When we got hit with those blizzards a couple weeks ago, I had already planned on taking the time to roast my first whole chicken, turn it into stock, and then into soup. And the weather was obliging enough to keep me inside all weekend (and a couple of days in the middle of the week too…) so I took advantage of being stuck inside to do all this. I was also initially going to start my blog that weekend, but that didn’t happen, as I got stuck on coming up with a good name. However, since I am wicked proud of the fact that I did all of this (and that it all tasted good!), I’m making it my ‘real’ first post anyway. 🙂
Having never done any of this before, I went searching online for a good roast chicken recipe, and finally settled on Julia Child’s recipe. I got my shopping list together and found everything I needed, fortunately. I have to say, I was a little concerned about the 1/2 cup of celery leaves – but I just pulled all of the leaves that I could out of the whole celery bunch and it seemed to work out okay. I prepared the chicken the way Julia said to, and a couple of hours later pulled it out of the oven.
I also made Crash Hot Orange Potatoes to go along with the roast chicken – they were soo! good…
After the chicken had cooled, I pulled it all off of the bones, and put the bones into a bag until the next day. When I woke up, I got myself all ready for a day of busy work while I let the stock simmer on the stove. I had already looked through various recipes for chicken stock, and decided that I didn’t really need to follow a specific one. They all seemed to have the basic ingredients of: carrots, onions, and celery (or ‘mirepoix’), so I put the bones in my biggest pot (which was just big enough) along with the mirepoix and a couple of bay leaves. And of course salt and pepper. My house smelled so good all day!! And after letting the stock simmer for several hours (I think most recipes said 4 hours or so? I might have let it go for closer to 5) it looked ready to be strained and put aside for chicken soup.
So I strained it – several times, because there always seemed to be sediment or whatever left in the broth. After the 4th time, I decided that was good enough,
and put it back into the pot so I could let it cool off overnight. Church had been canceled that afternoon, so I had all day Sunday to make my soup (which I actually forgot to take pictures of… oops! next time…). Once again, I just winged it – I had also been looking at a few recipes for chicken noodle soup, and it’s one of those things you’ve generally had enough times that you know what goes into it. So I skimmed the fat off of the stock (yum!), threw the stock into my Crock-Pot along with more mirepoix (sorry – I like that word :)), the chicken, and water, and let it simmer on ‘low’ all day. Once again, it smelled soo! good in my house. I think that’s a large part of why I like cooking – it just tends to smell wicked good!! I made my noodles separately because in my experience, the noodles always absorb too much broth and then you have to add more, which is a pain. Plus I knew I was freezing most of the soup, and I really didn’t want mushy noodles. Ick. But the soup was yummy. And I have now successfully roasted a chicken, made stock, and home-made chicken noodle soup – woo!! 🙂