Monday, January 25, 2016

Hearty Chicken Soup

At this time of the year, there is little point in going outside to do any yard work or gardening; it is best to hunker down until the weather warms up.  Granted, it looks very nice when the sun is shining, but let's heat up the kitchen and make a hearty chicken soup.

I am fortunate to live near a country store that has butchers who make the best cut of meat, pork, and chicken.  They even tell me how to cook the meat.  The other week, they had whole chicken at a reduced price and I wanted something to warm my weary bones in this cold spell.  What is better than chicken soup?

When I got home, I washed the chicken and removed the the innards and as much fat as I could.  I stuffed the chicken with a cut up orange and a few slices of onions.  I then put it in the slow cooker and dashed some pepper and paprika on top of it to give it some color.

My husband and I got several meals out of the chicken and I finally put the left over chicken and bones into the stockpot to make a basic broth for my soup.  As the chicken and bones came to a boil, I skimmed off the scum.  It did not have to simmer for a long time since it was already cooked.

Once the chicken with the bones in the broth had cooled down, I removed the edible pieces and put them back into the stockpot.

Some ingredients for my chicken soup:
Chicken broth and chicken
Cut up potatoes and carrots
Cabbage and collards
Onions and minced garlic

While the chicken was simmering, I cut up carrots from the garden and finely cut up cabbage and collards, also from the garden, to add to the soup. I finely chopped up a yellow onion to add to the pot along with the minced garlic. The last of the fall/winter tomatoes also ended up in the pot along with cubed white potatoes.  (Snap bean, butter beans, broccoli, and cauliflower will do fine in the soup too.  In other words, I am using whatever left over is available.)

My soup looked more like a stew so I added water and to add some "heat" to the soup, I used a little bit of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste at serving.  This is one hearty chicken soup that warmed us up on a recent cold day.  It was simply delicious when served with toast and cheese.

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