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September 10, 2013 / mintcustard

Chicken stock and a chicken noodle soup.

Chicken noodle soup

Chicken noodle soup

The weather has become chilly and I have the start of a sore throat. I need a pick me up and chicken noodle soup does the trick. I have resorted to the packet variety but making your own is easy and cheap too.

I know, I know, I do bang on about not wasting food but in my mind not to use up the leftover chicken carcass from Sunday’s roast would be a crime. I can also hear the voices of my late Dad and Nan tutting at me from beyond the grave if I even think to slide the bones into the food waste bin rather than towards a big pan full of water. Chicken stock is often an essential component of many of the meals we make, why not effectively create your own for free from leftovers? I am easily pleased when it comes to food but the joy of knowing there is a big bowl of jellified chicken stock in my fridge brings a smile to my face. Better than having to rootle around in the cupboard for a cube or little tub, and I know exactly what is in it. I’m going to share how I make my stock, if your method differs please add your method as a comment then we can all help each other. By the way, I have no pressure cooker, following a childhood incident with rice, in a tiny galley kitchen. makes me quake even now! Ingredients – basic chicken stock

  • 1 chicken carcass, large pieces of meat and skin removed. (I also remove and lemon or garlic I may have “inserted” as this spoils this stock flavour)
  • 1 onion peeled and halved
  • 2 carrots, topped and tailed and halved
  • 1 celery stalk or a few celery tops
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, I crush mine gently with the flat edge of a knife to just crack them.

Place all the above ingredients into a large pan, cover with water until the carcass is just covered with water. slowly bring to a simmer, reduce the heat until the surface of the water just shivers with anticipation. Leave for several hours, I usually start at lunch time and the stock is ready for tea if I need it. I’d say 3 to 6 hours.  Strain into a bowl, leave to cool, skin any chicken fat from the surface and refrigerate the stock in a covered bowl.  Keep the chicken fat too if you want. Use within 48 hours. If you cant do that stock freezes very well, You can make your own stock cubes by reducing down the stock until it is a third of the original volume. Pour into ice cube trays or bags and freeze. I deliberately don’t salt my stock as I like to season when in the final recipe. Chicken stock is so versatile. If you want to use the stock in an Asian recipe, then make your stock with ginger, garlic and lemon grass as flavourings. You might like to make a version with a scotch bonnet pepper or a birds eye chilli. Up to you really what you do, just do it!

Jellied chicken stock.

Jellied chicken stock.

 

Chicken Noodle soup. ( actually it is tiny pasta soup so you can use vermicelli, orzo, stellini what ever your family tradition is.)

A handful of vermicelli is just that!

A handful of vermicelli is just that!

1 mug of chicken stock per person, 1/2 a carrot thinly sliced per person 1/4 onion finely diced 1 clove of garlic finely chopped, pressed or ground to a paste 1 cupped palm full of noodles per person (see photo) any leftover chicken shredded. (if you don’t have any don’t fret!) salt and pepper to season If you have a mushroom or two slice it thinly and throw it in at the end, similarly a few spinach leaves just wilted in at the final moment is delicious. You what you have a go with it. A few parsley leaves look very pretty too. tsp of chicken fat or oil per person.

 

 

 

 

 

noodles5

How to

  • Take a tsp of chicken fat or oil and heat in a large pan. Gently fry the onion and the garlic until soft and translucent.
  • Pour in the chicken stock, slide in the carrots.  After two minutes tip in the noodles. Stir to make sure the noodles haven’t clumped and leave until the noodles are 1 minute away from being cooked through. Add the shredded chicken to warm through. If you want to add mushrooms or spinach, or in my case carrots, now is the time.
  • Taste and season with salt and more black pepper.
  • Serve in a warm bowl, with a chunk of bread to mop up every last little bit.

I would heartily recommend popping into your local independent shops as they may well have some fabulous ingredients. My vermicelli came from a nearby middle eastern shop/deli. They are brilliant for dried fruit, nuts and spices too.

Vermicelli

Vermicelli

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6 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. downmyfront / Sep 16 2013 4:04 pm

    I feel better just reading this- I am roasting a chicken this evening and will have a go at the stock/ soup in the week. My mum always ‘boiled up the bits’ for soup with a handful of pearl barley to bulk it up. I can taste it now…

    • mintcustard / Sep 17 2013 5:41 am

      Pearl barley! Goodness I remembermy Nan adding that to mince, it made it go so much further and really creamy, now that gives me an idea…. Hope your stock goes well.

  2. Vic Crawley / Sep 23 2014 5:08 pm

    I add one star anise flower head when doing stock. It adds another flavour and is brilliant with chicken.

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