Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Soup - Grandma Katie Style

Growing up, Mom always made chicken soup. She says the smell reminds her of her Grandma Katie. I don't remember Grandma Katie, so the smell of chicken soup reminds me of Mom. I feel like I've known how to make this my whole life. I remember watching Mom boil the chicken and then letting it cool overnight, skimming the fat, cleaning the chicken off the bones and then heating everything up again.

Recently, Chris and I made Roasted Chicken. I decided (before we even cooked it) that we would make chicken soup out of the leftovers. So on Thursday night, after work, we set out to make chicken soup. A lot of the work was done for us already. I had saved the gibblies from the chicken, along with the juice that collected in the bottom of my roasting pan, the bones of the chicken and some of the pieces that we didn't eat (wings, some breast meat).

First, we started a pot with water and the juices that were saved, which I skimmed the fat off of before adding to the pot. I cleaned all of the meat that I could off of the bones, separating the good meat, the bones and the sinew. The sinew goes in the trash, the meat goes in the pot and the bones get tied up in cheese cloth and then go in the pot. Gibblies get tied up in a separate cheesecloth and thrown in too.

We added about a half of a large bag of baby carrots, an entire package of celery, chopped, and an onion, also choppped.

Next are the spices. We added some oregano, thyme, sage, salt, pepper and 6 cloves of garlic, minced. I used these spices because that was what I made my chicken rub with.

We simmered it for about an hour, until the veggies were tender and the gibblies were cooked through. Just lift out the cheesecloth bundles, let them drain, and throw them out.

I don't like to put rice or pasta into my soup and let it sit there. I like it much better if you make the rice or pasta separately and then add it to each individual bowl before adding the soup. That way it doesn't break down too much and get soggy. We made rice this time.

We served the soup with a crusty bread and some apple cider (thanks for the idea, Vina!).

It was so delicious. Perfect for a cool night and worth the time we put into it on a work night (we didn't get to eat until almost 9pm since I got home from work around 7:30ish).

The best part was lunch on Friday. If possible (Chris and I agree 100% that it is), it was even better the next day.

Our pot was big enough for us to make dinner, lunch the next day and put a huge container in the freezer for another day.