Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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24/4/16: no frills cooking (4): chicken soup

I decided yesterday that I wanted to make chicken soup.  More accustomed to making vegetable soups (see this blog post) I searched for 'recipe chicken soup' using Google and came up with an absolute winner!

(Parenthetical note: please note that I searched using Google.  I did not Google because that is not possible.  That is, it is no more possible to Google than it is, if relaxing, to settee in order then to television.  Which is to say, 'settee' and 'television' are nouns, not verbs.  And so is Google!  I may be fighting against the tide, but that doesn't mean that I'm not right on this one.  I mean, what is the bottom line here?  Is it permissible to verb any noun?)

So, how to make chicken soup.  First buy a chicken, the procedure is the same as if roasting it as set out in this blog post, ie. make sure the chicken is both dead and fresh.

Put it whole in a large casserole dish.  Then add a random collection of anything which you have to hand and / or takes your fancy.  So onion is always good, carrots, celery according to the recipe I started from (couldn't find any yesterday but no frills chefs don't worry about little things like that).  Salt and pepper work with anything, I also like garlic and ginger and, since I grow lemon grass on my balcony in order to keep mosquitos at bay, I put some of that in as well.

But not grapefruit.  I tried that once, chicken and grapefruit do not blend well as flavours, I can tell you that from first hand experience.  Grapefruit is just a little overpowering.  By all means try this yourself if you don't believe me, I think you'll find I'm right on this one.

When you feel you've got what you want in the pot, fill it to just over the top of the contents with water.  Bring to the boil then simmer for 1.5 hours.  If the mood is upon you, stir occasionally, this is more to persuade anybody who might be around that you're doing something useful than for any other reason.  Doesn't do any harm to do periodic checks that the mixture is simmering gently, neither going cold nor boiling vigorously.

Check that the chicken is tender, then decant the fluid into another bowl.  Discard the vegetables etc., they've now done their job in adding flavour.  Chop the chicken into small pieces, and add to the fluid.  If you feel like a few other bits and pieces - onion and carrot, maybe - cook them separately and add only to heat through.  Gently bring back to the boil.

And that's it!  You've done it!  I should have learnt by now that cooking is often this straightforward but stil can't quite believe it when it is.  May not look fantastic but tastes great.  A most welcome addition to my no frills repertoire.  Go on, try it! If I can do it, so can you!

4 Comments to 24/4/16: no frills cooking (4): chicken soup:

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Evodius Jackson on 25 April 2016 02:30
Thanks for the tips.
Reply to comment
Geoff on 25 April 2016 04:03
Great pleasure, Evodius, trust you found this useful. Remember: cooking is straightforward, wonderful flavours and good nutrition can be obtained fairly easily - even if presentation can't be!

Chris Tennant on 25 April 2016 09:30
Thinking of 'googling' Geoff, I bet you have h(H)oovered many times!!
Reply to comment
Geoff on 26 April 2016 00:00
Ah, mother, where would I be without you? Of course, the example you use commits another crime against the English language, confusing the name of an object with a brand name, biro would be another example. I suppose I can respond in one of three ways: concede the general point, concede the particular point and promise to err no more, and to maintain that I have not misused the word 'Hoover' in an unthinking moment - of course, you don't see vacuum cleaners in this part of the world! Will ponder this one further. Meanwhile, thank you for contributing, Geoff

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