Monday, January 30, 2012

In the Kitchen - Ginger Chicken Soup

I've been feeling under the weather for the last 10 days or so. I start to feel better then the coughing and overwhelming tiredness starts again. Darn you flu! I decided to make some soup because homemade soup always tastes great when you are sick. When I make chicken noodle soup I don't use a recipe and just wing it. But today I wanted to try a soup out of the January issue of Bon Appetit - Cleansing Ginger Chicken Soup on page 44. Check out my review below the recipe.

Funny thing, I had to go to 3 grocery stores to find ginger. The first two were out of stock. A change I made to the recipe is that I used only about 4 quarts of water instead of the 6 required because my pot isn't big enough for all the ingredients and 6 quarts of water. Add bigger pot to the shopping list!

Cleansing Ginger-Chicken Soup
8 servings.

1 onion sliced
2 celery stalks chopped
8 oz unpeeled scrubbed ginger cut into 1/2" slices
2 garlic cloves crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
1 3lb. whole organic chicken cut into 7 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs with thighs, 2 wings, 1 back)
Kosher salt
Cilantro Leaves (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy pot. Add chicken, placing breasts on top. Add 6 quarts of water, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover with lid slightly ajar. Reduce heat to low, simmer until chicken breasts are just cooked 30 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to plate let cool then cover and chill. Continue to simmer soup uncovered until broth is fully flavored about 2.5 hours longer.

Remove chicken from broth. Separate skin from bones. Coarsely shred meat. Place a fine mesh sieve over another large pot and strain broth discarding solids in strainer. You should have about 8 cups of broth. Season with salt. Rewarm soup. Dividing chicken among bowls. Pour hot broth over chicken dividing equally. Garnish soup with cilantro leaves if desired.

So I spent a good portion of a day on this soup. Granted most was just watching it simmer away on the stove. But still. It's not a 30 minute meal and eat. The house smelled marvelous while it cooked! Once it was done I let it cool and then put it into the refrigerator. The next day I skimmed off the chicken fat and had a bowl. How disappointing! I made a big pot of vaguely chicken flavored water.  I didn't taste the ginger at all. Even the chicken flavor was subtle. I guess I wasn't expecting such a light flavored broth although it's called a cleansing soup so maybe I should have. I had a bowl and got rid of the rest. If I had room in my freezer I would have frozen it to use as stock for the next time I make chicken soup. I'm looking for something more substantial when I eat. I did make a nice chicken salad out of the rest of the meat so all was not lost. I followed the recipe exactly except that I used less water - which should have resulted in a more flavorful soup. I would not recommend this recipe. FAIL!

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