I don’t know that you could call it food fashion, but just as I don’t wear white after Labor Day, I won’t make chicken soup until our planet has swung past its September Equinox. Well, despite afternoon temperatures still pushing eighty degrees Fahrenheit, the season is officially Fall, and the grocery had a sale on whole chickens. What’s a hungry bachelor to do? Here, in the two hours between decision and dinner is my answer.
- Eight stalks of celery, and slice into 1/2″ pieces.
- Eight carrots, and slice into 1/2″ pieces.
- Five medium red potatoes, and cut each thrice— twice lengthwise, once widthwise— to get eight pieces.
- One big bulb of garlic. Peel, then slice each clove once.
- One big leek, and slice into 1/2″ pieces.
- One big yellow onion, and cut same as potato.
- One generous handful of parsley sprigs, and pinch off the stems.
- One whole (~3.5 lb.) chicken, including neck, and giblets.
- Sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, cumin— start with a couple tablespoons of each and add more as needed to taste.
- About three quarts of filtered or spring water.
- One big pot— I use an 8q Calphalon pasta pot (without the strainer).
Get after it:
Put the bird in the pot, add the other ingredients, then pour water over it all. Turn on the heat, cover and leave the lid slightly ajar. Check in periodically, and carefully stir. Normally, by the time the potatoes and carrots are soft the chicken is done, too. Turn off the heat, and let the pot sit until it’s cool enough to safely remove the chicken. Pull the meat off of chicken and add it back into soup. I include the cartilage, too.
Have some right away, and cool the rest. Later, skim the fat off the top, and enjoy hearty chicken soup as dinner, a snack, or as lunch the next day. This usually nets me about four, maybe five servings. Your milage may vary.
Pasture raised chicken, about $11.00. Organic veggies, about $10. A homemade bowl of seasonal warmth— priceless!