Quite possibly the king of comfort foods, chicken and vegetable soup encompasses all that we want and need in one dish. The broth alone is hailed as the cure all home remedy for a long list of ailments. Add in the tender chunks of chicken and root vegetables and you have the most soothing, warmth inducing meal that is easily prepared in the home kitchen.
The basis for any great broth is the bones. We will start this broth by roasting skin on chicken backs. A stock or broth made with roasted bones is called a brown stock. A stock made with blanched bones is called a white stock. The most obvious difference is the color of the two, but the flavor of a brown stock is much deeper and nuanced.
Once we have our stock made, we are going to simmer a whole chicken in the broth until it is falling apart tender. After the bird is cooked and picked clean off of the bone, we will build our vegetable soup. This can easily become a chicken noodle soup by adding your favorite cooked noodle.
What You'll Need
2-3 packages of chicken backs
1 white onion, halved
2 carrots, washed
2 ribs of celery, washed
4-5 stems of thyme
1 bunch of parsley
1 bay leaf
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the chicken backs, onions, carrots and celery on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and roast until the bones are a deep brown.
Remove from the oven and place all contents of the pan in a large stock pot. Cover with cold water, about a gallon. Add the rest of the aromatics to the pot and bring to a boil, cutting back to a simmer very quickly.
Let this simmer for about 4 hours.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard the bones and aromatics.
This can be made ahead of time. This stock recipe is great for many different applications, so keep it handy.
What You'll Need
About 1 gallon of brown chicken stock
½ white onion, diced
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 rib celery, peeled and diced
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
6 oz cooked noodles(optional)
In a large stock pot, submerge the whole chicken in the brown stock.
Bring to a boil and cut back to a simmer soon after. Let the chicken cook until it is easily pulled away from the bone.
Remove the chicken from the stock and carefully pull the meat from the skin and bones. Discard the skin and bones and set the meat aside.
Strain the stock one more time, and hold it in a mixing bowl while preparing the vegetables.
Return the empty stock pot to the stove and on medium high heat, saute the onions, carrots and celery in 2 tablespoons of grapeseed or canola oil.
Cook until the onions become translucent and then add the potatoes, stirring frequently, for about two minutes.
Return the stock to the pan and simmer all of these ingredients until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
Return the chicken to the pot and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. If adding the optional noodles, do so now.
Season to taste with salt and fresh cracked pepper. This large pot will need quite a bit of salt so add a little at a time and stir and taste until it is just right for you.
Serve dressed with some chopped parsley and thyme.