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My Homemade Chicken Soup Recipe

Homemade Chicken Soup RecipeIt feels surprising that I have yet to cover one of the most basic homemade meals of all times, chicken soup.  Aside from being good for the soul, chicken soup is also thought to have actual healing properties when made from scratch.  In the depths of winter, it’s almost like running a humidifier in your house all day, so that right there should help a bit.  Either way homemade soup usually makes me at least mentally feel better.  I generally make mine just chicken and vegetables, served with a bit of baguette for dipping, though feel free to add noodles, rice, orzo, or even barley to the broth.  I recommend cooking these on the side, then adding to the broth shortly before serving so the grains don’t steal all your broth.  This seems to be my year for adding red chili flakes at serving to the majority of dishes, so go ahead and try that if you’re inclined.

I’m using the carcass reserved from one of my whole roasted chickens [1].  After we eat – which usually involves mainly cutting off the breast meat, I throw the carcass in a gallon size freezer ziploc for the next soup making adventure.  I’ve made plenty of chicken soup from just split breasts, but personally, I think the broth becomes more rich and deep flavored with the addition of all the bones.  If you opt to go for the straight chicken breasts route, not my broth contains the the garlic and the lemons and seasonings from the inside of the chicken when it was roasted.  You may want to integrate some of these flavors to your broth.  Many people call for sauteing of the vegetables before their addition.  I’ve done it both ways and in this case, I don’t think it really adds enough to the flavor to bother.  I feel differently about my vegetable soup [2] – in that case I have changed my position to vote for pre-sauteing.

Homemade Chicken Soup

1 frozen chicken carcass

3 large split chicken breasts

1-2 bay leaves

water

1 lb baby carrots

2 small white onions, sliced

6 tall celery stalks, chopped

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

In an 8 qt stock pot, place chicken carcass, breasts, and bay leaf.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a just above low and simmer for two and a half hours.  Remove meat, bones, and pieces with a slotted spoon, or if your carcass is really disintegrated, strain whole pot into a clean pot through a fine strainer.  Add carrots, celery, and onions to broth and simmer for another 40 minutes to an hour.  Meanwhile, remove chicken from breast bones and skin.  Shred into a bowl.  Add chicken meat back to soup at the end of the vegetable simmer time.  Season to taste with salt and pepper – this is a large amount of broth so don’t be afraid to add a big amount of seasoning.  I generally add at least 3 teaspoons of salt.  Add cooked rice or pasta if using.  Let simmer together 5 minutes then serve.

[3]