September 17th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Chicken Soup Illustrated, #1

This won't be illustrated quite as well as I'd hoped, since for some reason I can't upload the pictures of the chicken involved...the upload function just sits there and sits there and 20+ minutes later the pictures still  aren't up.  However....here is the pot that makes my present soup-making much easier.  It is a 20 quart pot, stainless steel with an aluminum core bottom.  All-Clad would've been nice, but much more expensive, and you can't find this size pot easily anyway.   You can get all aluminum, all-steel, and sometimes enameled steel, pots this size in the larger local groceries, but they're generally cheap, thin-walled, and they wear out too fast.  I bought this one at a restaurant supply place, and got it on sale.



This pot will hold two good-sized roasting chickens (the two I  used today were just over six pounds each) or three smaller ones.   A one-chicken soup would fit into a smaller pot--but the bigger the pot, the more flavorful things you can put in it.    For a two-chicken soup, I start with  two bunches of celery, two onions, two "heads" of garlic, a bunch of parsley (often use half of a second, so I buy two.)  Plus of course herbs...   Here's the starter set, just out of the grocery bag and not yet washed or chopped:



The top half of each bunch of celery (includes the leaves) gets a coarse chop, the parsley gets a finer (but not superfine) chop, the onions go in as quarters-to-eighths after peeling,  peeled garlic goes in as whole cloves, and the carrots (2-4 medium to large--it depends on size) go in as little round slices.   Because I freeze the chicken as broth/stock and as chopped chicken in separate containers, I strain out the cooking vegetables (my husband likes to eat them separately, too.)  So having them in bigger pieces makes it easier.  When I make beef soup, I chop things somewhat smaller.    Before the water, spices, and herbs go in, it looks something like this in the pot: