Friday, May 02, 2008

101 Uses for a Roasted Chicken #4

I am a huge fan of making homemade chicken stock. It's really easy once you get the hang of it, and the most time-consuming part is actually straining all of the stock ingredients out of the liquid and picking the bones of their meat. But, it's kind of a brainless activity you can do to settle down after a long day. Here are some directions on how I usually make mine. I use a large crock pot and it works excellently, and you can vary your stock ingredients according to your own tastes. I hate celery, for instance, so I don't buy it and I don't use it in any of my cooking. But I love lemon and cilantro, and these two things make a blah chicken stock brilliant.

I make two versions of this soup, an Indian Version and a Thai version. Both are awesome.

Chicken Curry Soup (Indian version)

12 cups chicken stock
1 large can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
2 cups shredded chicken, ideally from your stock bones/parts
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 can mini corn cobs
2 carrots
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 large onion, sliced
4 - 5 tbsp (or to taste) Patak's (or similar) Mild Curry Paste
3 (or to taste) cloves garlic

Basically, you can chuck all of these ingredients into a big soup pot and just simmer until the veggies are tender. I like using more robust veggies that freeze well and don't wilt or turn that unappealing military green colour when reheated. That's why I like to use cabbage a lot in soup: it stands up in the freezer and in the thawing/reheating stage of leftover usage. Mini corn cobs also freeze well and work beautifully in soup. You can get them cut up, or you can just roughly chop the whole ones. This soup should feed about 10, and I just keep some in the fridge to reheat and portion the rest into containers for freezing. For an approximate nutritional analysis, you can go here.

By all means, vary the veggies. That's what soup is all about: using what's at hand and what you like. There are no hard and fast rules.

And yes, I have a camera now!

Bon appetit!

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