Monday, May 3, 2010

Chicken soup for the family's soul...

You may have noticed that I do a lot of the same recipes but tweak them a bit to make something new. It's like having the perfect little black dress. You wear it all the time but try to change it up with different accessories, jewelry or shoes.

Roast chicken and the now mandatory chicken noodle soup that follows are some of my family's favorites. The soup is also a great way for me to get rid of the all the small portions of leftover veggies from dinners past.

Here's what I did this time around...

After we'd eaten a good amount of the 5 1/2 pound bird the other night, I immediately threw the entire remains of the roast, including the cavity stuffings and the lemon and onions from the sauce into a large pot. I covered everything with a quart of good chicken stock and four cups of water. I also threw in some baby carrots and let it simmer on the stove loosely covered with a lid for about 1 1/2 hours. Once it cooled, I popped it into the fridge before I went to bed. Next day I removed most of the solidified chicken fat that was sitting on top, a very easy way to make the soup lower in fat. Then I put the pot back onto the stove and start heating it back up.
Once it was hot but not boiling, I placed a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and separated the broth from the solids.
I picked out all the good chicken pieces and tossed everything else in the trash. I was left with nice pieces of chicken meat and a rich, golden broth.

A half hour before dinner time, I put the broth back into the pot along with some chopped baby carrots and heated it up on the stove top on high. Once it came to a boil, I turned down the heat to a low simmer and let it cook for 4 minutes. I then added my little tomatoes and broke spaghetti noodles into the simmering broth and cooked it all for ten minutes (always taste a piece to make sure the pasta is done but still al dente).  I then added the chicken meat, some leftover green beans (cooked) and fingerling potatoes (cooked) that I cut into bite-size pieces. The soup seemed low in broth so I added another cup of water. It all cooked for a couple more minutes and I finished it off with a good sprinkling of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

The four of us ate it all up in no time. Our bellies were warm and happy. Chicken soup really does seem good for the soul!


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