Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get Your Chick-On

I was sick with a cold last week and of course I was craving some hot chicken soup.  Solution: I made some!  Not the fake stuff that comes in a can with powder, aka MSG, but we are talking the real deal!  In my mind, there is never a  right moment to use that stuff (yes, even for roasted potatoes).  I know it's simple to resort to MSG to add flavor to soups or dishes, but there are so many natural spices and herbs out there that taste much more amazing.  Leave that fake stuff behind and keep it real! Word!?

We just finished our 2nd part (out of 3) of the first module last week in school (I have 5 modules).   During that month we made over 18 stocks, broths, butters and oils with an assortment of animals and vegetables (shrimp, chicken, duck, lobster, pig, rabbit, lamb, veal, fish, vegetables, mushrooms, etc).  Every time we took one apart, it was thrown into a pot with a few herbs and a ton of water and made into something very delicious.  They smelled incredible!  It was a ton of work though, they usually had to simmer for 6 hours or more in gigantic pots that weighed about 100 or so pounds each!

Since I was already in the zone of making broths and stocks and taking apart animals, I decided to buy two chickens and re-create the classic chicken soup at home using my newly learned techniques and recipes.  I had two very special guests for shabbat, my parents. I made a big pot of chicken soup, adding my little pizazz to the basic recipe my chef gave us.  It was so simple.  If you know how to take apart a chicken, you should definitely buy two whole chickens and cut it into 8ths.   You can use the carcasses and extra fat and bones for the stock as well as make a great chicken dish with the pieces.  You will not be disappointed.  If you don't know how to cut up your own chicken, come over and i'll teach you, seriously!   Or you can go to the grocery store and ask your butcher if they have any leftover carcasses, bones or necks from the chickens they cut up.  Those pieces are very cheap, but the flavor is priceless!

Chicken Stock
2 Onions, cut into chunks
3 Carrots, cut into chunks
3 Stalks of Celery, cut into chunks
1 Garlic Head, separated and peel on
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp. Whole Black Peppercorns
Thyme (Fresh or Dry, 1/3 of the bunch)
Dill, Fresh (1/3 of the bunch)
Parsley, Fresh (1/2 of the bunch)
Pinch of Salt (Add more according to your taste, after soup is done)
2 Chicken Carcasses and scraps
Water, enough to cover about 4 inches above the chicken

Bring Chicken and Water to a boil.  Simmer and skim.  Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 6-8 hours.  Strain. Put in containers and put in fridge.  When cool, skim off the fat.

 One thing  my school tries to teach us is to not waste anything!  Almost anything can be used to make great food.  So don't throw away those scraps, because a nice chicken broth is waiting to be made! I made a chicken teriyaki salad with the boneless skinless chicken breasts, and I baked the other 12 pieces with a few spices, white wine and olives.

All last month I felt like I was training for a body building competition.  The place sounded like a gym with all the people grunting, lugging and sweating, when lifting and straining those pots of boiling liquid. My arm muscles are rockin' right now!You can call me Ali Schwarzenegger!



9 comments:

  1. yummy how can I make this veggie style without the chicken?

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  2. In Place of the chicken, you can make a veggie stock...Add all the ingredients above except the chicken. Replace with the ingredients below and follow the instructions in the post.
    2 Leeks, cut into chunks
    2 Turnips, cut into chunks
    2 Parsnips, cut into chunks
    Pinch of Cayenne (very little, unless you like super spicy)
    1/2 Fennel, cut into chunks
    Optional:
    1 C. Tomato, cut into chunks
    1 C. White Wine

    ReplyDelete
  3. You only need to simmer for 3 hours. (as opposed to 6-8)

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  4. i hope you go this "all- out" for my big arrival ;)

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  5. Looks delish!!!!!

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  6. Chicken Pot Pie

    Crust:
    1 C. Flour
    1/3 C. Earth Balance
    ½ t. Salt
    2T. Cold Water

    Place all ingredients in blender till ball forms. Chill for one hour.

    Filling:
    6 T. Oil
    1 Onion, diced
    1 Potato, diced
    ½ C. Carrots, sliced thinly
    6 T. Flour
    ½ t. Salt
    1/8 t. Pepper
    2 ½ C. Chicken Stock
    2 C. Chicken, cooked and diced
    ½ C. Canned Peas

    Saute onions, carrots and potatoes. Stir in salt, pepper and salt. Add chicken stock, chicken and peas. Pour into a casserole. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out dough on floured surface, cover over the casserole dish and pierce with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes.

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  7. When a recipe, such as the chicken pot pie, calls for cooked chicken and you don't have any on hand...what do you do? I have boneless, skinless raw chicken cutlets.

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    Replies
    1. Great question! Boil the chicken cutlets for about an hour or bake and shred/chop.

      Delete

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