Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken on and off the bone

Sometimes, I get lazy and make soup by tossing a whole lot of veggies and sometimes a little meat in a pot with chicken broth and simmering it for a while.  Then, I go to Whole Foods and think that their mom's chicken soup is better than mine.  With all due respect to Whole Foods cooks, that's mass-produced salad bar fare.  I pride myself in at least doing the down home recipes that I know better than a soup and salad bar.  I guess if I'm so busy that we're eating supper at Whole Foods I should let myself off the hook a little for not making a better chicken soup.  But of course, I'm so busy because I'm an overachiever, so instead, I have to prove to myself, and my son, that I'm the mom and I make a fantastic chicken soup.

But first, I'm low on chicken broth.  And the best chicken broth is made with roasted chicken bones.  So first comes roasted drumsticks, which are so good there almost aren't any left for the broth and soup.  But I save just enough, and realize I've got roasted chicken along the way, which is a key I'd almost forgotten to the best mom's chicken soup.



ROASTED DRUMSTICKS
serves 4 or better yet 2 with leftovers for broth and chicken soup for 4

8 drumsticks
1 T large grain sea salt
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp. roughly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 large cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
8 shallots

Blend together spices and garlic in a bowl.  With your hands, rub all over the drumsticks.  Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Heat oven to 350.  Peel shallots and cut in half.  Lay the chicken and the shallots in a roasting pan.  Roast for 45 minutes, turning chicken once halfway through. 

serve with Oven Fries
1 large russet potato per person
Peel potatoes, slice into fry shapes, and place in a bowl of cold water for at least 30 minutes (and up to all day in the fridge).  Remove potatoes from water, pat dry, lay on a baking sheet and toss with 1 T olive oil, 1 tsp. coarse sea salt, and 1 tsp. ground black pepper.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through.

MOM'S CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE

Stock
4 roasted drumsticks with skin, flesh removed and set aside for the soup
1/2 onion, quartered
1 large garlic clove, smashed
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. sea salt
5-10 peppercorns
6-8 cups water

Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, tasting for salt

Soup
1/2 onion, chopped medium-small
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, sciced
1 carrot, sliced into 1/8" rounds
2 small or 1 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/8" rounds
2 mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup rice
chicken from 4 roasted drumsticks, roughly chopped
6-8 cups chicken stock
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper

Saute onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, celery, salt, and pepper and saute 3-5 minutes longer, unitl onion begins to brown.  Add carrots, mushrooms, and parsnips and saute 3 minutes longer.  Add stock, rice, and chicken.  Bring to a boil then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 

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