…You’re done! – The kids are at the table, whining and snotty. Everyone is hungry and tired of the witching hour. They say chicken noodle soup is good for the soul so PLEASE work on our family…please.
Well, this is the final instalment in the organic chicken challenge – the most expensive chicken i have ever bought!
I am pleased to report that the expense was well worth it. I no longer need to procrastinate in the poultry isle over the ethical vs financial conundrum of an organic chicken. Because now I know –
organic free range chicken does taste awesome and was far better than any other chicken I have eaten
it really turned out to be quite economical.
Win, win I say.
From one chook I have made
- Chicken schnitzel
- Chicken stock (2 litres)
- the chicken noodle soup
What’s more there was one small piece of schnitzel left over for sandwiches the next day and the chicken noodle soup was such a hit we had it two nights running – it makes heaps.
I also have about 500 mls of chicken stock left over which is in the freezer and can go toward another meal.
So it was the expensive chook that was not really that expensive at all ($8 per meal) and one cannot forget the extras such as a sandwich, extra stock and the feel good factor of buying what was hopefully a happy chook (priceless)
This chicken challenge also killed two birds with one stone (excuse the pun) and enabled me to keep working on my other project – Operation ‘My Kids Will Eat Soup‘.
By using the carcass to make chicken stock, and utilising the thigh and leg meat i could make the chicken noodle soup.
The recipe i used comes from Australian chef Karen Martini, and was scrounged out of a newspaper some 3 years ago, squirrelled away in a my stash of recipes and has never seen the light of day since! (Better late then never i say).
It was titled ‘Amber’s chicken noodle soup’ so I am assuming Amber is her child or some other lucky girl who has a soup named after her.
The recipe does calls for the use of home made or good quality chicken stock. I am not a stock snob, and sometimes a packet stock just has to do…but in the interest if utilising every square inch of this chicken i made stock and it was really not that hard -You just need the time.
I am not going to give an exact recipe for it. I just placed all the left over, dodgy vegetables out of the fridge, a whole garlic bulb chopped in half, handfuls of parsley, 5 bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns and of course the chicken – and simmer really slowly for 2 – 4 hours.
After this time, i removed the chicken, shredded all the meat of the carcass and put it aside and strained the vegetables from the stock (discarding the vegetables) I made the stock days in advanced and froze the stock in tupperware containers and froze the cooked chicken in snap-lock bags until i was ready to make the soup (A tip i picked up from Sarah Wilson blog on making chicken stock)
When the time came to nourish the soul and sooth the nerves with a wholesome meal – i made the soup.
The recipe starts by combining garlic, thyme, leeks, onion, carrot and celery with a generous lump of butter and sauteing it slowly for 20 minutes or more. (a generous lump of butter – makes you feel better already)
What you are left with is a concoction of vegetables that are so sweet, buttery and delectable… mmmm perfect. Before even adding any stock it is packed full of flavour!
At this stage, add the stock and bring it to the boil before reducing back to a simmer. It is time to add all the satisfying, comforting carbs.
Along with the noodles, the recipe also calls for the addition of long grain rice. This, I thought, was a weird combination – but it really worked. Add the rice and noodles (i used an egg pasta) to the stock and simmer for 10 minutes until cooked.
The rice was a great addition – It soaked up a lot of the buttery chicken stock and gave it another dimension all together. However, it soaked up so much stock the soup bordered on being a stew.
The recipe called for 1.5 litres. I thought i would be thrifty and add 1.2 litres. So if you want a more soupy mix…stick to the recipe.
When the noodles and rice are nearly cooked, add the cooked chicken and heat through until it is hot.
So where were we again? ….. oh, that right –
You’re done – The kids are at the table, whining and snotty. Everyone is hungry and tired of the witching hour. They say chicken noodle soup is good for the soul so PLEASE work on our family…please.
It did!! A great hit.
Master 5 years was taken by it so much we had it two nights in a row and he requested it a third night too (but there was none left)
Miss 18 months is a little less communicative but she ate all of her serve on the first night and ate some of her serve the second night – definitely nothing to be sneezed at.
Lets not forget the big souls in the house as well – thumbs up! We loved it too.
What this little exercise has shown is –
Organic chicken is great and this is a recipe that will be seeing a little more light this winter.
Chicken Noodle Soup
50 ml olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 large cloves of garlic, finely sliced
picked leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
2 stalks of celery finely diced
1 small leek, finely sliced
1 medium carrot finely diced
1.5 litres of home made or good quality chicken stock
1/2 cup long grain rice
200g egg noodles or pasta
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken meat, diced
Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for 3 minutes until soft. Reduce heat to medium low and add celery, leek, carrot and butter. Cook for 20 minutes to slowly caramalise the vegetables.
Add stock and rice. Increase to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes before adding noodles. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Add chicken meat and when it has warmed through, divide soup between bowls and serve.