You can make chicken soup by making stock in advance and storing in the freezer. If you’re using more than 1 container for freezing your stock you’ll need to double up on some ingredients. I have always used one large ice cream tub. (You can substitute turkey for chicken but even for Thanksgiving I prefer Chicken over Turkey any day.) I suggest buying organically fed chickens that are “free-range”. Kosher chicken is best because they are killed in a humane manner.
Either a whole chicken or breasts, legs, wings with the bone.
1 – 2 medium sized yellow onion(s)*
A few carrots
3-5 small boiling potatoes
Leeks and / or celery
A good white wine – Chardonnay – you can use non-alcoholic white wine or white grape juice** (Most if not all of the alcohol burns off leaving the flavor, but if you are sensitive to have alcohol in your house thus the alternative)
4 to 8 whole cloves*
2 cloves of garlic
Dried herbs – oregano, basil, thyme, 1 or 2 bay leaves
Cooking oil – olive or grapeseed oil
Tap or filtered water such as Britta Water
A large pot with a lid
A large wooden spoon
Plastic containers (to freeze the soup in) and room in your freezer, of course
A measuring cup (unless you like improvisational cooking)
A sharp knife
A good cutting board
A mortar and pestle (optional)
What to do:
Wash the carrots, leeks and potatoes in tepid running water (cold is okay too). Or soak in a tub of water with some baking soda dissolved in it. When washing the leeks cut at regular intervals and splay the sheaths open and wash thoroughly – they usually have sand grains in them and its good to get them out. Peel the onion and set aside. Peel the garlic and chop or crush in the mortar with the pestle. Chop the celery and or the leeks as desired.
De-bone the chickie and save the bones.
Pour ½ to 1 cup of the Chardonnay into a measuring cup and set aside
Coat the bottom of your pot with a generous splash of cooking oil and heat. You can tell if the oil is hot enough by running your hand under tap water or filtered water and dribbling the water into the pot. When it sizzles the oil is hot. Turn the heat on your stove down to a low flame or setting.
Add the carrots, potatoes, chopped or crushed garlic and sauté. If you using chopped celery (I don’t use it because it gets caught in my teeth –its stringy and brittle) add it last and sauté. Add the bay leaves. Add pinches of the other spices.
Next add the chicken and mix with the rest of the group, stirring it all together with the long wooden spoon. While it simmers – for 10 to 15 minutes on a very low heat go on to the next prep step.
Peel the onion and insert four whole cloves equidistant from each other in the whole onion.
Add tap, Britta or filtered water to the mix filling up about half way. Add the leeks, the onion and the bones from the chicken. Bring to a rolling boil. At boiling add the cup of good white wine (Chardonnay). Bring back to a rolling boil. Then lower the heat to a simmer and cover.
Let simmer until the carrots and potatoes are soft to a fork. Turn off heat.
Once cool pour off the liquid into the plastic or glass containers (if using glass – Bell Jars are best and don’t screw top on tightly – you don’t want explosions of stock and glass in your freezer) and seal with the lids. Add the some of the chickie meat and vegetables to each container as well as some of the larger bones. Each container needs to have the onion with the 4 whole cloves stuck in. Of course if you’re storing in smaller containers use smaller onions with 2-4 cloves in each of the onions – one for each container.
Use the stock as a starter. – Add more chicken with or without bones, carrots, garlic – chopped onion, garlic and chopped red peppers sautéed in the bottom of the pot, add the stock including the onion with the cloves in it – or not. Add rice, barley, noodles or not.
I originally made chicken stock because I was planning on making a sauce with heavy cream, so bear in mind your stock doesn’t have to contribute only to chicken soup.
* When doubling-up on onions and cloves if you’re using more than one container for storage – remember you’re making stock – not soup. When you make stock it’s the broth you’ll be using as a base for soup or sauces mostly.
** When alcohol is using in cooking most of the alcohol is burned off but not all. So if you’re particularly sensitive to alcohol switch to non-alcoholic wines or white grape juice – not too sweet. Using good wine means you’ll have a good flavor. Use a bad wine or grocery store “cooking wine” it makes your food taste cheap and can spoil a dish.