Chicken Soup

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In the Kitchen

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I made soup today because everyone sick. I wonder how come the soup never gels like it used to? I made a stewing hen hoping it would have enough fat to give it more flavor but tasted just like Campbells. I added only enough water to cover 5lb hen and then never got gelatin.
 

AllenOK

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How long did you simmer the broth?

Also, it's connective tissure that yields gelatine. Tendons, ligaments, CARTILIAGE, etc. When I'm making stock, I always try to include plenty of cartiliage. When it comes to poultry, the outer two joints of the wings are especially rich in collagen, which breaks down into gelatine. If the hens you're stewing aren't yielding the usual amount of gelatine, have you considered making some stock by buying a package or two of chicken wings, roasting them, then using that to make some stock?
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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I use only the skin and boned carcass for the broth. It is the collagen, as described in above posts, that causes the gelling. The collagen is found in connective tissues, bone joints, and in the marrow. It is recommended that the pones be cracked to extract the valuable nutrients from inside. The combination of collagen, and inner bone nutrients from the marrow add both flavor and nutritional value to the soup. Also, the addition of slightly acidic veggies such as celery root will aid in the extraction of the collagen and marrow.

When the broth is made, strain it and refrgerate overnight. The next day, lift the hard layer of fat from the top. Bring to a simmer and add the other veggies. Cube, then cook the meat last, seperate, in a bit of sunflower oil, and lightly salted until just lightly browned. Add the meat to the soup bowls. This truly produces a superior soup with high nutritional value. And it is good in building up the body against vilar and bacterial infections.

Oh, and flavor the broth with salt, pepper, sage, thyme, etc. prior to adding the other veggies. Then, after the veggies are done to your liking, correct the seasoning again.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

In the Kitchen

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They are very good hints and know your soup probably is worth eating. Mine seemed like lot of liquid and I only covered the hen with water. Have you ever heard of using chicken feet? My ex's uncle was a chef by profession. He really knew how to fix food and eat it as well. Chicken soup is my favorite. Don't you agree takes lot of time? I simmered the chicken for 2 hours. Do you think should have been longer? After cracking bones you surely have to strain it. I never see backs and necks in the store as I did before. Mostly inners and chicken parts. People are in too much of time limit to think about fixing soup. I regret that this has happened. No one home to cook. That is part of the reasons for lot of physical problems we experience. Of course, this is only my own opinion. Glad you people here to help me. Thanks
 

chez suz

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In the Kitchen...2hrs is certainly enough time and yes covering it w/water is right..but here is the ? re flavor...what else did you add to the pot...grns, vege,etc...its a combo of chicken, grns, and vege. that will ultimatly flavor your soup.
I normally cook the chicken in pieces as I find it easier to handle..but I dont really believe whether its whole or cut is going to ultimatly make a huge difference.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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I bone my chicken because I want the meat to be juicy and flavorful. Chicken (or any meat for that matter) begins to dry out and toughen if the meat temp is taken much above 160 degrees F. Water boils at about 212. If the meat is left to cook for several hours in that heat, it will toughen and dry out. I get plenty of flavor from the bones and skins. I can save the meat to cook and add to the rest of the soup at the bowl. That's the reason I use that technique. If you finely dice the chicken, then it doesn't matter as much.

And, I strain my soup because my wife just can't stand to get a bone, even a tiny piece of one, in her soup. And I don't know why, but if there is the smallest splinter of bone in the soup, it will end up in her bowl. She has a tough time with fish for the same reason.

But if you don't mind the bones, and don't have a problem with the meat texture, then by all means, boil the heck out of that chicken. My mother always did, and we loved her chicken soup, especially when it was chicken and dumplings, you know, those cloudlike biscuits steamed on top of the soup, not the heavy noodle kind found in many restaurants. I still love dumplings, but have to make them on soup that's set aside, as my wife can't stand them (she sure limits my cooking choices some times).

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

In the Kitchen

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After the chicken had cooked for few hours I added carrots, celery, lots of onions, garlic and last the noodles. How do you make the dumplings? They all like them around here but never right according to them. Appreciate the time. Thanks Oh, I never get gelatin do you? Even if I set in refridgerator for overnight. I do think that is important.
 

buckytom

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the last time i made chicken soup, i only had legs and thighs. so i made it anyway, and it came out very good. the darker meat gave it a nice strong chicken flavor. i also used a good handful each of chopped fresh parsley and cilantro (leafy coriander). an iteresting little modification, just for a change...
 

amber

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In the kitchen,

When ever I make dumplings, I use bisquick. Yea thats cheating, but they are great in beef stew and probably just as good in chicken soup. Once you add the dumplings, cover and do not open the lid until the recommended time on the package. As for chicken soup, I just use the carcass and the skin, add celery, onions, and carrotts, and of course water to cover, black pepper.
 

In the Kitchen

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I love to hear all the different ways people fix chicken soup. My family gets tired of eating chicken so when I fix the soup try to use different ingredients to change strong flavor. Using bisquick sounds fairly quick and easy so I think I'll be able to fix it. Thanks for all your input. If you only use the bones, how long do you cook them?
 

Andy M.

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If you're using a whole bird for a soup, try simmering the whole bird as described above for about an hour. This will cook the meat but won't overcook it and make it tough. Take the meat off the carcass and set it aside. Put the skin, bones and other stuff back into the broth and continue to simmer it for 2-3 hours to extract the collagen and nutrients.

Later, de-fat and strain the broth, add noodles or rice and at the last minute, toss in the previously cooked chicken to heat it through.
 

lyndalou

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Andy is right, once again.

When I make my chicken soup, I do the chicken like Andy does, i.e. I take it out as soon as the meat is cooked. Then return bones,etc. to the pot. I add carrots, onions (quartered, with skins for great color) and celery. I add a bay leaf or two, peppercorns, and flat leaf parsley. I let this simmer for a couple of hours, then strain the broth. I then add whatever vegs I might want to eat with the soup, usually cubed carrots and celery and cook them until they are just done. Just before serving I return the cubed chicken to the pot and might also add some frozen beans or peas.

I try to make this a day ahead up , refrigerate overnight, skim off any fat that may rise to the top, then heat it up and serve.
 
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