The next 3 posts will all start with this first basic broth/stock. Each day will build on the last. This is one of my favorite things to do. I shop once and cook once (season more than once) and I make several meals. This way, I don’t get sick of anything, it’s very cheap, and saves tons of time. And really, it’s soup in 2 ways, and then I mix it up the 3rd way.
When I left for college sophomore year, I shadowed my mother in the kitchen for a week learning the “basics”: the things I needed to know before I lived in an apartment with a kitchen for the first time. I’d been baking and cooking growing up, but things like chicken broth, tomato sauce, roast chicken you know- those basics- I never really had experience (except the smells) before.
So this week my very large dog had ACL surgery and she’s been keeping me up at nights. When I start to feel overly tired, I fear a cold and I immediately do 2 things: make this chicken broth, and ginger tea (soon to be posted). The smell of chicken broth makes me smile. It sits for hours on the stove. We’d smell it before the holidays, in the winter, if someone was sick. My mother’s chicken soup. My grandmothers’ chicken soup. Loaded up with parsley. It’s the way we like it and it’s the Jewish mother’s cure for all ailments. Seriously.
What we have here is the basic chicken soup.
1 whole chicken quartered (I like it pre-cut IF they include the back and neck) plus 1 breast (for use later) BONE IN, skin ON
2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
3-4 celery stocks with leaves on
1 large yellow onion, quartered
bunch of parsley
optional: 1 zucchini, 1 parsnip, bell pepper, leek etc.
Rinse the chicken and put the whole thing in a soup pot. Cover with water (usually 10-12 cups), cover, and bring to a boil.
Skim off the scum that rises to the top. Add all vegetables and arrange so everything sits under the water.
Simmer on low, partially covered for 1-2 hours. Add a tbsp of salt half way through cooking and half the bunch of parsley. Towards the end, add salt to taste and the rest of the parsley (reserving some for garnish).
Here’s the thing about chicken soup. It’s so easy. No chopping, put it on the stove and leave it alone. The tedious part is afterwards. Turn the stove off and let cool. Strain and reserve all liquid. I snack on the mushy cooked veggies while I pick the meat off the bones and add to the broth. I also put the carrots (as they keep their shape) in the soup. The bones and the mushed stuff can get tossed.
I also reserve at least 1 breast (1 tupperware full) for Day 3. And I also take 2 small tupperwares full of stock to freeze and use for cooking later on. And that’s it for the chicken soup on Day 1. Feel free to add noodles, rice, alphabet noodles, whatever tickles your fancy. And for the rest of the stock tomorrow…
Reading this makes me feel better, and I don’t even have a cold. Great photography too.