Now that the first week of fall is officially under our (cozy-sweater-and-boot-clad, pumpkin-spiced-everything) belts, I’m declaring it time for SOUP.
You know a good soup day when you see one — grey and a little blustery, maybe some damp chill settling in around midday (hey, Seattle, I see you). Or maybe it’s clear and crunchy, with a pushy sort of wind that makes its way into your ears and leaves your nose good and pink? SOUP DAY.
My brother-in-law doesn’t consider soup to be a real meal, which leads me to believe that either A: he is a real spoilsport, or B: he’s just never had a good bowl of soup. Or bisque or chowder or stew, for that matter. My brother-in-law is pretty fun, in general, so I’m going with B. Maybe he’s never made his own chicken stock. Have you?
Making your own chicken stock is the kind of thing that sounds like a big deal, but in reality is absolutely not. It’s actually on the simpler side of things, cooking-wise, and really takes your soup game to a new level. I’m certainly not against a store-bought box of the stuff, but when I have the time and wherewithal, I love to make my own.
I like to take my time and make a day of it — there’s lots of hands-off time in stock-making, so it doesn’t really take up the whole day. I buy a good chicken, raid the fridge for some veggie odds and ends, cover it all with water and then let the stove do the work. After a few (again, very hands-off) hours, I’ve got a nicely poached chicken (with meat that I use for salads, tacos, chili, etc. etc. etc.) and a beautiful, rich broth to store in the freezer for months of soup to come.
It’s a very autumnal thing to do, come to think of it. So what do you say? Shall we make some stock? Let soup season begin!
(Consider this part 3 of my seasonal “Whole Bird Cooking” series! In case you missed them, here are parts 1 and 2).
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