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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cooking for Novices, Part 2...

Ever want to make that homemade chicken soup that mom used to make but feel intimidated?  Why use that canned broth that is high in sodium and somewhat tasteless when you can made a good homemade broth while sitting on the couch.  It really isn't that hard.

What do you need?

1 Chicken, whole.  Rinsed inside and out.  Roasters work, as well as old hens.
3 Carrots, cleaned.
3 Ribs of Celery, cleaned and broke in half.
1 Onion, paper skin removed and cut in quarters.
1 Garlic Clove
2 Tbsp of Dried Parsley

Put everything in a 12 qt stockpot, cover with water, and bring to a boil...

Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 6-12 hours.  The longer you simmer, the better flavor you will get from your broth.  But, remember, you will have cooked the chicken to death, so you cannot use for whatever soup you choose to make with your broth.

Once done, run the broth through a colander.  This is what it looks like:

Notice the fat on top?  You can make that solid by putting in the frig overnight, or, if available, a snow bank...  ;)

This is what it looks like after about 3 hours...

You can skim all that fat off with a large soup spoon or a ladle.  This is what it looks like with the fat removed...

Now you are ready for soup or packaging.  You can package and freeze in soup for 2 sizes, save for gravy (another post for another time), or make soup.

Good basic soup would be to bring to a boil, add diced carrot, celery, onion, a few boneless chicken breasts, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 12 minutes.  Then add some egg noodles and cook for another 8 minutes, and you have a great meal and lunch for the week.  



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