Friday, January 29, 2010

Simple chicken soup

I have been feeling under the weather - with a cough/cold/sore throat. Unimaginably grumpy - poor Madame. So I thought maybe some chicken soup might help. As you can imagine preprepared chicken soup doesn't do it for a variety of reasons. So I needed to make some. This is an unbelievably simple way of doing it - and surprisingly good given the amount of effort involved. As Madame would say, "the taste to effort ratio makes this worth doing". Not quite as high praise as "we can serve this to people", but still worthwhile. The vegetables and chicken aren't browned, so there is no flavor from caramelization. It's just chicken/aromatics/stock/water. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but the prep time is very short. As you will see from the method you just bung them all in the pot.
1 whole roasting chicken (this one was about 5lbs)
2 medium onions sliced pole to pole
6 medium carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
6 stalks celery roughly chopped
2 Fennel bulbs washed and quartered
3 Kaffir (Thai) lime leaves
3 inches lemon grass cut on the bias into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups (or so) water
1 Chipotle pepper
3" piece of fresh ginger peeled and roughly chopped
Salt/pepper to taste
Clean out the cavity of the chicken and remove the silly pop up timer (if present). Place the whole chicken into a large dutch oven. Sprinkle the flavoring ingredients (except the salt) into the pot, add the liquids. Bring to a simmer over a medium flame and then simmer for at least 90 minutes with the lid on. The chicken will make its own broth while it cooks. If you cook it for longer than 90 minutes (and it does get better with time), then discard the vegetables 1/2 an hour before the end of cooking and put in fresh vegetables. The old vegetables have given everything up so you will need fresh to get them to taste of something.

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