It's cold and flu season, the snow and mercury continue to fall, and nothing tastes better on the lips than homemade chicken soup when a little comfort is needed.
It's easy to boil a whole chicken for your own chicken stock -- to keep in the freezer when future colds hit, or for an easy weeknight meal. Not only do you reap the most health benefits from a real boiled bird, your homemade chicken stock isn't loaded with sodium and MSG like most prepackaged soups and bouillons.
Below are step-by-step instructions for The Canadian Living Test Kitchen's Homemade Chicken Stock and Chicken Noodle Soup.How to make your own Homemade Chicken Stock and Chicken Noodle Soup:
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) minced onion
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) each sliced carrots and celery
- 1 cup (250 mL) sliced parsnips
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) egg noodles
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
- Hot pepper sauce
- Salt and pepper
Homemade Chicken Stock
- 5 lb (2.2 kg) Stewing hen or roasting chicken
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped (optional)
- 3 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) whole black peppercorns
1. Homemade Chicken Stock: Place hen or roasting chicken in stockpot or Dutch oven; add 16 cups (4 L) water. Bring to boil; skim off froth. Add carrots, celery, onion, leek (if using), parsley, bay leaf, salt, thyme and peppercorns. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 2 to 2-1/2 hours for hen, 1 to 1-1/2 hours for chicken, or until juices run clear when thigh is pierced.
2. Remove chicken and refrigerate. Strain liquid through cheesecloth-lined sieve into large shallow bowl, pressing vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Let cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or for up to 12 hours.
3. Remove fat from surface. Set aside 8 cups (2 L). Refrigerate remaining 7 cups (1.75 L) for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 4 months for another use.
4. Chicken Noodle Soup: In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; cook onion, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add reserved 8 cups (2 L) chicken stock; bring to boil. Add carrots, celery and parsnips; cover and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
5. Add noodles; cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until noodles and vegetables are tender.
6. Remove skin and bones from chicken. Dice meat and add 2 cups (500 mL) to soup; heat through. Stir in parsley; season with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate remaining chicken for another use.
Per each of 8 servings: About 185 cal,16 g pro, 7 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 13 g carb, 2 g fibre, 45 mg chol. % RDI: 4% calcium, 11% iron, 56% vit A, 8% vit C, 11% folate.
Variation: Oriental Chicken Soup with Gingerroot and Bok Choy
Oriental Chicken Soup: Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped gingerroot to onions while softening. Reduce carrots and celery to 1 cup (250 mL) each, diagonally sliced. Substitute 1 cup (250 mL) diagonally sliced bok choy for the parsnips. Omit noodles. Cook soup for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Substitute slivered chicken for diced. Add 1 cup (250 mL) snow peas, 1/4 cup (50 mL) sherry and 2 tbsp (25 mL) soy sauce along with the chicken. Omit parsley and pepper sauce.