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Old 08-02-2007, 06:47 PM   #21
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That's a good point, Charlie and Aunt Dot. So what we should be talking about is how to make the best broth.

You can start with a whole chicken, chicken pieces, or carcass. Please, no boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you want to cook some in the finished broth, that's fine, but you need bones, skin and fat to make a good broth. The bones, in particular, add a lot of flavor and nutrients to your soup. The best I've made have started with the carcass of an oven roasted or grilled chicken.
I like to add a celery, carrots, onions, garlic, S&P, and thyme in with the simmering chicken.
After your goodies are well cooked, strain the broth, picking out bits of meat to add to your soup, and then let the broth simmer until it's reduced by half.

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Old 08-03-2007, 10:15 AM   #22
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I like this recipe for chicken stock: Recipe: Easy chicken stock - MayoClinic.com

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Old 08-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #23
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I think most folks look at a broader definition of chicken soup. Pieces of chicken, various veggies and rice or noodles. Flavorings from certain herbs and spices are usually in the mix as well.

I think the OP was looking for variations on that theme that would make it special.

Of course, if you want to discuss making broth or stock, that's another topic.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:31 AM   #24
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Sage and thyme for seasoning. I use very inexpensive chicken leg/thigh parts so I have lots of bone to work with. I refridgerate it when I am through, so I can skin off the fat. But the bones are what gives the stock a lot of body (and protien).
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:49 AM   #25
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IMHO, what makes a chicken soup "GREAT" is not what you add to it. It is the intensity of the soup, itself.

Start with a top quality chicken -- not one of those battery chicks from the supermarket -- and extra wing tips necks and giblets. If you want a brown soup, roast those extra pieces first, along with your onion, celery and carrots. If a white soup (traditional, afaic) then don't roast. Simmer, don't boil the soup for a good hour and a half (less in a pressure cooker).
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:54 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
IMHO, what makes a chicken soup "GREAT" is not what you add to it. It is the intensity of the soup, itself.

Amen to that!! There's nothing like a rich tasting broth with that mouth feel only gotten from home made.

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Old 01-25-2008, 03:22 PM   #27
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Start with a top quality chicken -- not one of those battery chicks from the supermarket
Where else can you get a good bird? Whats the difference between a chicken from a store and 'top notch' one?
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:31 PM   #28
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Top notch usually means a chicken that has been allowed to run around in a yard somewhere. Because it gets more exercise, and has a diet rich in native plants, insects, and small animals (mice are a favorite chicken meal), the meat has a more pronounced flavor. Also, an older, more tough chicken has more flavor and is better suited to stewing or making into soup.

But great chicken stock is the start of a great soup. And like was stated a couple years back in this thread, roasted bones give the best flavor. Also, crack the bones to allow the maroow and collagens to give up their nutrition and flavor, as well as that wonderful dissolved collagen viscossity to the stock. Slightly acidic food such as tomato or celery will also hellp draw out the extra goodies from the bones.

Allow the bones and skin to simmer for a couple hours to dissolve as much flavor from the cartilage, connecting tissues, and bone marrow as possible. Strain the resultant stock through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the tiny bone fragments that can be so annoying. The meat at this point is pretty flavorless and can be discarded.

Add sliced onion, a diced clove of fresh garlic, sliced celery, a little pearl barley, salt and pepper to taste. You can also add sage and or thyme to the broth, and sliced or diced carrot. Your stock is now a flavorful broth with lots of good veggies and grain.

Simmer and let the flavors combine until the carrot is tender. At this point, add fresh or dried noodles (the fresh, home-made noodles taste far better and aren't that difficult to make), or biscuit dough to make dumplings. Cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook until the noodles are just done (ten minutes for dried noodles, three if using fresh. Dumplings need to cook for about ten minutes as well).

While the dumplings or noodles are cooking, quickly saute diced, boneless chicken in a hot pan until just barely browned and done through. Remove from the heat immediately. Remove the soup from the heat and take out the dumplings. Place these in a large bowl. Divide the cubed chicken into searving bowls and fill with soup. Serve and be prepared to take a bow.

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Old 01-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #29
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I add lots of celery leaves from the stalks, chunks of sauteed/caramelized onions, carrots, celery, corn kernels, chopped fresh broccoli (or any cabbage family veggie), fresh minced garlic, ground rainbow peppercorns, crushed red pepper sea salt, a bay leaf, smoked paprika and smokey cumin, egg or ramen noodles and of course, seared chicken. It makes an amazing soup and your kitchen smells incredible.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:39 PM   #30
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Feet! If you want perfection (and Jewish penecilin), you need to add the feet.

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