Who doesn’t love a bit of chicken soup to warm the body and soothe the soul?
When the weather gets cooler, soups become more commonplace in my kitchen. I think I grew up eating lots of chicken soup so it certainly is a comfort food for me.
I hinted on the Facebook page that I had learnt a new trick to make the best chicken stock and that is to use a splash of vinegar. What this does is to help leach out the nutrients from the bones which not only makes this a healthy broth, it makes it a lot tastier too.
When I make stock, I don’t follow a recipe or stick to any particular combination of ingredients. I pretty much just use what I have to hand but it’s usually carrot, onion and celery at the very least, but you could add any vegetables you desire such as capsicum, corn husks, leeks, parsley, thyme, bay leaves etc.
To make your stock, get the biggest pot you can find and place your vegetables and chicken bones. I used 3 carcasses in yesterday’s stock, but I’ll often use wings, or marylands or even a whole chicken. You can save the carcasses from when you do roast chicken in freezer bags in the freezer and make stock when you have enough (usually about 3).
Cover the vegetables and bones with cold water, add a splash of vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons) and seasoning. You could use salt and pepper or you could use a couple of bullion cubes to boost the flavour. Simmer for at least two hours, but you could actually simmer it for 8-12 hours if you are so inclined. I find that 3 hours does a really good job.
Once you’re happy with the stock, strain all the bits out through a sieve then either use straight away or refrigerate over night so you can skim the fat off when it solidifies. They actually say that a lot of what is good about chicken soup is in the fat so perhaps leave a little in there for good measure.
Now, what are these egg drop ‘noodles’ I hear you ask? It’s basically egg and flour that is dropped into the hot soup and forms these sort of tiny globules of deliciousness in your soup. They give the thin soup a lot of body and texture and help to fill you up. They’re especially handy when you don’t have any egg noodles on hand and I think they taste a lot better too.
8 cups chicken stock (bought or homemade as above)
3 carrots, finely cubed
1 ear corn, stripped of its kernals
3 spring onions, finely sliced
3-4 tablespoons self raising flour
Bring the stock to the boil. Add the carrots and corn. Simmer for around 5 minutes.
Prepare the noodle mix by whisking the egg and flour together. It should have a sort of thick pancake batter consistency that drops off the spoon.
Whilst the soup is at a rapid boil, from a height, drizzle the egg and flour mixture into the soup. Stir it every now and then to make sure the noodles are separate.
Right at the end, add the spring onion. Ladle into bowls then let it sit for 5 minutes to come to a good eating temperature. Enjoy!