Recipe: Nourishing, cheap Chicken Soup
I was feeling a bit cold and sick lately, so I thought: CHICKEN SOUP.
I giggle every time I say: chicken soup, because I think of its alternate name: Jewish Penicillin.
I was inspired to make it, mostly because I was reading this book: The Secrets of People who Never Get Sick
…and in there, he talked about chicken soup.
Obviously, as it was mid-week and I had already eaten everything in the fridge being extra hungry, I decided to whip up some chicken soup but on the cheap.
IT WAS SO GOOD.
It was also chock-full of vegetables instead of meat…
WHAT I BOUGHT
Organic chicken carcasses – $10 for 2 large carcasses
Instead of chicken thighs or a whole chicken which I would have purchased, I wanted to not only save money but cut down on the amount of chicken in the soup.
So.. I got organic chicken carcasses, sold at a quarter of the price, full of bones (mmm delicious stocky flavour) and with enough meat on there.
Organic chicken bouillon in a glass jar – $4.79 for 675mL
I also picked up some organic chicken bouillon in a glass jar from the same brand (Charlevoix, if any of you are interested), and used that in my soup to see if it made a difference in flavour.
The ingredients were just: Chicken, water.
The other stocks had added salt, and unpronounceable names which I am sure all add up to “MSG” (monosodium glutamate) which is what I wanted to avoid.
Then all the vegetables! – $10
6 carrots, 2 celery bunches, we already had the onions (2) at home, and garlic (3 cloves), and I added a huge bunch of dill (a new addition for me) and red peppers (a few, I wasn’t sure if I would like it in the soup).
- 2 organic chicken carcasses
- Organic chicken bouillon in a glass jar
- 6 carrots
- 2 celery bunches
- 2 red peppers
- 2 onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- Bragg’s Soy Sauce
I added ZERO SALT until the end.
I quartered the onions and halved the garlic cloves (smashing them too), and removed the innards of the garlic cloves (they cause indigestion for me and make my breath stink).
I roasted the chicken carcasses on a pan in the oven for about 20 minutes on each side to get some flavour in, along with the half-chopped garlic cloves tucked into their crevices.
After they were done, I took the carcasses out, removed the garlic cloves to put them back in the pan to roast, and stuck the chicken in a huge pot just barely covered with water and that organic chicken bouillon to simmer — I brought the pot up to a boil, then turned it down to simmer on medium for 30 minutes.
In the same pan, I roasted the garlic cloves, peppers and onions in the chicken juices and fat to get some more flavour while the carcasses were boiling in that broth I made.
In the meantime, I chopped up all the carrots, celery into little chunks.
Did the dishes.
After half an hour of the chicken boiling on the stove, I skimmed off as much of the fat as I could (it’s so hard!), and I wished I had my fat separator device with me, where I could just pour the broth in there, and remove the fat easily.
Then I took the pan out of the oven with the now roasted and slightly caramelized onions, garlic, peppers and dumped them, along with all of the carrots and celery into a pot.
I also added half the dill but saved half of it aside to eat fresh as a garnish on the soup.
I brought the pot back up to a boil again, then back down to a medium to simmer for an hour.
I got too hungry halfway through and 20 minutes left to go, I took a bowl of soup and ate it.
After it was supposed to be done, and ready to eat (LOL).. I removed everything, skimmed the fat and foam off the top as best I could and then picked all the chicken meat off the bones, which ended up being a whole big tupperware of it, about the amount of two chicken thighs.
It is still kind of oily though, no matter how hard I tried to skim it, and there’s not much I can do, see all those oily bubbles?
I then seasoned with a little fresh dill, and Bragg’s soy sauce for more flavour.
I ate another bowl.
I had two full Tupperware containers of soup for the rest of the week, which I am sure I will be hounded for by Baby Bun.
Luckily, he was napping while this all happened so I got to eat in peace.
Just for comparison’s sake, I ate a full meal and then had these two of these massive containers leftover and this is for size comparison’s sake:
(That’s a tablespoon not a teaspoon..)
Also, see that super gross layer of hardened, cold fat on top?
Yeah, that went into the garbage after I scooped it off the top. Yuck.
It tasted a lot better without this kind of greasy coating on my lips:
For about $25, I got a healthy, very nourishing meal for 3 days, so about $8.33 per meal, and they are Piglet-sized meals, which is a big deal.
I also think I might add pasta, rice or quinoa to make it even more filling.