I’ve been making soup lately and I think I’ve finally perfected my chicken soup recipe. I have received independent verification of a high “yum” factor from two separate sources who are not related to me or in any way financially dependent upon me. Of course they could just be polite but I think this soup is actually pretty fine.
It’s a modified version of Paula Dean’s “Lady’s Chicken Noodle Soup” which you will find here: http://bit.ly/1QMT19E
1 family size pack of chicken thighs (bone in, skin on – you want this for the stock) – about 9 in the package.
10 cups water
1 onion, peeled and rough chopped
1/2 lemon, squeeze the juice in and include the whole shebang
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
10 or so white pepper balls
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced – or more
4 bay leaves
3 chicken bouillon cubes – can use vegetable if you like
2 tsp Kosher salt with crumbled dried shiitake mushrooms (could do without the mushrooms)
Chop all the stock ingredients. Heat large soup pot (and I do mean large you need room for 10 cups of liquid plus the chicken). You don’t need any oil because you are going to use the fat from the chicken skin. Fry chicken thighs skin side down until the fat starts to render. Add all remaining ingredients and stir so they don’t stick to the bottom. Once the chicken has browned (doesn’t have to be cooked through) add the 10 cups of water and bring to a boil…reduce to a simmer and cook until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. An easy way to do this is put a colander over a second pot and remove all solids from the stock with a slotted spoon. Pour back any liquid. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Chop chicken or break chicken into bite sized pieces and set aside. Now you make soup!
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery, with leafy green tops
3 potatoes cubed – peeled or unpeeled
1 cup green peas
1/3 cup cooking sherry (or fortified wine)
Crusty French bread, for serving
Bring stock to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add potatoes and reduce to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add back your deboned, deskinned chicken pieces. Add peas and sherry. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French bread.
Like any chicken soup it’s better on day 2…if it makes it that far.