lubbock who have been like adopted grandparents to our kids. Last week, he had to have quadruple bypass surgery. The kids and I went to see him at the heart hospital on our way back in to town from spending spring break at mom and dad's. While we were at the hospital, our friends and their daughter were raving about a chicken soup that a lady from our church had made for them. So, when I asked her if she would share her recipe, she kindly agreed. She emailed it to me, and when I saw her at church Sunday morning, she asked me if I had received it and told me to not let its length scare me. My reply to her was "Well, it does!" Not only was the recipe two pages long and required two days to make it, but it also involved cooking a whole chicken which I had never done before. (I am a skinless, boneless chicken breast girl!) So, on Sunday afternoon while I was making my menu and grocery list out for the week, I decided I would give it a try under the condition that my husband would pull out the insides of the chicken for me! :)

Below is the recipe she emailed to me just as she wrote it. I even included her hints that she color-coded in blue and the ones she included at the bottom. She is my kind of lady..... she tells EXACTLY what to do and doesn't assume that I know what she is talking about. :)

Chicken Soup

It is best to do this in two stages. Cook and debone the chicken and chop the vegetables and bag them one day. The next day, put it all together. (While chicken is cooking, I usually chop the vegetables...see types and amounts on Day Two.)

Day One:

Cook together and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is tender:

1 whole chicken (around 4 pounds with packaged insides removed.)

3 quarts water

1 whole, peeled, medium onion

2-3 ribs of celery, twisted

3 bay leaves

While chicken is still warm, take meat off the bone, cut in bite-sized pieces and place in plastic bag. Place in refrigerator as soon as possible, with bag open. When meat has cooled, close bag, expelling as much air as possible.

Cool broth as soon as possible to lessen chance of toxic conditions. Try to refrigerate within 35-40 minutes.

Day Two:

Melt: 4 tablespoons margarine/butter

Saute in the margarine for 6-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently:

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2/3 cup uncooked rice

1 cup finely chopped onions

1 cup scraped and finely chopped carrots

1 cup finely chopped celery

Skim any fat off the top of the broth that was refrigerated the day before and add enough water to have 10 cups liquid. Be sure and remove the whole onion, celery ribs and bay leaf, throwing them away. DO NOT THROW AWAY THE BROTH!!!!


the sauteed vegetables

10 cups broth

6-8 chicken bouillon cubes

1 rounded teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Blend together and add to the soup, stirring constantly as you add it to avoid lumps:

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup water

To all of the above, add and stir in: (about 30-45 minutes before serving....if chicken is cooked too long, it becomes mushy)

1 cup half & half cream

the chicken meat cut in bite-sized pieces

This should yield about 4 quarts (1 gallon)

Some other hints:

  • While chicken is cooking, I cut the onions, carrots, and celery. (They can all be stored in the same plastic bag.)
  • Leave the skin on the chicken while cooking. Then throw it away with the bones.
  • The next morning, the fat from the skin is easily skimmed off the broth.
  • You can add more chicken bouillon cubes to taste.
  • If you like thicker soup, add more cornstarch than suggested.
  • This freezes well.
  • I usually double this recipe as I have a three gallon pot, then freeze in smaller containers to take to those who are under the weather.
As I said above, this recipe scared me at first. I have to say, though, it really wasn't that hard. I just had to plan where I had a chunk of time to cook the chicken and cut it up. By day two, it is really nice because all of the chopping is is just a matter of putting it all together. One change that I am planning on making the next time I make this is adding more rice to make it a little heartier and because my husband and I really liked the rice. I am going to increase the rice to 1 cup instead of 2/3. After I see how that works, I may try to increase it to 1 1/3 cups.

This soup was really delicious and I will definitely be making it again for friends and family. I am now even considering cooking a whole chicken and using real broth every time a make soup that calls for canned broth and chicken. It makes such a difference in the flavor. So for those of you, who, like me, entertained the thought of substituting this with canned broth....DON'T DO IT! It won't be near as good! Plus, you will really feel like a Food Network chef by the time you are done! I know I did!! :) Pin It Now!

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Oh, my. That is l-o-n-g recipe!

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