We all know that when household collide, so do methods of food preparation. To wit: Chicken Soup.
My (Penny's) way of making chicken soup:
- Open can.
- Dump contents in microwavable bowl.
- Add 1/2 can of water.
- Microwave until you're tired of waiting to eat.
- Remove from microwave, taste, burn tongue.
- Shake fist at microwave.
Optional: Add a boatload of crackers because the soup may not taste exactly like a salt lick quite yet.
The Chef's way of making soup:
- 3-5 pound chicken
- 4-5 carrots cut in 3-4" pieces
- 1/2 stalk celery with leaves cut in 3-4" pieces
- 1 large onion cut in 3-4" pieces
- sachet bag*, made up of 1/2 bunch Italian parsley with stems, 20 whole black peppercorns crushed, 2 T thyme, 3 whole cloves, 2-3 bay leaves
- cold water (keep reading for how much!)
To make stock:
- Using a cleaver, cut chicken into small pieces (each part of the chicken--leg, breast, etc-- should be cut at least in half to expose the marrow, about 3-4" pieces)
- Add enough cold water to cover approximately 6-8" above the chicken.
- Bring to a boil.
- Skim the scum. (Say that three times fast--fun!)
- Add carrots, celery, onion, and sachet bag. Stir.
- Simmer for 5-6 HOURS** skimming off scum occasionally.
- Remove chicken and place on sheetpan to let cool.
- Strain stock through fine strainer. (Use fine chinois or cheesecloth if possible.) Let cool.
- While stock is cooling, pull chicken from bones. (Best to do this while watching the movie Until the Devil Knows You're Dead.)
- Evenly separate chicken stock into freezable containers. (Your choice but 1/2 gallon size works best.)
- Add equal amounts of pulled chicken to the containers.
- Freeze--EXCEPT ONE! We're going to keep going with that one container.
- one 10-oz block frozen, chopped spinach
- 1/3-1/2 bunch fresh chopped Italian parsley
- About 1/2 pound of your choice of pasta (we like egg fettuccine, broken up into 1" pieces, which hurts your hands. ouch.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
- Remember that container from above? Pour the contents into a large sauce pan.
- Add one block of frozen spinach. (Do not thaw.) Cook until hot.***
- Add chopped parsley.
- In a separate pan, cook pasta. Go PAST the al dente stage.****
- Strain pasta and rinse with cold water.
- Add desired amount of pasta to spinach/chicken soup and bring to simmer. Keep in mind that if you add too much pasta, it will suck up all the juices and you'll have one giant spinach noodle. Yuck.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is the first time you're adding salt, so you may find it takes a lot.*****
- Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. I'm not kidding. These Italians put cheese in everything. I stopped my open mocking for a moment and tried it and WOW!
*sachet bag=herbs wrapped in a cheesecloth, tied with a string. This keeps all the little bits from floating all over the place. Little bits are like that.
***If you're using one of the frozen containers of the stock, pop out of container into saucepan along with frozen spinich. Cover and heat slowly (or quickly if you're wicked hungry).
****Be sure to wave to the al dente as it passes by.
*****The Chef says, "You can even add an egg to that." I say, "Why do you Italians have to put an egg on or in everything???" He defends this wacky practice by saying it would be like an egg-drop soup. I say, "Whatever, dude."******
******And then he kills me for calling him "Dude."
|I am delicious soup and you want to eat me.|
|You will use a spoon because if you try to slurp directly from the bowl, you'll spill it down the front of yourself. Trust me on this.|