Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Easy Peasy: Chicken Broth

Okay, I have a confession to make: I absolutely hate store-bought chicken broth in soups. Sure, it's okay when you're making recipes that the other ingredients can cover it up, but it's just... so bad. It dumbfounds me that people use store-bought broth in soups when it's so easy to just make your own. Plus, the stuff from the store comes loaded with sodium, impossible-to-read ingredients, preservatives and other yucky stuff, and when you make your own, you control everything that goes in it!

So here's my secret to a quick and super easy chicken broth!

First, I start off with roasting chicken. And here's my biggest secret: I buy the whole roasted chicken that you can find in your store's deli. They're perfect because you can use the meat for your soup and the rest for your broth!

Next come the veggies: carrots, celery and white onion. Corse chop them and throw them in a large pot with some extra virgin olive oil and let them sweat out. Add in some fresh thyme, a bay leaf and parsley flakes or whatever herbs you enjoy in your soup (best part about making your own broth!). DON'T add any salt or pepper. You never know what the recipe you're using your broth for might call for, and you don't want to over salt anything! When your veggies begin to soften (you'll know by the amazing smell permeating through your kitchen), add your chicken and fill the pot with water.

Here comes the easy part: bring your water to a boil. After it comes to a boil, let it simmer. I usually let mine simmer for at least 90 minutes. Yes, some of the liquid will boil off and yes you should add more water when this happens.

Finally, skim the fat off of the top. Pour your broth through a strainer to get out all of the veggies and chicken. And you've got your broth!

How easy is that? After realizing how completely quick and simple it is, I personally find it sinful to buy that overly processed broth from the store.

Cold Weather is for Chicken Noodle Soup

It's freezing out. I'm not talking 30 or 40 degrees, I'm talking about in the teens during the day, single-digit temperatures at night. For those of you who know me, you know that this is literally my hell. I hate winter more than anything, but this cold weather is good for one thing: making delicious soup! And I decided on chicken noodle after making Alex some when she was sick.First things first, start off with a homemade broth. Nothing ruins a good soup faster than a canned, overly salted, overly processed broth. I have a quick and easy way to make broth that you can find here.

Grab a big pot. Put in about a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil. Chop up carrots, celery and white onion (you can really add whatever veggies you like here!). Let the veggies sweat out in the pot until they're soft. Season them with salt, pepper and whatever herbs you like to taste.

I have a favorite herb salt that I use that has rosemary, garlic, sage and pepper in it

You'll be able to tell that the veggies are ready by the amazing smell that will come from them. When they're soft and delicious, pour in your broth and chicken. Bring it to a boil. **Make sure you taste it to make sure that it's seasoned properly**

Add your favorite noodles (I love Amish noodles!).

Let the soup simmer while the noodles cook. Finally, pour yourself a bowl and enjoy :)!