Roasted Chicken Stock-Stove Top

So after making this outstanding roast chicken I had put the carcass and gizzards in the freezer to make stock another time.  It worked so well-I just let them defrost on a baking sheet for about an hour.

This stock is delicious. It’s got that deep chicken flavor that amazing chicken soups have-so many layers of tasty.  Roasting the carcass and gizzards makes a huge difference in the end product. It really brings out the great flavors in what’s left on the bones. Don’t skip that step. This photo really shows the deep color well.

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Roasted Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

  • Carcass, gizzards, and neck from one 5-6lb roast chicken
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pat of butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped large
  • 2 celery stalks cut into 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 large carrot cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • 9-11 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic cut into a few pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 glurg of apple cider vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Place carcass and chicken pieces on a roasting pan lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes.
  4. While chicken is roasting sautee the onion, celery and carrot slowly to brown them in a large dutch oven. When they’re brown but still very firm add the broth and scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the garlic and all of the chicken pieces to the vegetables. Pour water over all until it covers the chicken completely plus a bit more. Add the bay leaf and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 3 hours, skimming any foam that appears and adding water as needed to cover the chicken.
  7. Discard the carcass and pour through a strainer into a large bowl to remove any pieces. Press the vegetables to remove all of the liquid. Discard carcass and left over vegetable pieces.
  8. Allow to cool then place the bowl in the fridge overnight. In the morning skim off the fat that has collected on the top. It’s very easy to use a fine screen spider for this.
  9. Pour, through the same spider, into jars or bags for freezing.

This recipe makes 1 28oz jar and 1 quart sized zip lock bag.

This is the roasted carcass and bits. Those extra roasted pieces make a big difference in flavor!

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Chicken Curry Soup

I based this soup on the Curried Udon Soup in the Birthday 2014 issue of BBC Good Food.  I LOVE curry and don’t cook with it as often as I should. This is a wonderfully warming, light soup which is surprisingly filling and satisfying thanks to the chicken, shirataki noodles and tons of veggies.

I find that shirataki noodles are really great for soup because they don’t get mushy or disintegrate like regular pasta noodles and they reheat perfectly. I cook them separate initially to get rid of the moisture and incorporate a bit of sesame and curry flavor into them. I like this brand the most. If you’ve never cooked with them don’t worry-they’re easy. I’ll explain fully below.

Yummy? check

Healthy? check

Easy to make? check

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Chicken Curry Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp yellow curry* separated
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 8oz packages Tofu Shirataki spaghetti noodles, drained, rinsed and drained again
  • 1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 16oz package frozen stir-fry veggies (I used Trader Joe’s)

Instructions:

  1. In a dutch oven or large pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook almost completely. Add the onion and cook for a minute. Add the 2 tbsp curry powder and stir. Add the coconut milk, a bit at a time, stirring. Add the chicken broth, honey and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. While the soup is cooking put the sesame oil in a pan over medium/high heat. When hot add the noodles and stir for a few minutes to evaporate some moisture.  Add the remaining curry powder and continue stirring and cooking until almost dry. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the vegetables and cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Place 1/4 of the noodles into the bottom of each bowl. Ladle 1/4 of the soup over the noodles.

Note: for left overs store the noodles separately from the soup. Add the noodles before reheating.

Regarding the preparation of the noodles: they are packaged in liquid. To prepare pour the noodles into a colander and shake off as much moisture as possible.  Rinse them with clean water and drain again.  At this point you can put them aside until they’re ready to use. I find that cooking them in a pan until they’re almost dry really makes a difference.

*I used the British Curry from Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont.

Carrot & Coriander (Cilantro) Soup

I was lucky and got to spend the week leading up to Easter in London. I’d been there before, but not for many years. It was great to get back.

I saw this soup on quite a few pub menus and was curious. In a good portion of the planet cilantro is called coriander-and for good reason-it IS coriander. This recipe uses it in 2 ways-ground coriander seed and the leafy coriander (cilantro).

This soup is SO yummy and SO light. It’s got really bright flavors and is so easy to make it’s unbelievable. It’s a little sweet, thick and deeeeelicious.  It could be served as either an appetizer or a main course.

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Carrot & Coriander Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tps vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 450g (3 cups) carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1.2l (4 cups) chicken broth
  • small handful of coriander (cilantro)

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven, add the onion, and cook until softened- about 5 minutes. Stir in the ground coriander and potato and cook for another minute. Add the carrots and stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the carrots and potato are tender.
  2.  Using an immersion blender whizz until smooth. Taste, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.
  3. Serve with a touch of sour cream, creme fraiche or chopped coriander leaves or scallions.

Freezes and reheats beautifully.  4-6 servings.

Adapted from bbcgoodfood.com

 

Mexican Meatball Soup

The recipe for this soup caught my eye for a number of reasons-it’s easy and fast to cook and the ingredients are probably already in your pantry (I just had to buy the carrot and zucchini) yet delicious when put together. You can very easily adjust the heat too-add a bit more or less of the chili powders or add some diced green chiles. I made mine rather mild,  opting for a few squirts of hot sauce later.  I really loved how crisp the veggies stay even after reheating and there’s just enough rice. I served it with a small cheese quesadilla, a bit of refried beans, sour cream and salsa.  It was nice to dip the quesadilla into to broth. I think it would be great topped with some tortilla strips or crunched tortilla chips. This recipe is a keeper!!

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Mexican Meatball Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
  • 1 large egg
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Goya Adobo
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups low sodium, low fat chicken broth (I used the last 3 cups of this home made chicken stock plus an additional 3 cups which I purchased)
  • 1 large carrot cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 large zucchini,  halved then cut into 1/4 inch half-moons
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, undrained (I used Muir Woods Organic)
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for topping
  • freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, for topping

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl combine the first 9 ingredients (beef through and including Adobo). Using your hands mix to evenly combine. Be careful not to over-mix. Pinch off tablespoon-sized pieces and roll into balls.
  2. In a large dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Place as many meatballs into the pot as you can without crowding them and push slightly on the top to flatten a bit. Brown on all sides for about 3/4 minutes. You do not have to cook them all the way through but they must be mostly done. You may have to work in batches to brown all of the meatballs.
  3. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, zucchini and rice. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the rice is done and the meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Season with salt if necessary.
  5. Serve garnished with cilantro and cheddar cheese if desired.

This soup reheats beautifully for left overs and I would imagine that it freezes well-although I didn’t try.

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Adapted from February, 2014 issue of All You Magazine.

Chicken Parmesan Soup (slow cooker)

Well here we are in November. The weather is chilly and it’s time to start making some of  the recipes for soups, stews etc.. that I’ve collected. 

This one was a recent find but fit perfectly for last Thursday night’s dinner.  A rainy chilly evening. Husband (huge chicken parmesan fan) was home. It was also going to have to be a fast dinner as I had to get to a meeting.

So I put everything in the slow cooker in the morning and in the evening the soup was ready and it smelled and tasted delicious!! I served it over elbow pasta and made some gorgeous crunchy parmesany bread to go with it.  This is a hearty but not heavy soup. The chicken and soup are very light-how much pasta you put in the bowl will determine how heavy a meal it is. Perhaps next time it will go under the broiler with a slice of mozzarella on top…..

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Chicken Parmesan Soup (slow cooker)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 46oz tomato juice
  • 32oz chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 ozs elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)

Instructions:

  1. Put everything but the pasta into the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the cooker with tongs and set onto a plate and let cook slightly.  Shred with 2 forks or your fingers if cool enough.
  3. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and keep on warm.
  4. Cook the pasta as per the box instructions. Drain pasta.
  5. Put pasta on the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle soup and chicken over the pasta, sprinkle with additional cheese if desired, and serve.  

This makes a lot of soup. The original recipe called for adding the pasta to the slow cooker but, in the interest of left overs, we opted to keep it out that way we could add fresh pasta each time.

Adapted from www.eatathomecooks.com

Fast Chicken & Cannellini Bean Chili

So what is chili exactly? Google that and you’ll find about 4 trillion different answers.  And how is it different from stew? And then what’s the difference between stew and soup?  Dizzying.

In any event the original name of this recipe did call it a ‘chili’ so I’ll keep that. I guess I’m just used to a tomato based chili with beef and beans and onion so for me having a chili that is not red and has onions and green chilis and chicken immediately makes me think its soup. But surprisingly it has the taste and consistency of chili. A subtle heat from the chilis, the beany texture, the chicken chunks and the yummy onions all make for one delicious bite.

This came together in less than 30 minutes making it perfect for a fast weeknight meal on a chilly night. If you used rotisserie or left over chicken it would be even faster.

chili

Fast Chicken & Cannellini Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1lb skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 small onion, halved then sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 ozs canned green chilis
  • 14 ozs low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
  • cilantro leaves

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt on chicken then add chicken to the pot.  Saute 4 minutes. Add onion through the pepper flakes and saute another 3 or 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of the beans and the water and, using a wooden spoon, be sure to get everything scraped and mixed thoroughly. Add 1/2 tsp salt,  7 ozs of chilis and the broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Mash up the remaining beans and chilies and add it to the pot. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and add ancho and chili powders to taste and simmer a few more minutes.
  3. Serve with cilantro.

Adapted from Fast Chicken Chili, Cooking Light, Sept 2012

 

Homemade Chicken Stock (from left over roast chicken) slow cooker

I have always bought chicken stock at the store. (If you read my roast chicken post you know that this is only about the 4th chicken I’ve ever roasted.) But this time is different.  We picked most of the meat off of the bones and I put the carcass in the fridge in a container for 2 days until I had time to make the stock.  Here it is in the morning before it started cooking. Excuse the green tinge-my flourescent lights do that-but in there you can see celery, carrots, onions, parsley, thyme, peppercorns and just little flashes of what’s left of the chicken.

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Homemade Chicken Stock

Ingredients:

  • 1 carcass (hopefully with a litte meat still on it) from roast chicken
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 carrot cut into one inch pieces
  • some peppercorns (i used about 15 or so)
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a few sprigs of fresh parsley
  • many cups of water

Instructions:

  1. Place the carcass into the bottom of the cooker–you may have to cut it into a few pieces for it to fit.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients through the parsley. Stick the larger pieces down into the chicken if possible.
  3. Add enough water to cover the carcass by an inch or 2.
  4. Cook on low for 10 hours.
  5. When finished cooking taste and add salt if desired. Let it cool in the cooker until it’s cool enough to handle then strain out everything, just leaving the liquid. Refrigerate until cold, skim off the fat and then freeze in portions to use later.

A tool like this is perfect for skimming the fat off of the top of the stock.

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I carefully ladeled stock into 2 ziplock bags and poured the remaining stock throguh the strainer above into a small container and put everyone in the freezer until I’m ready to make soup or use the stock for cooking.  I opted to NOT add any salt before I froze the stock. I will add it when I use it.

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Adapted from thekitchn.com recipe.

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is a hug in a bowl.  It’s one of those warm comforting soups that make you feel better when you have a cold or just warm you up on a chilly evening. It’s nothing crazy or a new spin on what’s always been a great soup-it’s just a really really darn good soup. It’s so easy to make and took about 1 hour start to finish-including prep.  Since 30 minutes of that time is the soup just simmering unattended it’s certainly week-night friendly. I have a feeling that this will be put into regular rotation at my house.  It stores and reheats beautifully. 

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Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1&1/2lb  butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 2&1/2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream plus a little extra for the pretty swirls
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sliced scallions or crumbled bacon or anything else you’d like for a bit on top

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the squash and onion and saute for about 10 minutes, then add the carrot and continue to saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and leave for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the cream and salt.
  2. Place the contents into a blender (work in batches if you need to). Be sure to remove the center of the lid and just use a kitchen cloth to allow the steam out of the blender.  Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve with a little extra cream swirled in and some sliced scallions.

Adapted from Cooking Light, Sept 2009 issue.

Sauerkraut Soup

This soup is really easy to make and very delicious!! I’d never had anything like it!!  Tart sauerkraut, yummy kielbasa, potatoes and onions-how can you go wrong?!  This is the time to go to your local Polish shop and get the best kielbasa you can. While you can use the regular supermarket ones using a great kielbasa really makes such a huge difference. Don’t forget they freeze well so you can buy a lot and keep them for later too.

Since we got a big snow storm on Friday night/Saturday I made this for lunch on Saturday and it was perfect. What a delicious meal on a snowy day.

1/13/14 Note: I made this soup this past Saturday morning.  The tomatoes at the store didn’t look very nice and I knew that I had a can of tomatoes in the cabinet at home.  The result is a variation that I think I like more than the original.  It makes more of a tomatoey broth.

  • 7 cups water/sauerkraut liquid instead of the 8 cups below
  • 15oz can crushed tomatoes and their liquid—omit both the plum tomatoes and tomato sauce below.

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Sauerkraut Soup

Ingredients

  • 1lb bag sauerkraut drained, liquid reserved
  • 8 cups water/sauerkraut liquid
  • 1lb kielbasa-the best quality you can find, cut into 1/4 inch rounds, then in quarters.
  • 1/4 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 80z can tomato sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb red potatoes, peeled, cut into bite-sized pieces

Instructions

  1. Add enough water to the reserved sauerkraut liquid to equal 8 cups.
  2. Place the sauerkraut, water, kielbasa, caraway seeds, black peppercorns, bay leaf, tomatoes and tomato sauce into a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  3. In a small pan saute the onion and garlic until soft then add it to the soup pot.
  4. Place potato cubes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then, when just before cooked fully, drain and add to the soup pot.
  5. Return the soup to a boil then reduce to simmer for an hour.

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Here’s the kielbasa I used-just over 1lb.  If you have a little more or little less it’s fine.

Note: This soup freezes well so feel free to make extra and put it away for a later lunch or dinner.

My friend Michelle gave me her recipe and I’ve adapted it to this-enjoy!!

Zuppa di Cipolle di Toscano (Tuscan Onion Soup)

Ah onions. I love onions. And soup. I love soup. Onion soup is a marriage of 2 of my favorite things.  This onion soup is so so so good. It’s similar to French Onion Soup but the addition of pancetta and parmesan (YUMMMYYYY!!!) give it that nice Tuscan flare and therefore, better than the French one.  It’s so easy to make, it reheats well, freezes well and can be eaten for lunch, dinner, as an appetizer or whatever. So versatile. This recipe is a keeper!!  If you look closely at the photo below you’ll see the broth, onions, parmsan cheese and just a bit of the crust of a garlic toasted bread that’s on the bottom of the bowl. Yes, really.

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Zuppa di Cipolle di Toscano: Tuscan Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 lb. pancetta diced
  • 5 large yellow onions peeled and thinly sliced (mandolin 3/16”)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 cups hot beef broth fresh or low-sodium canned
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 rolls cut in half length-wise
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Grinding coarse black pepper

Directions

  1. In a large soup pot heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over medium high heat, add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the onions, cover the pot and cook slowly for about 15 minutes, stirring often. When the onions are limp add the lemon juice and allow it to evaporate.
  2. Pour in the broth and wine. Stir the mixture. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep the soup warm while you fry the bread.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan, add minced garlic and brown the bread on both sides. Place a slice in each of 4 individual soup bowls. Pour the soup over the bread and divide and sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Adapted from Maryann Esposito via PBS Food.

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