Ah, Jewish penicillin, as they say. Nothing tastes better than home-made chicken soup when one is feeling under the weather. This crazy TX weather (snow on Friday!) has snuck up on us, and now my husband is sick, too. Plus, it seems I can't get enough soup these days since the weather turned cooler - as I look back and realize that I've made one, after another, after another.
Making chicken soup isn't very difficult at all, but it does take time, and a few tips make the difference. These I've learned from various sources over the years. Of course, starting with the boiler plate from my mom and grandma, and going from there.
Tip #1 - you must use chicken with bones. Any chef will tell you that bones have flavor, but equally important in the case of making soup, is that cooking the bones & cartilage releases the natural gelatin. Note: This also means that the soup will 'set' after it cools down in the frdige. You can either start with a whole chicken, and/or use parts that have a higher bone-meat ratio like legs and wings. Bonus - these parts are usually less costly than boneless breasts. I made this soup yesterday with a few pounds of organic drumsticks and only paid $6.
Tip #2 - throw everything in and worry about making it pretty later on. I picked up a tip a few years ago to use onions with the skin (I searched the web just now to try and give proper credit, but have no idea where this came from originally,) which helps impart a beautiful golden color. At the very end, use a strainer or chinois, with cheesecloth if you want a totally clear broth, but this is unnecessary in my opinion. I'm too frugal for this next tip, but I've seen recipes that discard everything used to make the broth after it is strained and add in new veggies, if desired. I was going to take a picture of the straining process, but the collection of bones and mushed veggies was wholly unappetizing.
1 year ago