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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]

The boiled chicken was a success. Last night, I chopped a couple of celery hearts and a large spanish onion, and put a frozen pullet in the fridge to thaw. This morning, I put the celery, the onion and a bag of peeled carrots in my crockpot, along with the still frozen chicken, a couple of bay leaves and some thyme. I didn't bother adding salt because the bird is kosher, and therefore salty. I would have added white wine except I didn't have any. I did add about a cup of water. I covered the pot and set it on high.

When I got home from work, my house smelled of strong chicken soup. It was just delicious. Eventually, I put up a pot of noodles (where I learned that a tall, skinny pot does noodles better than a short, fat pot. Oh, well.) and took the bones out of the chicken. This meant that I picked up the still whole bird, thinking to put it in a bowl, where it would cool and I could use my fingers to strip off the meat.

It fell apart. I ended up picking the bones out of the pot itself as the meat collapsed. Because I'd used a pullet, an older layer, it still had lots of flavor, but it was completely tender. Once I got as many bones out as I could, I stirred the whole thing. Later, I mixed the noodles and meat and broth in each bowl. It was delicious, warm and comforting. Just what we needed tonight.

Comments
Re: mmmmm....nummy!

That's actually not how I make chicken soup. I make chicken soup the One True Way (that is, the way my mother makes it.)

Chicken or chicken bones (to be really frugal, debone a couple of chickens, use the meat for recipes and then you have the bones. Practically *free*. Where I live, it's possible to buy packages of chicken bones.)
Carrots
Onion
Celery
Parsnip
Turnip
Dill
Parsley
Pepper, salt, bay leaves
optional: lima beans

Wash the veggies. Peel those you wish to peel. Leave everything but the carrots whole, and cut the carrots into two inch lengths. Dump everything in a large pot and cover with water. It's nice to brown the bones under the broiler first. If choosing to use lima beans, you can either cook them with everything else, which produces a cloudy soup, or you can cook them separately and add them in the end.

Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. If you want a clear soup, keep skimming the scum off. This takes about a half hour. Then just let the pot simmer for a couple of hours. Or more. When it looks and tastes like chicken soup, take out every solid except the carrots. There will be little pieces of parsley and dill floating around. Those can stay. Serve with noodles (cooked separately) and/or matzo balls. If you're making matzo balls, make the mixture *first*, in a cold kitchen, and let it sit in the fridge, and then cook them in a pot of salted water, not the soup. This makes fluffy balls and keeps the soup clear.