It’s snowing heavy again and almost everyone I know is stuck indoors. Yesterday, like expected, the grocery stores were a mess. Nothing left on the shelves, long lines for cashiers and self checkout. Tell me why some people insist on using self checkout when they have a cart overflowing with groceries? Anyway, I went to pick up a few things just to be safe. I needed an onion (which there were hardly ANY onions!!!!), some carrots, a chicken, and a few other small things. My plan, to make chicken soup in the crock pot! It’s going to be a long processes, but what else do you do on a day like today?
- ½ onion (white/red)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3-5 stalks celery
- 4-6 carrots, peeled
- a few sprigs of fresh dill, rosemary, and thyme
- 2 chicken bouillon
- 1 whole roaster chicken, or chicken parts (thighs, drumsticks, breasts)
- 10 cups of water
- salt + pepper to taste
- In the base of the crockpot place ½ onion, 3 garlic cloves, 3 celery stalks, and 4 carrots. Keep the veggies whole, no need to chop up. These veggies will just be used for creating a broth and building flavor. New veggies can be added later on for eating.
- On top of the veggies, place the chicken/chicken parts. If you are using a whole chicken, be sure that all of the inside goop is removed, and place the chicken breast is up.
- Sprinkle dill, rosemary, and thyme sprigs on top and around the chicken.
- Toss in the bouillons
- Measure 10 cups of water and pour it into the crockpot over all ingredients. Make sure that there is at least 1 inch of head space between the liquid and the rim of the crockpot.
- Cover, and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
- Later, turn the crockpot off. Take the chicken out and put it aside. Throw away all veggies and chicken skin/fats/bones. Allow the soup to cool down just a little bit.
- Line a colander with a paper towel and place it over another large soup pot. Pour soup into the colander allowing it to strain through the paper towel. The paper towel will catch all of the larger fat particles and random floaty pieces that you couldn't scoop out before.
- Continue to strain back and forth between the crockpot base and the other pot 4-6 times, or until soup is clear with little to no pieces floating and fat particles have subsided.
- Pour clear broth back into the crockpot and add fresh carrots and celery pieces, chopped.
- Turn crockpot back on HIGH for an additional 1-2 hours just to cook the fresh veggies.
- Add additional salt/pepper for taste if needed.
Here is my before and after picture! I’m so proud I’ve accomplished chicken soup making! I tried a year or two ago but didn’t do it the real way…so it didn’t taste anything like Moms. This time, I got it down, and although it’s not the same as my Moms, it’s almost just as perfect!
I found the straining process to be the most tedious part of the process. It’s a lot of liquid, it’s heavy, you have to be super cautious that you don’t spill and waste those 6 hours of cooking time! I lined a colander with a paper towel and placed it over another large pot, carefully pouring the broth through the colander. The picture above is my first strain, so that’s why there’s all that extra junk! The paper towel will catch all the little pieces you didn’t get when you took the chicken and veggies out. It will also catch the larger fat particles that you don’t want to eat. A little fat is good, but you don’t want the fat to be swimming around. I strained it back and forth about 4 times total, and used a fresh paper towel each time.
Once the chicken has cooled down enough to handle, use a fork (or two) to shred the chicken. If you don’t want to use all of the chicken, you can save it and make chicken salad with it later. That’s what Mom does. Another thing Mom does that I didn’t do, is she puts noodles or pastina in the soup and parsnips. I didn’t have time to go to the produce market and the grocery store was charging way too much for parsnips, so I decided not to use them this time around. Still came out great!
Lastly, enjoy! Overall, this was a very simply recipe and pretty inexpensive to make. Each serving is approximately $1.50. So, it qualifies for CHEAP CLEAN EATS!
Once soup has cooled down in the crockpot, pour it into storage containers. Keep it in the refrigerator it or even put some in the freezer for a rainy day.