Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Chicken Soup

my soup

I was inspired by a recipe I read yesterday, so after I dropped a well rested and pleasant Lucy at Day Care I zipped to the market to pick up chicken, celery, carrots and onion and came home to make soup.

I love the cast iron pot because it does it all.   I heated olive oil in the pan and then browned my onions and chicken thighs (bone on) added seasoning (salt, pepper, poultry seasoning) and then added chicken broth.

If I was a better cook, or had lots of time on my hands I would make my own chicken stock, but the stuff from Swanson's is lovely.  I like to mix the regular stock with the lower salt version.  I'd like to think that I'm honoring my grandmother a bit when I use something like Swanson's that she thought was a marvelous time saver for her.

I added celery and carrots and let it cook for about 2 hours.

I then pulled the chicken thighs out and removed the bones.  Now it is all nicely marinating in the pan.

Later on this afternoon I will add noodles, likely pastina.  Pastina??? Yes, that is the fancy name for 'stars'.

Jason has a desire for biscuits with this meal so I will also be serving up some fresh baked blobs of bread.  Now, again noting that I don't have loads of time these too will be cheater rolls.

I've learned a few things over time.  As much as I favor chicken breast meat, when cooking a 'meal in a pot' thigh meat offers more flavor and responds better to the extended cooking time.  If I need more meat, I can add white meat towards the end of the cooking process.   Also, browning the chicken in the pot with the skin on helps leach out the flavors of the chicken.  The bones and the skin will be removed before eating, but are a key step in the development of a deeper flavor.  I also chopped up the entire celery stalk - including the leafy bits.  Those don't add much flavor but they sure are pretty floating around in my soup.

The pot of soup is large, so I'm sure there will be enough to save for a different rainy day.  I hope Lucy likes it - from the samples I've had it is savory.  I'm looking forward to dinner.

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