Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

I spend one day concentrating on making the broth. Than the next day, I make the soup. I like spending an entire day concentrating on the broth because the longer you simmer it, the more it will reduce, get darker and become very flavorful.

PART #1/DAY #1:

1. I took a small carcass from the freezer from a bird I roasted in the near past. The birds we buy are small, so the carcass was small. I usually also use some chicken parts. I sometimes will just add left over chicken bones and a few times, I added two legs and two thighs including the chicken.

2. To the pan, I added the following: carrots, onions, parsnips, red onions, celery, chives, 2 bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of peppercorns. You can add anything you want. Sometimes I add Bok Choy and Leeks. Throwing in some fresh herbs if you have them is an excellent idea.
Some people sometimes add cloves and/or Cinnamon Sticks for a different twist.

4. Add water to the pan. I usually fill it close to the 8 quart mark.
5. Bring to a boil. That took awhile. : )
6. Put back down to simmer and cooked with cover on for a good 2 hours.
7. Cooked with cover off for another 3-6 hours. This is where it's suppose to reduce and darken and intensify.
8. Strain, cool off and put in refrigerator. From what I understand, since this broth was cooked for so long - nothing in there has any or much flavor since all the flavor is in the YUMMY BROTH. We are not talking about cooking broth for 2-3 hours, we are talking about a good 6 hours or more. SO after straining everything gets discarded. Some would try to save the chicken and do something with it, but you'd have to mix it with a lot of salsa or mayo for example for it to be any good.



1. Take layer of fat off the best I could the next morning.
2. Heated 2 tablespoons of butter and a few tablespoons of oil in a pan.
3. Add chopped onions and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add some salt and pepper.
4. Add some garlic and cook for a minute. I than add my new secret ingredient - 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of tomatoe paste.
5. Chop and peel carrots and potatoes. Add those to the pan. I like to cut everything nice and small. Let cook until carrots and potatoes start feeling tender.

*Note*. Of course peeling and chopping the onions, carrots, and potatoes ahead of time is highly advised.

6. Add broth from the night before. Throw in one peeled and leafy celery.
7. Bring to boil.
8. Once it's boiling - add some pasta if you'd like. I like adding Orzo. Be careful about putting in too much pasta. I have made that mistake many times. It will eat up your broth if you put too much in. Cook as long as it takes for the pasta to be done and your pretty much done at that point.
9. Add some parsley and/or Thyme depending on your tastes and more salt and pepper. 10 You can also add some frozen corn and/or peas toward the end.
11. Lastly, add pre-cooked and chopped chicken. Left over chicken from your roast where the carcass came from would be great. If not, any left over chicken.

You want to add enough broth in step #6 to handle the pasta and all the food, because some of it will reduce from the boiling and the pasta and vegetables will swell a little.

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