Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

A while ago I realised it is much cheaper to buy a whole chicken than acquiring just my favourite cuts, like breasts or drumsticks. It took some practice to joint a chicken, and by no means am I going to win a chicken chopping contest any time soon, but when I’m done I’m beaming with pride. At first I threw away the carcasses and later realised there is actually more work to be done…

Chicken breasts usually go into stir fries or I stuff them with whatever yummy ingredients are hanging out in the fridge or pantry and make a spanking good sauce to accompany them. As for thighs and drumsticks, they are used in stews or are baked in the oven with some kind of marinade.

I literally made my first chicken stock three days ago and I must admit it tasted divine compared to the shop-bought stock cube version. Don’t be surprised when you see a chicken stock recipe on Greedy Gourmet in the future.

If you are looking for any more tips on how to get the extra mile out of your food, go to Love Food Hate Waste. This website is especially apt in these times of financial hardship.

Chicken Soup
Serves 4
Preparation: 15 mins Cooking: 1¼ hours

Chicken Soup

Ingredients
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) butter
  • 900g (2lbs) raw chicken carcasses, including 4 wings
  • 1 onion, chopped, weighing about 200g (7oz)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced, weighing about 100g (4oz)
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced, weighing about 100g (4oz)
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock
  • 150ml (½ pint) single [light] cream (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley, chopped
  1. Heat the oil and melt the butter in the pan. Add the chicken, onion, garlic and remaining vegetables. Add the stock and bring to the boil over a low heat, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
  2. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 60 minutes.
  3. Lift out the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. When it’s cool enough, pick the meat off the bones and throw away the skin and bones. Leave some shredded chicken on the side to add to the soup when it is done. Place the meat in a food processor or blender. Add the soup and process until smooth (this may be done in batches).
  4. Return the soup to the pan. If it is too thick, thin is down with a little more stock and water. If you are using cream, stir it in and heat through, but do not let the soup boil.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chicken. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
Serving Suggestion
  • Slather butter on a thick slice of fresh bread to accompany the meal.
Notes
  • If you don’t feel up to dealing with chicken carcasses, use 500g (1lb) of chicken pieces instead.
  • Pluji and Shacia really enjoy the chicken skin I give to them as a treat. So instead of throwing it away, indulge your dog!

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Comments

  1. CatsWithThumbs says

    love. love. love. nothing is better than a whole chicken and all the things you can do with it. I loved your article!!!

  2. says

    There is something about making chicken stock that makes me feel more like a domestic goddess than any other dish… And the best thing is that the end result is so super-satisfying! Yours looks fabulous :)

  3. says

    You’re right, Ben. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

    Thanks, The Due Dishes.

    I’m glad you found the post useful, CatsWithThumbs.

    Herman: Viva Chicken Soup!

    Jeanne: I think part of the satisfaction is that you made it from complete scratch instead of taking the easy way out with a stupid stock cube.

  4. Jenna says

    Disjointing a chicken is pretty darn satisfying. Don’t forget the innards! When there’s a good sale, I like to buy 6-10 birds and have frozen chicken parts for several months. That many livers = a tasty bacon-wrapped liver starter or chopped liver sandwiches for lunch. & “dirty rice” from the gizzards. I was recently educated that the proper name is “rice dressing” and only the tourist trade says dirty rice in New Orleans. Doesn’t matter what you call it; it’s delish! btw, wings are my favorite part: I parboil just until cooked,–beginning of stock–but then I spice rub them and roast until tender & crisp skinned. Much more delectable than other parts! I have julienned the neck and back skin to make cracklings; not often of course, but it augments polenta in particular, when having an otherwise veg meal in cold weather. Thanks for the post & as always, the terrific pix. Here’s to frugal cooking!

  5. says

    Watch out—once you taste your own stock, you will not want to return to the those store-bought versions…It’s raining here today and I’d love a bowl of this soup! Delightful photos!

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