This is simple, home-style soup. I try to be specific because I know there are people just starting out, so I ask a little patience for that! I love it if someone describes a technique for the kitchen, it helps me too!
- 1 (3 lb) broiler-fryer chickens
- 4 large potatoes, cut to bite size pieces
- 1 (16 ounce) bag baby carrots (use half)
- 2 stalks celery, cut in 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 medium white onion, quartered
- 1⁄2-1 cup long grain white rice
- 2 -3 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
- 1⁄2 tablespoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
- 2 dashes garlic powder, to taste
- Rinse and clean whole chicken, taking out the giblets. You can cook these with the chicken for flavour if you like.
- Place your chicken into your Dutch oven or a large stock pot. I have "Vintage" Reverware and love it! But you use what you have. A 6 quart size is good.
- Fill the pot with water to cover the chicken, about 1/4 inch more over the chicken if you have room.
- Turn you burner on high with your stockpot centered and bring the water to a boil. Then turn the heat down to a slow boil and add the onion, pepper and powdered garlic. This will flavor you chicken.
- Cook the chicken through, until a fork pierces the main part easily, do not cook it off the bone or you'll have chicken mush, not soup.
- I set a very large Pyrex bowl in my sink, get out my largest stainless steel colander and place it in the bowl, and pour the whole pot of broth and chicken into the colander. Be careful about the steam so it doesn't scald you!
- Set the pot back on the stove (You did turn it off for now, right?).
- Lift the colander out of the bowl, straining the juice through it. Set it on a large plate or cutting board.
- Carefully pour the broth from the bowl to the stock pot. Turn the heat back on and simmer the broth. Add more water if necessary to bring the level up to about an inch from the rim of you pot. Use less liquid if you want less soup.
- Add potatoes, celery, carrots, rice and bouillon cubes to your broth at this point. Cover and simmer at a slow boil to continue to cook.
- On your cutting board: use a fork and knife to pull pieces from the cooked chick, leaving the skin, fat and bones to discard. I don't keep the onion from this either, it's just to flavor the soup. If you like, you can break the leg and thigh bones and add them to the broth so their marrow can continue to flavour the soup. Discard these bones before serving.
- Cut the chicken meat to sizes you like.
- Check your vegetables, if they are almost cooked, add your chicken back into the stockpot. Taste your broth and add seasonings and salt to taste. I have people who are sensitive to salt, so I don't cook with it often, but it's on my table.
- Finish simmering until vegetables are done. Turn off the heat.
- If you are making biscuits, leave the cover on and bake your biscuits now, while the soup "sets". If your family is like mine, this gives you a good excuse for a "breather" while your biscuits bake, and it sound so "secret recipe-ish".