Mephitis mephitis, Philosophiæ Doctor (floyd_mephit) wrote,
Mephitis mephitis, Philosophiæ Doctor

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a watched pot boils.

I made chicken soup today from scratch while watching the superbowl commercials. I didn't give much of a damn about the game, but the commercials are nice (usually - not this year, though). I didn't get to eat any of this soup today, which took me approximately 4 hours to prepare, because I have to degrease it in the fridge overnight. I did taste it every so often to check on it and correct all the seasonings. Tomorrow I'll finish degreasing and have enough soup for the whole week, once I add the noodles. But to allow y'all the opportunity to smell good things for hours and not be able to eat them, here's the recipe I used:

1 chicken, whole (~5 lbs) plus neck and giblets, washed out well
2 tablespoons salt
3 teaspoons parsley bits (dried)
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 celery leaf things
3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, cut into big bits
2 cups dry egg noodles
.75 cup uncooked brown rice
1 teaspoon thyme, crushed
2 bay leaves
1.5 tablespoons black pepper
10 or so quarts water

So, cover the chicken with water in a stockpot and bring to a boil, then simmer and skim off the scum until no more scum floats up. Then, add the vegetables, spices, and the herbs (which you can cram into a tea ball thing or cheesecloth to segregate them in the water) and simmer for around 2 hours, at which point you add the rice. let simmer until 3 hours or until the chicken starts to atomize in the broth (which I accidentally let happen while watching TV). Keep skimming off the bits of scum and fat and whatnot, and then when it's ready, turn off the heat and pour into a transparent rigid container (preferably tall and thin) and put in the fridge for several hours to degrease (let the fat congeal at the top). When it's congealed (and if your soup's good and thick, the whole soup will be frozen to jello from all the gelatin), scrape off the fat layer and let thaw to 25 C. Then boil up the noodles, add them, and eat. Freeze the leftovers so they don't become a bacterial colony. By the way, you can pour the soup through a cheesecloth and the eluent will be a chicken stock for later use if you want. Alternately, you can just use chicken bones instead of a whole chicken (which is cheaper but I like the denatured chicken bits too much to use only bones). If your stock/broth is too lean, you can reduce it in a pot (but you frankly should've thought of that earlier).

This stuff tastes (once you get the hang of making it right) unimaginably better than canned broth or campbells soup, if you're willing to waste the hours of regular attention to a pot.

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