Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Chicken Soup

So I had to eat something today other than the four Timbits I pilfered from the accountant's desk this morning. I'm still feeling ill, so I decided to make myself some soup. I did this completely from scratch. I had a couple of bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts thawed out and decided to make a quick stock with them. Here's what I did.

I put the chicken breasts in a dutch oven and covered them with water. I added salt, peppercorns, five cloves of garlic, one quaretered onion, a carrot cut in chunks, and a quartered lemon. Yes! I admit it! I was in the mood for lemon! Again! I covered the pot and brought it to a boil, and then let it simmer for about an hour. The chicken totally cooked by then. Here's what the happy mixture looked like, bubbling away on my stove:

It's important at this stage to adjust your seasonings. I found I had to add about a teaspoon of sugar to cut the sourness of the lemon, and I had to add a bit more salt. But after an hour, the stock tasted pretty good. I took out the chicken breasts and strained the stock through a fine sieve. I cut the chicken meat from the bone and added it back to the stock. I also kept the garlic cloves and cut them up for the broth; I love how mellow garlic becomes once cooked gently like this. I brought it all to a boil once more and threw in about 1/4 cup of parboiled rice (as a rule I don't use parboiled, but I had some kicking around from my work's kitchen and it has less starch in it so it worked well). I added more garlic, freshly pressed, and after about 20 minutes, I had soup.

Usually, when making stock, I simmer the bones and aromatics for the better part of the day. This was a super-quick version that turned out well. All I needed was something quick and soothing on a wintry, yucky day, and this hit the spot. I'm sure over the next couple of days the flavours will meld a bit more.

You cannot beat homemade soup. I rarely eat anything canned these days because the sodium content is way too high for my palate. And it doesn't take forever or an advanced degree. It just takes a little imagination and a little patience.

FYI, here is another fabulous chicken soup recipe, though a little heavier and probably not suitable for someone with the flu.


Tania said...

This sounds quick, delicious and soothing. I'm with you on the cooked garlic, too. Mmmm ...

I hope you're feeling much, much better soon!

Ivonne said...

Hope you're feeling better ...

mister anchovy said...

I suggest you share this one with Maria over at Garlicster!

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