1 whole roasted chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
Don’t be alarmed when you search for a recipe and find a huge list of ingredients followed by pages of the preparation. You could miss a good recipe just because it seems too complicated while in actuality it can be easy to make and very mouth-watering. Chicken soup is one of them. I don’t know what is more appetizing, more wholesome and comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken soup. Whether you’re cold, fighting the flu, home-sick or just famished – chicken soup will never let you down.
When preparing this soup, there are two main steps to keep in mind. First, create a good stock and then, the actual soup. In my opinion, the stock is what makes the soup; so, don’t substitute the homemade stock with the “store-bought.” However, you can buy a chicken already roasted at your local grocery store to use in the preparation of the stock. There is nothing semi-homemade (love you Sandra Lee) in this recipe, but a gigantic burst of awesome flavors.
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
1 large white onion, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
3 sprigs of parsley
3 sprigs of dill
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in enough water to cover the ingredients in the pot. Toss in the thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Partially cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1.5 hours until the chicken is done. As it cooks, you might have to add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the chicken and when it is cool enough to be handled, discard the skin & bones and hand-shred the meat. Carefully strain the stock through a fine colander into another pot to remove the vegetables left behind. You may use the stock right away or save in covered containers and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days or freeze for future use.
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 2 medium carrots, chopped
· 2 celery ribs, chopped
· 2 turnips quartered
· 3 fresh thyme sprigs
· 2 quarts chicken stock
· 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place a 12-quart stockpot over medium heat. Sauté with 2 tablespoons of olive oil the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and thyme. Cook and stir for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Add turnips and pour in the chicken stock, cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for an hour, until all of the vegetables are soft. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper.
Again, when making homemade chicken stock, you are able to prepare something that will suit your own palate – selecting the amount of salt, fat or the aromatics you prefer. I know it may seem like it is too much work and it would take a long time in the kitchen, however, undertaking an effort like this one has a definite payoff.
Add corn, green beans, potatoes ... it is your soup and you have the last word :)