Thursday, April 2, 2009

Chicken Vegetable Soup

I hate getting recipes that aren't really recipes, but rather, "add enough sugar" and "until it looks good." I don't know enough about cooking to be able to figure it out on my own. I need step-by-step instructions. I need to know why I'm doing things, or be given specific instructions. If a recipe says "Bake 30-35 minutes" I need to know the, "or until [insert requirements here]." But when I'm given a more vague recipe and can actually make it, it makes me really proud of myself. In other words, I apologize for posting a vague recipe, but I'm really proud that I made it and that it tasted good. (Though, in future, I would add more spices than I did. I really just had no idea how much to add this time. Quantities! I need quantities!)

  • 1 chicken carcass (I used the leftovers from the 40 Cloves and a Chicken)
  • Water
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Any other vegetable you want in your soup
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Bay Leaf

So, I told my friend, Tyler, that I had never made soup from a carcass before. These are the instructions I got from him. (Anything in italics are my own additions from when I actually made it.)

  • Well, lucky for you that it's the easiest thing in the known universe
  • Take the carcass
  • Cut it in half lengthwise (if it will fit in your pot without cutting it in half, skip this step)
  • Put it in a deep pot
  • Fill pot with water (I used a 6 quart pot. He had me fill it half full of water.)
  • Add in a thickly-sliced onion, stalk of celery, and carrot
  • Boil until the cows come home (This translates as 4-6 hours)
  • ta da
  • Basically, what will happen is 1) all the chicken meat left on there will cook and fall off, 2) all the cartilage, connective tissue, etc. will break down into gelatin, which is amazing for thickening soups and is the trademark mouthfeel of a good stock, and 3) fill your house with awesome smells
  • Then after boiling for 4 to 6 hours (taste the broth to see if it has enough flavor to it. If it doesn't, take off the lid and let it evaporate some. Possibly add chicken bullion), you strain it all out (keep the liquid!), let the strained stuff cool off, and pull all the meat out of the rest of the mess (throw away the vegetables, too. They've already served their purpose.)
  • Plop it back into the liquid (If you need more liquid at this point, just add some more water.)
  • Then add in onions, celery ,carrots, potatoes, broccoli, squash, noodles, and pretty much anything else you want
  • Boil til it's all soft
  • Oh, and add in some oregano, a bit of basil, and a bay leaf. Also, salt and pepper to taste

No comments: