February 9, 2010

The Best Chicken Stock in the World...

And, I really  mean it! As I had mentioned before, I never seem to make chicken soup the same way twice.  A little different tweak, a little different emphasis on one flavor on another; I like them all. There's certainly no need to follow a recipe for Chicken Soup.  Throw everything into a pot and cook the heck out of it. :)  But yesterday I decided to break out my old, trusty Silver Palate Cookbook.  If you don't have this book, buy it! I have had it forever and although I forget about for months on end, I am always so happy when I open it up.  Like a trusty friend, this book never disappoints.  There is a recipe in the back of the book for Chicken Stock. I've changed it up a little over the years but it is, by far, the very best stock I have ever made.  So rich, and so flavorful.  The stock is not a pale yellow, but rather a deep gold.  So, with my desire to detox my family off of all the bad food from Superbowl Sunday, I set about making Chicken Soup yesterday.  I made the stock in the morning, let it cool(skimmed off the fat),  then put some in the freezer for future fabulousness and made Chicken Soup out of the rest.  It took some time(this is not just throw it all in the pot, stock) but oh, was it worth it.  So, so good!  

Chicken Stock(adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook)

2-3 Tblsp cooking oil(I used Olive)
3 pounds chicken breasts** 
4 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups chopped carrots
handful of parsley sprigs
1 box reduced sodium chicken stock(I like Campbell's Chicken Stock)
water as needed
1 tblsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves

Pour oil into large soup pot. Heat oil and then add chicken to pot.  Cook, turning once until well browned.  Add onions and carrots and continue to cook until vegetables are beginning to brown lightly and are losing their crunch.  Add remaining ingredients and add water to cover chicken by 2 inches.  Boil for 15 minutes, skimming off all the scum(the yucky part:( ). Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.  Cool slightly and then pour through a strainer set over a bowl, pressing hard on vegetables and chicken to get all of the flavor out(this is the important part, you want all the flavor!) Cover stock and refrigerate, then skim any fat off of top.  Freeze rations for future use or make Chicken Soup.

**If I was only making stock,  I would use necks and backs. Due to my laziness, when I am making soup and want meat, I use breasts.

Chicken Soup
Chicken stock from previous recipe
cut carrots
cut zucchini( I like them sliced and halved)
cut up chicken(from breasts in chicken stock)
noodles or rice

Add everything to the stock and boil until noodles are cooked and vegetables are tender! That's it!  Voila! Chicken Stock makes all things easy!!

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