January 21, 2012

Chicken Soup For The Heart

I wrote about making chicken soup for the first time and I’ve made it again and again. There is nothing like homemade chicken soup – it has a totally different flavour to it. As I mentioned, I had used Ahern’s recipe for chicken stock and you can find a video of it on her website. I took this recipe and turned it into chicken soup instead. While having stock can be fabulous, I honestly don’t use it enough to warrant making it and taking up valuable freezer space.

Even though this is the basics of what I did, I’ve mentioned before that soup is a wonderful thing in that you can alter it and do what you like to make minor adjustments or change it completely. To quote Martha: ‘It’s a good thing’.

Last time I made a bouquet garni with all my herbs (using a large bag for looseleaf tea), but this time I let them hangout loose in the pot and it still worked out alright. Although I had big pieces of rosemary floating around, the soup had been cooking for so long that the rosemary leaves had softened significantly. Also, oddly enough the onions disappeared. I can’t complain as I didn’t have to dig them out in fear of eating a whole one, but I didn’t expect them to breakdown like they did. I’ve also sautéed the chicken instead of boiling it – added some different flavours.

Here is Ahern’s recipe from her book Gluten Free Girl that I use as a guide. Again, change it up as you like. Make it yours. My mom and I laughed over our bowls when we saw all the ground pepper in the bottom of our bowls. My babcia’s favourite seasoning was pepper and there was always a big bunch of it at the bottom of your soup bowl. This time memories of her didn’t bring tears, it brought smiles instead.

Gluten-Free Girl Chicken Stock    (makes 2 quarts)
1 fryer chicken, cut up into pieces
3 yellow onions, chopped in half
3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 ribs celery, roughly chopped
1 head garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
2 tbs black peppercorns
3 sprigs rosemary
5 sprigs fresh thyme
½ bunch Italian parsley

Put the chicken pieces into a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Skim the surface of the water to remove the foam. Let water simmer for another 5 minutes and skim again. Pour the water and chicken through a colander and put the chicken back into the pot. Add the vegetables to the pot and cover with water by 2 inches again. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat. Add the herbs and bring to a boil again. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let simmer for 3-4 hours (you can leave it be during this time). Strain the stock and allow to cool to room temperature.
The stock will keep in the refrigerator for one week.


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