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Sep 18, 2015

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Homemade Chicken Soup

Active time:45 minutes

Start To Finish:1 hour, 45 minutes

Difficulty:

Yield: 8 1-cup servings

Source: Marcella

Can Be Made Ahead , Healthy, Fall/Winter , Comfort Food, Family Favorites
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Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, with skin and bones
extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced (about 1-1½ cups)
2 large celery stalks, diced (about 1-1½ cups)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
8 cups homemade chicken stock, divided
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
¼ cups chopped fresh Italian parsley
2-3 ounces small pasta

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Trim the chicken breasts, rub them with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a sheet pan until done, which should take about one hour.  Remove the chicken from the pan to cool.  Carefully blot the fat in the pan without removing the fond (browned bits); set the pan aside.  Once the chicken has cooled, remove the meat from the bones, and shred it into bite-size pieces.  Discard the skin and bones.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a soup pot or a Dutch oven.  Add the onion, carrots, celery and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are softened.  Add 7 cups of the chicken stock to the pan with the vegetables.  Add the remaining one cup of stock to the sheet pan, put it over a burner and bring to a boil, scraping up the fond with a wooden spoon.  Once all the fond has been incorporated into the stock, add it to the soup pot, along with the thyme and ½ teaspoon salt.  Cook at a simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Add the chicken and heat through.

While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta just short of al dente and drain it.  if you will be serving all of the soup, add the pasta to the soup, cook briefly until the pasta is done, and add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  If you will not be serving all of the soup immediately, put the portion you will be eating right away into a smaller pot and add just enough of the pasta for that portion.  The rest of the soup and the pasta can be refrigerated separately for three days or frozen for three months.

Notes:

We use acini di pepe pasta for this recipe, but any other small pasta, such as ditalini or orzo, would work.  The keys are to slightly undercook the pasta, and not add it to the soup until you are ready to serve it.  That will prevent the pasta from becoming mushy.

We freeze the soup in 2-cup containers, and separately freeze the pasta in quart-size freezer bags.  Just put enough pasta in each bag for each 2-cup serving.



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