Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade Chicken Soup

I felt so accomplished yesterday! I was giddy as all heck by nightfall and Senpai wondered what had gotten into me. I'll tell you what it was.... SOUP!

Yes, I made homemade chicken soup last night. I used to make it all the time years ago (before I met Senpai, even) when I was a poor college student. I just hadn't had the urge since then. But last week when I was sick, it hit me hard. MUST. MAKE. SOUP. I kept buying the vegetables for the stock... then composting them cause they went bad... then buying more... and last night it finally all came together. We had a late, but much needed, trip to the grocery store, and we picked up a rotisserie chicken for a quick dinner. After dinner I set to work.

Making the Broth
First I melted two tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot, and then sautéed a finely chopped onion until translucent. While the onion was cooking, I roughly chopped up two celery stalks (heads included) and two carrots, and threw them in the pot as well. I added ten cups of water, two bay leaves, and about two tablespoons of black peppercorns. While I was waiting for the water to boil, I picked all of the meat off of the chicken, set it aside, then threw the carcass (is there a nicer way of saying that? Body? Bones?) into the pot. I let it all simmer for forty minutes.

I threw away the carcass, then strained the rest of the broth into another large pot that was covered in cheesecloth. I composted the strained veggies (or, at least, I will. Right now they're still sitting in that pot in that sink).

Finished Soup. YUM!
Finished soup! I added a good sprinkling of dehydrated parsley flakes, two more chopped fresh carrots and celery stalks (no celery tops this time), cute little stelline noodles, about a cup of frozen peas, and the nicely chopped chicken meat that I had removed from the body earlier, and simmered it all until the noodles were done. I had gone back and forth about whether or not to strain the broth, but I'm really glad I did. The new carrot and celery pieces really rounded out the flavor, and it's nice to not have the onion bits floating around. This is hands down the best batch of chicken soup I have ever made.

Homemade Soup Stored in Fridge
Homemade Soup Frozen
I'm souper (:-p) glad to have lots of leftovers (first-overs, technically, since we had already eaten dinner when I made it last night). There are two large containers in the fridge, and then 4 cups stored in the freezer. I am SO looking forward to lunch today!

That rotisserie chicken is such a deal! We spent $5.49 on it, and we're getting three separate meals out of it, two of which will have leftovers! When we ate it with stuffing and cranberry sauce last night, we did not hold back at all. Two hungry adults and one toddler ate their fill of chicken. From what was leftover, half of the meat was plenty to add to the soup, and then there's still meat left to make chicken pot pie! We'll have that for dinner tomorrow night. I'm so excited. :-)



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