Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cooking with Laura: Chicken Soup

There's nothing like homemade chicken soup on a cold day, and no better medicine for a cold.  Since everyone in my family has a cold, I put up a delicious pot of chicken soup.  After the soup has been cooking for a while, the house fills with the soothing aroma of chicken soup.  It is delicious and healthy and really makes your cold feel better.  It is also easy to prepare and a one-pot meal so clean up is easy, too.  I like to cook mine in my large All-Clad pot.  

I rinsed five chicken quarters and place in pot with two quarts of College Inn chicken broth and two quarts of water.  I added a large Vidalia onion, peeled and quartered, and about two cups of baby carrots.  The baby carrots are easy to use because you don't have to peel them or chop them.  Also add about four stalks of celery, cleaned and cut into large pieces.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and a sprig of fresh dill if you have it.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer for an hour and a half.  Then add 1/2 lb. of small noodles and cook in the soup until the noodles are done - about 6 minutes for thin noodles.  You can add pastina or tubettini or another small pasta.

When the soup is done, remove the chicken, discard the skin, and take the chicken off the bone.  Serve soup with chicken slices in it or serve chicken on the side or in sandwiches. 


Economizing Key: Peel remaining chicken off of the bones. Make a refreshing, healthful chicken salad for lunch the next day, according to what's available in your refrigerator.  Take out your cutting board and add:  finely chopped celery and/or carrots, diced apples and/or pears, seedless grapes cut in halves, fresh lemon juice, a little mayo, a splash of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. If you happen to have shelled walnuts, you may want to add small pieces of the walnuts as well for an added flavor and crunch.

Delicious served as a scoop on top of a bed of your favorite lettuce or as a sandwich in a toasted sweet roll knot, this homemade chicken salad is easy-to-make with what's handy in your refrigerator.

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