Winter Chicken Soup

April  5, 2020
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Makes Plenty
Author Notes

To keep the actual recipe portion less cluttered with details on this recipe, the headnote space will be heavily utilized. As with most recipes, it is a guideline except for the three core elements. Customize the recipe with vegetables and seasonings used in order to make it yours and enjoy some sobremesa.

To ensure a high impact soup ( read between the words ), there are three core elements to this soup. As to the vegetables used and seasonings, it is all up to you. The vegetables are divided into two types; root and soft based solely on cooking time. Also, the amounts of vegetables described in the recipe result more of a stoup, that being a combination of words STew and sOUP. If you want to end up with a soup instead, just use half the amount of vegetables.
Use a heaping 4 cup liquid measuring cup for both the root and soft vegetables if making the stoup version, when using a five quart pot.

The stoup method ends up with a more concentrated version, taking up less freezer space once portioned out into serving sizes. To use, defrost in fridge overnight, pour into a sauce pan, add half as much water, heat and serve your soup. For example, a two cup portion would have 1 cup water added to it. Easy peasy.

The core elements are:
1 - Chicken used must be skin on, bone in, about 2.5 - 3.5 pounds
( i.e., 3 leg quarters/6-8 thighs/whole bird cut into the usual eight pieces, plus splitting each breast in half to get relatively similar sized pieces )
2 - Poaching method
3 - A heavy hand in using fresh ginger and fresh turmeric.

One: There are certain aspects in the chicken skin and bone marrow that are most benefical to this soup. A food scientist or nutritionist would be able to provide further information.

Two: Poaching method. This manner of poaching can be used for other chicken soups and you will get a relatively clear broth, depending on what vegetables and seasonings are used.

The key is to not boil the chicken pieces ( skin on-bone in ) when they are in the pot during the poaching phase of the recipe. You want the water temperature to be in the 180 - 190 F range when poaching the chicken parts. Yes, it will take noticeably longer to poach. The end result after the poaching stage is that you will end up with less than a teaspoon of the white foam and the brown bits ( cooked chicken blood ). Use a very fine strainer to remove the "extra" stuff after the chicken is poached and removed from the liquid, as opposed to using a spoon which will remove an appreciable amount of the chicken fat and other goodness.

Three: The heavy aromatic hitters with the amounts listed in the below "table."

High Impact Version
Fresh Ginger: Two Thumbs worth ( to second joint )
Fresh Turmeric: Two Pinkies worth
Powdered Ginger: 1 Heaping Tablespoon
Powdered Turmeric: 1 Tablespoon

Regular Version
Fresh Ginger: 1/2 Thumb worth ( to first joint )
Fresh Turmeric: One Pinkie worth
Powdered Ginger: 1 teaspoon
Powdered Turmeric: 1 teaspoon

If using fresh, using a microplane or equivalent will maximize surface area of the ginger and turmeric.
If using organic, wash well and use peel on if desired. Otherwise when using regular ginger/turmeric, peel before using. —Misha

What You'll Need
  • Water, as needed
  • 2.5 to 3.5 pounds Chicken Pieces
  • 4 heaping cups Root vegetables: ie carrots, turnip, white onion, etc
  • 4 heaping cups Soft vegetables: ie cauiflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, etc
  • Fresh Ginger ( See above "table" for amount )
  • Fresh Turmeric ( See above "table" for amount )
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • optional Seasonings of your choice
  1. Prepare all the vegetables into similiar sized pieces. Say 1/2 inch cubes and/or somewhat thinner slices
  2. To a five quart pot, add in about 3 quarts of water and bring to a full boil for 2 – 3 minutes. Wash chicken pieces thoroughly under a slow flow of water from tap to avoid splatter.
  3. Reduce heat to low-medium ( a 3 on a scale of 10 ) and carefully put the chicken pieces into the pot. If you are measuring the water temperature, aim for a 180 – 190F target a few minutes after the chicken is in the water. Poach until done: depending the size of the chicken pieces and water temperature, it might take 40 or more minutes. Check after 30 minutes on doneness. Poach until thoroughly cooked.
  4. Remove chicken pieces and place in a single layer and spaced apart on a baking sheet or dinner plates. Set aside for about 10 – 15 minutes until cool enough to handle.
  5. Skim off and in the broth with a small fine strainer to remove any white foam and brown bits. If the poaching water was in the 180 – 190F range, you should have less than a teaspoon of removed material, at least based on my experience. As always, your mileage may vary.
  6. Bring the broth up to a full boil and reduce temperature to medium heat. Add in root vegetables, and some more water to generously cover. Bearing in mind that the other vegetables and meat still have to be added in and more water will be added once everything in is the pot.
  7. Let simmer for about ten minutes.
  8. Add in the soft vegetables plus a small amount of water if needed, and simmer for about five minutes.
  9. Once the soft vegetables are placed into the pot, the chicken should be cool enough to handle. Separate the meat from the skin, bones and cartilage. Either shred the meat, or chop into preferred size. Add in meat and more water to bring the level up to within an inch of the top of the pot. Stir slowly to mix well. Simmer for another twenty minutes, adjust heat so as to not cause any spill over.
  10. Season with salt and pepper, and optionally, any other seasonings you want. Most of time only salt and pepper are used as seasoning, but every once in awhile Italian seasoning or berbere or gram marsala or something else are added in. Season it as you desire.

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