I’ve made chicken soup tons of different ways over the years but I hadn’t made it in a while and kinda forgot my own method. Derp. So, I turned to The Kitchn for help. This recipe was easy and produced a lovely golden broth and tender white meat chicken. It was 2.5 hours of cooking time but mostly hands-off so I could get this cooking while I was at home and in meetings. Love that!
Recipe: Basic Chicken Soup, Allergen-Free
Adapted from Modern Jewish Cooking by Leah Koenig and The Kitchn
1.25 pounds of Bell & Evans chicken breasts - usually two breasts (with bones and skin)
3 medium carrots, cleaned, peeled and cut in large chunks (more if you don't like mushy carrots and want to replace the cooking carrots)
2 shallots, cleaned, skinned and sliced in half
2 cloves garlic, cleaned, skinned and sliced in half
10 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Handful of fresh parsley, cleaned and stemmed
Freshly ground pepper
Remove the chicken from its packaging, drain off any liquid and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken, skin side down, in a soup pot. Sear the chicken for a few minutes until you hear a sizzle and the skin a slightly browned. Then flip the breasts and add enough water to cover by about an inch.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially covering the pot as soon as the water is boiling.
Skim any foam that rises to the surface in that first half hour with a spoon and discard.
Keep the pot partially covered and at a low simmer for 1] hour. You should see slow, steady bubbles and wisps of steam coming from the pot. Add more water as needed to keep the chicken covered, or if they float, just flip them a few times during cooking.
After 1 hour, add all the vegetables, the bay leaf, the parsley and the peppercorns. Cook for another hour to an hour and a half until the chicken is falling off the bone when you try to lift it up.
When done cooking, transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board and let it cool. Once cooled, pull the meat off the chicken bones, discarding the skin and bones. Shred or chop the meat into bite-sized pieces.
Pour the cooking liquid — now broth — through a strainer into a large mixing bowl. Discard the cooked veggies, bay leaf, peppercorns. (or if you like super soft veggies, keep them and chop them up and put back into the soup!)
Return the broth to the soup pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Give the broth a taste, and then season with a half teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Taste again and add more salt (by the half teaspoon) or pepper if needed.
If you didn’t add back the veggies, add some raw cleaned carrots now and cook through.
Return the chicken to the broth, and warm though. Taste again for seasoning and carrot doneness.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Serve with cooked rice, cooked quinoa, cooked noodles or cooked gluten-free pasta and garnish with fresh parsley.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to three months.