Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nana's Chicken Soup


My Hubby John, makes this more often than I do. It was his mom's recipe. This is a no-fail recipe that is easy to make. The original recipe did not call for bullion BUT we think it flavours the broth better. I think the chickens, back then, had more taste to them. That's just my opinion. You can try it without the bullion but I think you will end up adding some in.

If you have a lot of soup it does freeze nicely. I put the cooked noodles in the broth before freezing. (see below for more on noodles)

Just a note about the cooking stage: If there is any scum around the top of the pot while you are cooking or when you are done boiling up the chicken just use a paper towel to remove it.
I know, I know, it looks and sounds gross but what can I say? Boiling chicken leaves scum.

We don't make our own noodles. We buy dried broad egg noodles and cook them up. They work fine and are easy smeasy! However, we have made it before with homemade noodles and it is good that way too! Whichever type of noodle we use, we always serve the noodles separate from the broth. That way, those who like lots of noodles can have them and those who prefer more broth can have it as well. You can add the cooked noodles to the soup just before serving, or, if you prefer you can add the dried/raw ones to the pot during the cooking process.
The nice thing about this soup is that you can always add more broth after it is cooked if the liquid starts getting too low. Just mix up some liquid bullion (water & powdered bouillon mixed to taste) or buy a carton of chicken stock and dump it in the pot. Either will work just fine.
We always serve this soup with a loaf of fresh, soft, french bread and butter.'s the best!

What you need to cook in: AKA - UTENSILS
1- Large Soup Pot with Lid
1- Long Spoon For Stirring - Wooden or Metal

What food items you need. AKA - INGREDIENTS:
1 Large soup pot of water
4 - 6 pieces of Chicken (NOT BONELESS) with skin left on.
NOTE: The number of chicken pieces used depends on how big your soup pot is. The bigger the pot the more pieces you can get in it. Also, the bigger the pot, the more water being used and the more chicken is needed to get a really good flavour.)
Chicken Bullion- Cubes or Powder
1st amount: 2-4 cubes or 1-2 teaspoons
2ND amount: As required to taste
4 Ribs of Celery, chopped- small or large pieces - whatever you prefer.
4 Carrots, chopped - small or large pieces - whatever you prefer.
2 - 3 Potatoes chopped - small or large pieces - whatever you prefer.
1 -2 Large Onions, chopped - small or large pieces - whatever you prefer.
2 buds of Fresh Garlic smashed or 1 large teaspoon of minced in oil,
or dried/powder to equal above
Salt - 1st amount: 1/8 (or less) teaspoon
2ND amount: as required to taste
Pepper - 1st amount:1/8 (or less) teaspoon
2ND amount: as required to taste
Soy Sauce - as required to taste
2-3 Bay Leaves
1-2 Packages of dried egg noodles. ..cooked or not cooked.
Note: If you are serving the noodles separately, cook them up and set them aside.
If you are adding to the soup as it is cooking then follow directions in the recipe. You could also use spaghetti that is broken into smaller pieces, if you prefer.
Can you use macaroni.....NO. It has way too much starch and will definitely change the taste of the soup. Been there, tried that, trust me it was not pleasant!

What you need to do. AKA-COOKING INSTRUCTIONS.
In large soup pot of fresh water add chicken pieces, bay leaves, bullion and the first amounts of salt & pepper and garlic.
With lid off, bring to a full boil, let it boil for 10 minutes then turn down to a hard simmer.
Put lid on pot and continue the hard simmer for 1 - 2 hours (or more if needed) or until all chicken pieces are cooked completely.
Stir every once in a while when you check the water levels.
Add more water during cooking as needed to keep the pot topped up.
Turn off heat.
Remove the boiled chicken from the pot.
Remove skin and bones from the chicken, chop the meat into pieces and put the meat back into the pot.
Turn heat back on and top up the water in the pot if it is required.
Add the Carrots, Potatoes, Onions and Celery.
Add the Chicken Bullion a bit at a time and taste to get it to where you like it.
Add a few slugs of Soy Sauce, a bit at a time to get it to the taste you like.
Let it simmer for 10 or so minutes and then taste it again to see if you need to add any salt or pepper. Add these if you think the soup needs it.
Let the soup cook , with lid on and at a simmer, for another ***hour*** or so.
***NOTE: If you want the noodles cooked in the soup then add the dried noodles to the stock now after the first half hour and then let continue cooking for the other half hour or so.
BUT if you are adding home made flour noodles, then add them only for the length of time it takes to cook them, otherwise the flour will really thicken the soup to much.
If that should happen then add more bullion to thin out the soup...unless you like thick soup.
When potatoes & carrots are soft the soup is done.
Do a final taste test, add more salt, pepper, bullion or soy sauce if needed and remove the bay leaves.

Serve over cooked noodles if they have not already added to the soup or even if they have and you want more.