Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

There are two approaches, one with the stock prepared in advance, the other when you do not have existing stock.

For basic stock here is what I do:
I buy chicken backs and necks. I roast 3 or 4 pounds in an oven-safe stockpot along with one peeled and quartered onion, one peeled and quartered garlic clove, a stick of celery and a peeled stick of carrot for about 1.5 hours at a 400 degree F. oven or until things are browned. Then I put the stockpot onto the stove, add water to the top along with a tblspn of lemon juice or vinegar (acidity helps increase the calcium uptake from the bones) and boil, then simmer for hours, the longer the better. As it boils lazily, I keep a spoon and bowl by the stove and skim the funny foam from the top occasionally. I add water as it needs it, but towards the end of the time I have to boil it I let it boil down a bit. Then I remove from the stove, transfer through a strainer into a bowl, and add ice cubes to the bowl. This brings the temperature down quickly and I put the bowl in the refrigerator. The next day, I skim the fat off and sometimes freeze the stock. I microwave the big stock container and thaw what I need for a given kitchen task. Notice that I never add spices, herbs or salt to the stock, so that I have a good quality neutral stock that can be used for anything such as using to poach or steam veggies, making soup, sauce, etc.

You can use the stock as above and put in some shredded cooked chicken along with carrots, onions etc. and then boil until the veggies are cooked.

For chicken soup without the stock-making step:
In boiling stockpot half filled with water, put in a rinsed whole chicken without the giblets. Poach until cooked and remove the chicken and let cool, reserving the broth in the stockpot. Remove the meat from the chicken and set aside. Put the bones back into the broth, add the acid, and boil lazily, skimming the foamy stuff as above, adding water as above, etc. The longer the better. Near the end of cooking, add the veggies such as carrots, sliced and cut onion, cut celery. When the veggies are cooked, turn the heat off, transfer to a bowl, add the ice cubes to cool rapidly, refrigerate and skim the fat the next day. Now, to serve, heat up the stock and add some of the chicken meat, diced or hand shredded, and serve. If you serve without the refrigeration step that is fine, you will end up with some fat in the soup (big deal).

BTW, when we eat turkey or duck, I use the carcass for this, or I freeze the carcass and do this later. Turkey stock is actually as good or even better than chicken stock.

By Richard Geller. Posted to the PaleoRecipe Mailing List, July 2001