Chunky chicken and mushroom soup…
We are working, I hope, through the last of the days on end rain storms where even the worms drown in unforgiving driveway puddles…
and unplanned driveway streams…
Goats are hanging near the doorway..
As well as the dynamic duo…
We tried basic ditching to get a little immediate relief. They have a little bridge to cross.
So for days like this, chicken soup is still in order. But I wanted a soup with big chunky vegetables, mushrooms and meat. I started by cooking the chicken whole (and frozen) on a low simmer for about an hour. Next I pulled out the crock pot. I pulled the cooked chicken and strain the bits. Once cooled, I pulled the meat off and put it in the fridge till day 2. Here comes the crock pot.
Bones go in along with a couple carrots, celery tops, onion (or scallions if like me that’s all you have in the fridge), @ 4 bay leaves, a wedge of lemon, peppercorns, and a couple cloves of garlic. Potato bits and mushroom stems are also a nice addition. I use all the liquid from cooking chicken and top off to about 10-12 cups liquid. It will sit on low for about 24 hours and fill your house with a savory, homey scent. It’s gold baby.
No dicing or cubing here. I want to know if it is a slice of carrot or piece of celery in my mouth. 1 large onion, 4-5 carrots, 4 stalks of celery.
Same goes for the mushrooms- 6-8 larger brown caps (small portobellos) and 8-10 larger shiitakes. Don’t forget how much they shrink.
And if you want to give your soup a little more flavor, I strongly encourage sautéing your veggies in olive oil first and seasoning them on their own.
And then add the liquid gold to the big pot of veggies and lift up the “suc”- the yummy brown bits on the bottom (that you hopefully didn’t burn black:) with a spatula or spoon.
I have to admit after nibbling on the chicken for a day, I bought another split breast that I gently simmered in the 24 hour stock for only 30 minutes. So I essentially had 3 big breasts… keep it down folks.
About 4 cups largely shredded chicken in the end- mostly white meat. And of course these pieces still fit in your mouth. I don’t want to have to cut my soup into smaller pieces for god’s sake. Not that big!… Throw the meat in the pot.
And lastly, I added about ½ cup chopped parsley and seasoned the soup with salt, pepper and lemon. I wanted a simple, clean flavor and skipped any other herbs (rosemary, marjoram and thyme would be on another batch)
We are all ready for a break of sunshine.
And dry soils…
But until then how about another bowl of chunky chicken and mushroom soup!
RECAP: Portions – About 8-10. One dinner and lunch for 2. Then dinner for 4 at the neighbors…. and still a little left for the freezer.
- Simmer one 3-4# chicken (skin on for me) in water till cooked- about 1 hour. Fill water to about ½ up way around chicken.
- Pull chicken and let cool. Strain liquid and place in crockpot. Add enough water to make approx 10-12 cups liquid.
- Remove meat from the bones and place all bones in the crockpot. Put meat in the fridge till day 2.
- Add to crockpot- 2 medium carrots, 2 celery middle stalks w/ leaves, ½ onion, peppercorns (8-12 if you must count), 4 bay leaves (less if you want- won’t make or break your stock), couple cloves of garlic. Anything else you feel moved to add to create flavor- mushroom and potato bits, parsley stems.
- Cook on low for up to 24 hours for a dark, rich, healthy chicken stock. Pull a little cup out and add a pinch of salt to just enjoy on its own. Strain liquid. (Cook up another breast for more meat if you ate a bunch waiting for your stock! and for a heartier soup)
- Cut up 3-4 carrots, 4 stalks of celery, 1 onion
- Slice 6-8 large cap mushrooms, 8-10 large shiitake mushrooms
- Sauté veggies in your big soup pot with a little olive oil and season to taste. Add 24 hour stock.
- Take your chicken meat and pull apart/shred into larger but mouth fitting pieces. Add to soup pot.
- Chop ½ cup parsley and add to soup pot.
- Season to taste with salt, white pepper and lemon