Today is a perfect day to make Chicken Soup…
For one thing, its absolutely freezing outside and we’re supposed to get 10 inches of snow…and two, today is going to be a long day with everyone heading off in different directions. It will be nice to open the door at the end of the day to the comforting smell of homemade soup to greet us! Good thing its the easiest thing ever to make.
This recipe has been passed down through the generations in my family and it remains a family favorite today. The recipe came from my Oma (German for Grandmother) and I imagine she got it from her Mom. Oma taught my Mom how to make it and then she passed it down to me. Now I’m going to teach my children…and you… Ha!
1 whole chicken, cut up into pieces, giblets included…
You can usually find a whole chicken at the grocery store already packaged up with all you need, but really anything you find will work just fine. I have gone all out organic sometimes and other times I’ve just used a few random pieces that I’ve had on hand.
And…diced onion, carrots, celery, and salt.
That’s just about it, unless you’re interested in a couple of tweaks…
Like…if you can’t deal with the giblets…forget them. Although, they really do add a depth of flavor that makes the soup taste incredibly good and I really do notice the difference when I don’t use them. And besides, they’re really easy to just pluck out and toss later.
And…if you don’t mind the MSG, then add chicken bouillon cubes to enhance the flavor. I know they’re bad… but they make the soup taste so good!
So, the first thing you have to do is to rinse the chicken under running water…you’ll want to use a clean bird! Then place the pieces of chicken with the giblets in an 8-quart stock pot and add just enough cold water to cover the chicken.
Turn the heat down to simmer (or low) and use a small strainer or slotted spoon to skim off and discard the foam.
Caution: You may be tempted here to also add some pepper, but don’t! It will completely take over the flavor of the soup! So, we just add pepper to taste when the soup is served.
Optional: Add 5 bouillon cubes.
Turn the heat back up to medium high and bring the soup back up the boiling point. Once it begins to bubble, back off the heat again to simmer (or low). Allow the soup to simmer for about three hours. By now, things are smelling pretty good around here. Something about simmering soup is so comforting…
Debone the chicken while it is warm. If you wait until its cold, it will be more difficult to do. Just take a piece of chicken in your hand and slide the skin off with your thumb and discard it. Then either with a fork or your fingers, take the chicken off the bones and set the pieces aside and discard the bones. Its that easy and it takes just a few minutes to do!
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In our house, we like to keep the chicken in a bowl on the side and add it to the soup when its served, so that it stays in nice pieces and doesn’t shred throughout the soup.
We also like to add some cooked pastina, which is a tiny little Italian pasta. As with the chicken, we prefer to keep the pasta in a bowl on the side and add it to the soup when its served. If its added directly into the pot of soup, the pasta will become soggy! I’m just saying…
If there’s one recipe I couldn’t do without, this is it. I make it when we are healthy, when we are sick, when we are staying home or going out, when we need comfort or just have a craving. I make it to share with friends for whatever reason. I use it as a base for risotto and to flavor sauces and whenever recipes call for chicken broth. It makes everything taste good.
I hope you’ll give it a try!
- 1 Whole Chicken, Cut-up, Giblets included
- 2 cups diced Onion
- 2 cups diced Carrot
- 2 cups diced Celery
- 4 quarts Cold Water, enough to cover chicken in the pot
- 1 T Salt
- 5 Chicken Bouillon Cubes (Optional)
- Place washed, clean pieces of chicken and giblets in an 8-quart stock pot
- Add enough water to cover
- Bring water up to a boil
- Skim off and discard any foam that forms on the surface of the water
- Add the Onions, Carrots, Celery, Salt, and Chicken Bouillon Cubes (Optional)
- Bring soup back up to a boil and once it begins to bubble, turn the heat down to simmer.
- Simmer soup for 3 hours, until the chicken is beginning to fall off the bones.
- Take the chicken and giblets out and set aside
- Debone chicken and discard bones and giblets.
- Cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces.
- Serve soup with chicken and pasta.