Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's Been a Long Time

It sure has been a long time since I put anything on here.  I've been very busy with school, getting a new job, and lots of eating.  Anyway, we are both semi-sick, so I wanted to make some chicken soup to make us better.  I had a chicken carcass laying around the house (don't we all?) from some Tarragon Chicken that I recently made, so I figured I could make it from scratch.  I've never made chicken soup before, let alone from scratch, so I kind of winged it...and it turned out awesome.  I like my chicken soup extra peppery, so if you don't, then cut back the pepper.  Also, tonight we are going to go to the best bar in the world, The Aviary (955 W. Fulton), so I can get the gin Rooibos tea drink to make myself even less sick.  Here is the recipe for the soup.  For the chicken stock portion, you don't have to worry about peeling any of the veggies or finely dicing them since they all get strained out in the end.

Chicken Stock
1 chicken carcass, chopped into 8 pieces
1 onion, halved
3 carrots, larged diced
3 stalks celery, larged diced
5 cloves garlic, smashed, skin on
1 turnip, quartered
1 parsnip, large diced
7 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tspn parsley leaves
1/2 tspn black pepper
olive oil

1.  Film the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and heat it over medium high heat until hot.  Put the chicken carcass pieces in the pot and let them brown, then flip them.  Skip this step if the carcass came from a roasted, as opposed to raw, chicken.

2.  Toss all the other ingredients into the pot and cover with cold water by about an inch and a half .  Bring up to a strong simmer, then lower heat to maintain at a bare simmer.

3.  Let it cook and reduce for 5 hours, skimming the scum that rises to the top.

4.  After 5 hours, it should have reduced by about 1/4 and turned to a deep amber color.  Strain the stock into another pot and heat up again to a simmer.  If it is cloudy, drop 2 egg whites into it and let them rise to the top, then skim them out.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

5.  There will be a layer of fat on the top.  Carefully skim it off and throw it away.  In the end you will have about a quart and a half of stock.

Chicken Soup
1.5 quarts of chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, browned on outside, cubed (can still be uncooked in center)
3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
5 drops Thai fish sauce
2 cups rigatoni, cooked (or whatever other noodle you want)
1/2 tspn white wine vinegar
kosher salt
pepper, lots of pepper

1.  Bring stock to a simmer.  Put the chicken breast in the stock to finish cooking for about 10 minutes.
2.  After 4 minutes of the chicken cooking, add in the carrots, celery, and fish sauce.
3.  After 10 minutes taste the soup.  It will definitely need salt since you have not put in any yet, so salt to taste.  There is also very little acidity, so add the white wine vinegar.  I also love very peppery soup, so I add lots of pepper, you can add less if you want.
4.  Taste again and balance with salt, pepper, and vinegar if necessary.
5.  Put half of the noodles in each bowl.  Pour the soup over the noodles...Enjoy!