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Old 01-09-2014, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,232 posts, read 2,401,997 times
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I've made chicken soup several times and it's never been quite right. It tastes alright, but I think it's lacking some flavor. It's also not as thick and creamy as other chicken soups I've had. I just start by boiling a couple of chicken breasts in water. Then I add in bouillon cubes, noodles, carrots and different spices. I'm thinking I should stop using the water and bouillon cubes and just use chicken broth instead. I think the water decreases some of the flavor.

Also, do you think it's better to use dark meat in your chicken soup? Does it have more flavor? How do I make the soup thicker? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
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I use quite a few chicken legs/thighs. I add carrots, parsnips, an onion, celery, lots of garlic, lots of dill, parsley, salt and pepper, and cook it for hours. It comes out fantastic.
I never use white meat, because there's less flavour.
You should never add your noodles to the soup directly. Always boil your noodles separately and add them just before serving the soup. If you put them in the soup, the soup will go bad much faster.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:10 PM
 
Location: League City, Texas
2,919 posts, read 5,948,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgordeeva View Post
I just start by boiling a couple of chicken breasts in water.

Also, do you think it's better to use dark meat in your chicken soup? .
Step away from the chicken breasts. There really is no reason to use them. They are dry & flavorless.
Start with some chicken thighs.

Simmer 4-6 thighs in water or very low sodium broth to cover. If you want to eat it the same day, remove the skin to cut down on the fat. Otherwise, don't worry about it. You can skim off the fat after it is chilled.Use bone-in thighs so you get the flavor & thickening from the bones. You can add bouillon, but I prefer using a tsp or two of low sodium chicken base (like Better than Bouillon brand).Add some cut up carrots, onions, & celery. Add whatever other dry seasonings you want--poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, etc. Let this cook for an hour or so, then remove the chicken & take it off the bone. Add the meat back to your pot, & add some dry noodles--less than you think you'll need. They will increase in size exponentially. If needed, you can supplement the liquid with some more chicken broth or stock. Cook for another half hour or so--taste for seasoning--add salt as needed. Enjoy.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
934 posts, read 1,127,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellpaso View Post
Step away from the chicken breasts. There really is no reason to use them. They are dry & flavorless.
Start with some chicken thighs.

Simmer 4-6 thighs in water or very low sodium broth to cover. If you want to eat it the same day, remove the skin to cut down on the fat. Otherwise, don't worry about it. You can skim off the fat after it is chilled.Use bone-in thighs so you get the flavor & thickening from the bones. You can add bouillon, but I prefer using a tsp or two of low sodium chicken base (like Better than Bouillon brand).Add some cut up carrots, onions, & celery. Add whatever other dry seasonings you want--poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, etc. Let this cook for an hour or so, then remove the chicken & take it off the bone. Add the meat back to your pot, & add some dry noodles--less than you think you'll need. They will increase in size exponentially. If needed, you can supplement the liquid with some more chicken broth or stock. Cook for another half hour or so--taste for seasoning--add salt as needed. Enjoy.

I concur with this. There are a lot of ways to make good chicken soup, but breasts are not it. In fact if you want to use breasts, I would only add them at the end, so you get nice tender meat that is not dry and tough. What you want is chicken stock. There are a number of ways to get good chicken stock, but there are a few things that make it much better. Use bones. Bones give fantastic flavor and nutrients. And roast your bones first. After roasting them, put in a pot, cover with water, add a healthy pinch of kosher salt, a tablespoon of vinegar, any veggie scraps like carrot, celery, onion, garlic and pepper. (stay away from cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower). Cover and bring to a boil for a minute or two, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for a couple of hours. Skim the top of your broth as it cooks. Then drain and refrigerate your stock overnight. The fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off easily. When you want to make your chicken soup, sautee some celery, carrots and onions and maybe mushrooms till soft, add to the broth and add your chicken. If you want noodles or rice, you can add those. I've never had a problem with adding noodles to the broth as mentioned, but it usually gets eaten right away. If it's not "chickeny" enough for you, you can always add some chicken buillion or miso and seasonings to your taste..Some foodistas swear that the best broth/stocks use chicken feet to make the broth. They are strained and thrown away, not eaten. I've never had the nerve to actually buy the feet and boil them, but there you are. People swear by it! Lately, I've just been buying the store roasted whole chickens, (they are cheaper than a raw whole chicken) boning it and using the meat, and then just boiling up the carcass. Makes a very good stock.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:22 PM
 
Location: NYC
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A good chicken soup requires a non-supermarket chicken.

Go to a local farm and where they sell livestock. Nothing like a real chicken without all the steroids.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,441 posts, read 14,863,170 times
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It's all about the details. For a great soup/stew you have to make a great stock...
  1. Keep the wing tips, skin, and bones whenever you roast a chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken. Freeze them until you have two or three chickens worth of "bits."
  2. Toss a chopped large yellow onion, three chopped celery ribs, three chopped carrots, three chopped garlic cloves, two bay leaves, half a teaspoon of thyme, and half a teaspoon of sage in a stock pot with enough water to cover everything plus an inch over.
  3. Boil for four hours and strain.
  4. Toss whatever stays in the strainer - those bits and veggies gave-up their flavor and willingly stay behind.
  5. Chill the stock and remove the top layer of fat after chilling. Don't worry that the rest of the stock has turned to jelly - that means you made some great stock.
Now you have a beautiful stock for any type of chicken soup/stew you can imagine. Notice we didn't add salt - you will determine the amount of salt needed when you use this stock for your soup/stew.
And you can even use breast meat when you make your soup/stew 'cause you already used the most flavorful bits for your stock.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:13 AM
 
5,014 posts, read 6,597,909 times
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If a grocery in your area sells chicken feet, buy a package, roast & add to your stock makings. They will cook out a large amount of gelatin that will give your stock & subsequent soup the body and flavor you are craving.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
6,811 posts, read 6,941,266 times
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My chicken soup was always sort of blah until I tried the Barefoot Contessa's recipe. It is the best chicken soup I have ever had. I use only one whole chicken and leave out the dill, but everything else stays the same. It has lots of flavor and is absolutely delicious.

Chicken Soup Recipe : Ina Garten : Recipes : Food Network
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:49 AM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
61,647 posts, read 87,001,838 times
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I like to put in a piece of beef with a bone first, simmer slow for hour or so, then add chicken (with bones), and little later some veggies ( carrots, parsnip, celery root, celery green, leek, parsley, lightly roasted onion for the golden color), then add seasoning: sea salt, freshly crushed black pepper, freshly crushed allspice, bay leaf.
Do not hurry. Simmer slow to get the most of the meat and veggies to the broth.
If you want add noodle or rice, cook them separately.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
2,353 posts, read 3,860,168 times
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You have to have chicken bones & vegetables and make chicken stock to start. THEN you can make good chicken soup. I even cook my chicken bones in store bought chicken broth to up the flavor. Don't overcook the chicken bones though. Simmering for an hour is plenty.
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