Chicken Soup

I’m not really sure how to define this. It started out with a disappointing chicken and dumplings recipe I found online. Then I thought, ‘I can come up with something better.’ I ended up thickening the soupy brothy part with some cornstarch and throwing in some instant German Semmelknödel (like a big dumpling make of StoveTop stuffing – better than it sounds). The recipe that follows is a basic, improvised chicken soup that probably improves with adaptation.

Chicken Stock
1 whole chicken (2.5-3 lbs.)
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, coarsely sliced
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. thyme
11/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 bay leaf

2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
4-6 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. sage
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. black pepper
4-8 cups chicken stock
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
chopped cooked chicken

Chicken Stock Prep

1. Put all ingredients in large deep pot and fill with water until completely covered. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to medium simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes.

2. Carefully remove chicken from stock (it should be falling-apart tender) and set aside in a large bowl, covering with a paper towel. Allow to sit for about 45 minutes-1 hour.

3. After allowing it to cool at least 30 minutes, slowly pour stock through cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer into a large bowl. Don’t keep the vegetables! They’ve given up all their flavor to the stock and turned to mush. Allow stock to cool more before skimming fat from top.

4. Remove meat from the chicken, discarding skin and bones. You can shred it or chop it into pieces – whichever you prefer, texturewise.

Still with me? Good!

Soup Prep

1. Melt butter in deep soup pot over medium high heat. Sauté onions in butter for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Add celery to pan and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add rosemary, parsley, thyme and sage to onion and celery and stir until just distributed.

3. Pour stock into pot. For two of us, I use 4 cups – and that makes a lot. Add seasoned salt, pepper and carrots. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Turn heat to low and add chicken meat. Heat through.

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