The Crazy Suburban Mom: What's in my pantry today? Chicken-flavored clouds

Monday, April 27, 2009

What's in my pantry today? Chicken-flavored clouds

Perusing the veggie bins in my fridge this morning I realized I had some carrots and celery that were on their last legs. Not so limp that they needed to go down the garbage disposal but not peppy enough for anything but soup.

Which is a good thing.

The boy loves soup. Well, one kind of soup. Chicken noodle soup with matzoh balls... and I also had half of box of matzoh ball mix to use up so...perfect, right?

I don't know if you've had the pleasure that is matzoh balls before but you should.

You really should.

They are light and fluffy dumplings and I like them much better than any other flour-based dumpling I've tried to make for soup. I've tried other dumplings with chicken soup but they always have an odd, undercooked flour flavor. And they are heavy. Dense, really.

Now, matzoh balls are like clouds. Chicken-flavored clouds. What could be better than chicken-flavored clouds?



Light as clouds, I tell ya.

The other good thing that happened was I finally used my yard sale Score! Chantal Cookware so now I don't feel so guilty about buying it.

I'm not a big chicken soup recipe follower but I normally use the same things and do the same thing.

Big pot
Twice the chicken I think I will need (like 2 whole chickens, instead of one).
Carrots (yeah, those limp ones from the veggie bins).
Celery ( The other limp looking veggie bin rejects)
Better than Bullion Chicken stock
A sauteed leek or two or a few chopped scallions... (I don't really like onions, they are kind of blah).

All I do is fill the soup pot half full with water and turn on the gas.

I put the chicken in...

Put in a little of the chicken stock paste (or you can use a cube or two). You want to lightly flavor the meat but not make the soup as salty as you would want to eat it. You're going to be cooking down the soup and if you add to much now it will be like eating the liquid version of a salt lick.

Put the cut up carrots in (how ever many you have or like)

Put the celery in (I usually use 1 or 2 stalks, its a strong flavor)

And turn up the heat... It's best not to boil the soup with a hard boil. That's an any soup rule really... Hard boiling hardens the ingredients, makes them less tender, and less likely to infuse their flavor in the soups.

Did you know that?

When the soup starts to boil scum will rise to the top. Did you ever notice that? The scum is coagulated protein and fats in the soup released by boiling...

It's a lot like the foamy stuff that floats on the ocean... And while it's harmless and if you let it boil, it's incorporated back into the soup, if you skim it off you get a clearer soup.

Plus the thought of eating soup scum grosses me out.

I'm like that.

I skim the boiling soup (an easy boil, nothing raucous) every 5 or 10 minutes for about half an hour. Most of it's gone in the first few skims... The other good thing about skimming soup is you're taking off a lot of the fat.

When the soup is scum free I add some dill and parsley and ground black pepper. I do it now because if I did it before de-scumming I'd have skimmed off most of this by the time I was done skimming.

Does that make sense?

That's it, really. Cook it until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken, cut it into soup sized pieces and set it aside. I finish the soup by cooking it with the herbs and veggies for at least another hour. But that's up to you.

As to what to do with the cooking veggies - I mash up the cooked carrots and use them, discard the celery and and the used up herbs. If I'm going to serve it with celery I will add new cut up stalks... and I add new herbs.

Before serving I add the sauteed leek or cut up scallions, the egg noodles (only egg noodles per the boy) and the chicken-clouds.

And this is what you get....

chicken soup

I think that's the prettiest soup ever.

And who can resist chicken-flavored clouds?

'Cept maybe vegetarians....

And since I add twice the chicken I need to get a real chickeny broth, I also have extra chicken for another dinner.


Veronica Lee 4/27/09, 11:47 AM  

Grab the blogger buddy and zombie chicken award from my blog!

tracy 4/28/09, 9:29 AM  

thanks so much veronica! Done and passed on to some great bloggers!

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