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Old 05-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
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Chicken soup questions

I was thinking about making chicken soup this weekend. I was reading some information on making chicken broth. I found it within the cooking links on this site. I usually use the cans, but one time I'd like to make it homemade. I have before in the past, but not very often. The article said at the end of making the broth:

Quote: "The absolute easiest way to get rid of all the fat is to stick the broth in the refrigerator. The next morning, all the fat will have risen to the top. Just take it off there."

1. Do people actually do that part? Just making sure.

My DH is doing some bulk meat shopping and is picking up some "small" whole chickens.


2. Also, if I make chicken broth, how much will I actually need for the soup?

I will also look around in the forums for old posts on chicken broth and chicken soup.

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Old 05-03-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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I normally don't refrigerate my stock but it is a technique that works very well. I have used it in the past for beef stock which has more fat and it works very well.

With chicken soup I normally make my soup with chicken that has already been skinned and most of the fat is trimmed off. I like to make soups that have an asian flare so here is a recipe I follow for it.

Make stock as follows:

Whole chicken cut up, skinned and fat trimmed
6 cups of water
Chopped slices of ginger
Chopped slices of garlic
salt

Bring all of this to a boil and immediately reduce and simmer on low for an hour.

Remove the chicken and strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any unsavory bits. I normally freeze it in an airtight container if I am not going to use it right away. Also the amount I use depends on the recipe.

Here is a recipe I use to make my soup. You can try it if you'd like. As I indicated it has more of an Asian flair.

3 cups of chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups of plain water
juice of 1 lime

1 cup of scallions chopped
1 red or green chili sliced thinly into rings
1 cup of bean sprouts
Shredded meat from the chicken (1 cup)
1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro

Mix all the liquid ingredients and bring them to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Ladle into bowls and serve piping hot.
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #3
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Chilling the stock overnight is the easiest way to get rid of the fat. It all reises to the top and solidifes in the cold. You cal easily get it all off and toss it.

Also, when cooking the meat and bones, etc, do not allow the pot to boil. A rolling boil is not good for the stock. The stock should simmer, just a few bubble rising to the top all the time.

Boiling the stock will make it cloudy and breakup the fat so it is emulsified into the liquid so it's not available to rise to the top for later removal.

How much you will need is dependent on how much soup you are going to make. How much does the recipe call for?
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:39 AM   #4
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Broth: Stock pot 2/3 full of boiling water (make sure there's enough room for the water to raise when you add the chicken) salt, pepper, 4 bay leafs, 1 quartered chicked, and a bunch of celery tops.

Soup: I freeze some of the broth for other recipies, unless you want to make it all soup. Remove the celery tops and discard. De-bone/skin the chicken, cut or tear into bitesize pieces. Add to the pot. At this point I usually add carrots, onions and celery for taste and aromatics. The possibilities are really endless. Some things you may consider: potatoes, rice, pastas, corn, any root veggies, herbs, cannellini beans, etc. Sometimes I'll make two batches. One with straight chicken broth and the other with some chopped whole canned tomatoes and red pepper flakes.

While the soup is simmering, I use a serving spoon to skim the fatty oils from the top.

Have fun and don't be affraid to experiment. I have never used a soup recipie and never made two the same.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:21 AM   #5
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Yes, I refridgerate my stock to remove the fat. The stock turns to a jelly and the fat sits on top of it. I think it is one of the most satifying things to do in the ktichen. If I'm buying meat specifically for chicken stock I tend to use wings because they are so inexpensive.

How much stock you need for the soup depends on how much soup you want to make! If you have stock left over you can reduce it and pour it into an icecube tray, so that you have small amounts to add to dishes as and when you need stock,
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:39 AM   #6
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The carrots, celery, onions ect. that you throw into the stock when your making the stock "not the soup"...do you use those in addition to the cut up carrots, celery onions you saute in butter and add to the soup?

Thanks so much for helping me out. It does look pretty easy.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #7
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I tend to use veg scraps in stok if I have them (the ends of beans, carrots, celery bases and leaves.) Otherwise bnormal veg, yes I strain them out wth the bones etc before cooling, reving fat and going on to make soup.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:52 AM   #8
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I leave a little bit of the fat/oil (much of the taste and aromatics are in that), another way to shift it is to pour it all into a tall narrow vessel, that way when the fatty oil floats up it`s at a decent thickness to get a turkey baster in to srynge it all out, rather than a thin layer over a large surface.

if you fridge it you`ll find it`s the Liquid part that solidifies to a gel, and the fat is still reasonably motile, tipping the vessel to a 20 degree angle will make it easier to remove also.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:58 AM   #9
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Actually last time I made soup it was so fat that I had to do just that, skim it next morning. Also, if you concern about fat, make sure to take the skin of the chicken before cooking.

As far as how much, I found that 3-3.5 lb chicken works well with 3 quart pot, soup comes out perfect.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:00 AM   #10
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Put the broth into a zip-lock bag, standing up in a bowl. After about an hour, the fat will have all risen to the top. Cut off one bottom corner of the zip-lock bag and allow the broth to run into the bowl until just before the fat hits the hole. Toss out the zip-lock bag and the fat. Yeah, I know, those zip-lock bags ain't cheap, but sacrifices have to be made sometimes.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:04 AM   #11
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I think rule of thumb is to fill water to an inch or so higher than the chicken.
I will be just using one small whole chicken. I'd like to make save a few cups of stock for gravys. I only cook for 2
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:02 PM   #12
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I usually have one or two 1-liter bottles of frozen water in my freezer. When my broth cools to the touch, I "swish" the bottles in it. The fat sticks to the frozen bottles. I wipe the bottles off and swish some more. I can remove most of the fat using this technique. And to strain out "solids," I usually put a paper coffee filter in a large strainer and pour the stock through it. It takes more than one filter because of all the solids that are usually present.

I've developed what I think, and have been told, is an excellent chicken stock recipe. I'll post it in the "soups" section in a little while.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:08 PM   #13
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No, you do not want to use the vegetables that make your stock in your soup. Use fresh ones.

I make my chicken stock from roasted chicken bones. Sometimes you can find bags of chicken bones/parts. Roast in oven until VERY brown - then continue with your chicken stock using these bones versus a whole chicken. This method gives a lovely golden color to the broth. Also, if you cut your onions in half and lay the cut side on a girddle/skillet and let cook until VERY browned/blackish then throw in pot, skin and all, this will also add to a beautiful color. I add parsley, other bits of left-over herbs, along with all the standard stuff that goes in making chicken stock, i.e., carrots, celery. I have even used left-over fennel, tomatoes, asparagus stalks, peppercorns, and flattened garlic cloves. Remember, you are flavoring water - don't be shy with your ingredients.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend_018
The carrots, celery, onions ect. that you throw into the stock when your making the stock "not the soup"...do you use those in addition to the cut up carrots, celery onions you saute in butter and add to the soup?

Thanks so much for helping me out. It does look pretty easy.
I only use celery tops for the stock itself. That way if I save some for another recipie like rice or a pan sauce, it only has chicken flavor and a hint of celery for brightness.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #15
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Make sure you always use proper cooling techniques for your chicken stock.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:32 PM   #16
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Another idea re: straining the solids, I line my strainer with a couple layers of white Bounty paper towels to help absorb fat and catch the solids.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:21 PM   #17
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I think I'm actually making this tomorrow. I'm doing my weekly grocery shopping one day early.....and I think tomorrow might be a good day to make it. yeahhhhhhhh
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Old 05-03-2007, 09:52 PM   #18
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One more tip to capturing the fat. Lay some cheesecloth across the top of the broth and chill it. As the fat solidifies, the cheesecloth will bind it together and you can lift it all out at once.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:53 AM   #19
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should I put a temperature guage in the chicken?

I just started it. I'm waiting for it to come to a boil. Now I saw aprox 90 minutes, chicken might be done and if your going to use if for soup or pot pie or what ever...you should take it out of the pot and than continue simmering your broth on low for a few hours.

Should I still use a temperature guage to see if the chicken is done after 90 minutes. I'd hate to pull the whole chicken out to find out it's not done yet?
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend_018
I'd hate to pull the whole chicken out to find out it's not done yet?
If you quarter the chicken first, it's much easier to handle and it cooks quicker.
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