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The Chicken Soup Manifesto: Recipes from Around the World


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To my own astonishment, after I had read through your link, I realized that I have no association in my mind of chicken soup and comfort. I cast my mind back to my childhood and cannot recall a single bowl of chicken soup — ever. Consequently, I have no great desire to delve into it now. The included recipe looks as if it might produce a delicious soup. I just wouldn’t think of it in the way most people think of chicken soup —  for the soul. I just think it would be good soup for the taste buds. 😂

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Odd to me. So broad. What is chicken soup? is it the base broth, the meat, a whole meal? To me it is lIke sayIng what is anything that you connect to via the broth you  find of home. Soup in general yes I get but chicken specifically - I do not get. 

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Altho my mother was a thrifty cook, having survived the Depression and WWII deprivations, I can't remember her ever making chicken soup, from a carcass or from scratch.    I don't ever remember eating it.   My M-I-L, on the other hand, made fabulous chicken and noodles.   Heard tales of my paternal grandmother making noodles for soup but not referencing chicken.   While my chicken soup is good, I can't say that it is quintessential comfort food, altho our son thinks so.

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eGullet member #80.

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Yes, I think of simple chicken soup as comfort food: a little chicken, rice, carrots, maybe with an egg drizzled in. My mother always fed me chicken soup with rice and maybe a slice of toast when I was sick. She never made stock from scratch in her life.

 

I use chicken stock for numerous soups, simple and not so simple. Soup in general is comforting, but if I'm under the weather it's most often very basic, maybe with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. If I'm simply depressed chicken broth wonton soup might be my first choice!  

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Also for many parts of the world the chicken was not everyday meat. It was the Sunday special meal maybe. The girls had a job - eggs. The boys were culled early - who needs more than one rooster.  Why sexing of chicks is a thing.

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5 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Every day, around the world, thousands, if not millions of menopausal chickens retire from the egg-laying business and are used for soup - and they make for very good soup at that.

Nothing like an old hen for soup.  They're usually available, 2 to a bag at the Chinatown groceries here, for around $5. They've been around the block - and they look it!

 

Chicken soup, be it with matzo balls or noodles (never rice with my mishpucha) or both, was a presence at every holiday meal. And I love making chicken soup from scratch...that is, first the stock or brodo, then the soup.  I find it quite comforting. I won over my wife by making her chicken matzo ball soup followed by roast chicken etc. etc. the first time I cooked for her. She's still around! (And I'm still doing the cooking).

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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26 minutes ago, heidih said:

Never tried the silkie thing. My go to is the bag of feet in the freezer. I don't know about flavor but the lip smack is certainly boosted.

I use feet when I made chicken stock and I don't have access to old hens...  When I don't have access to a lot of bones but I'm out of stock, I'll use a combo of cut up legs, some wings (dependign on price) and feet.

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3 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I use feet when I made chicken stock and I don't have access to old hens...  When I don't have access to a lot of bones but I'm out of stock, I'll use a combo of cut up legs, some wings (dependign on price) and feet.

 

Ha! I used to have a poultry guy and he would sell me the tips of wings super cheap.  Today in mainstream markets those are removed. The whole buffalo wing trend that favors the "drumettes" with the next bit as  background. I realize this does not apply to other cultures. 

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

They add to the cost, but if I want a really gelatinous chicken soup, in addition to the old hens, I'll also throw in a silky... those are some tough birds and make fantastic soup.

The only way I've ever seen silkies used here is for soup. There may be other uses, but I've never encountered or heard of any. You certainly woudn't want to roast one.

Apart from making good soup, the broth is considered to have medicinal benefits.

Old layers (老母鸡 / 老母雞, lǎo mǔ jī, literally "old mother chicken") are highly prized so not particularly cheap in relative terms. Chicken's feet and heads are in all my chicken broths.

Edited by liuzhou
removing ambiguity (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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Lacking a recent roast chicken carcass, I typically use mostly backs and the rest wings and feet. If I can get an old bird instead, that would be excellent. Home made chicken soup is always win-win. Just breathing it while it's cooking has to be beneficial. Of course this time of year there's turkey soup, which hypnotized me while it's simmering away. Too incapacitated to make a real soup? Just drink a cup of turkey broth with a squirt of lime. 

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6 hours ago, weinoo said:

Nothing like an old hen for soup.  They're usually available, 2 to a bag at the Chinatown groceries here, for around $5. They've been around the block - and they look it!

 

I got some of these once and made soup with them - but the meat was ridiculously tough - am I not supposed to eat it and use the birds only for broth?

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38 minutes ago, Hassouni said:

 

I got some of these once and made soup with them - but the meat was ridiculously tough - am I not supposed to eat it and use the birds only for broth?

Yes in my experience. The first old hen we caught/killed/cooked was fodder for the dentist - chewy ya think?  

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When I made stock, I let it go a long time to extract as much flavor and gelatin as possible.  By that time, the meat has lost any and all flavor to the soup, so it's either discarded, or sometimes I'll save it for when I made Thai chicken soup, and then I'll give the meat a splash of soy or fish sauce to flavor it before adding to the soup.

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2 hours ago, Hassouni said:

 

I got some of these once and made soup with them - but the meat was ridiculously tough - am I not supposed to eat it and use the birds only for broth?

 

On these old birds, I just toss the whole lot after I've made the stock.

 

38 minutes ago, KennethT said:

When I made stock, I let it go a long time to extract as much flavor and gelatin as possible.  By that time, the meat has lost any and all flavor to the soup, so it's either discarded, or sometimes I'll save it for when I made Thai chicken soup, and then I'll give the meat a splash of soy or fish sauce to flavor it before adding to the soup.

 

True, true. But I can't abide by the meat at this point, no matter what you do to it.  Actually, the cat runs away from it too.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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11 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

On these old birds, I just toss the whole lot after I've made the stock.

 

 

True, true. But I can't abide by the meat at this point, no matter what you do to it.  Actually, the cat runs away from it too.

You're right - there's nothing to say about the mealy texture the meat gets.  I just made chicken stock last weekend (I do it in the pressure cooker) and the meat is just awful.  I chucked it all.

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22 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 

Around the World in 130 Chicken-Soup Recipes

 

This popped up on Facebook. Looks interesting. Anyone sampled it?

 

Definitely interesting. I just submitted a purchase request to my local library system. Unfortunately, they're not making any new purchases until mid-January, when the next annual budget kicks in.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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14 minutes ago, KennethT said:

You're right - there's nothing to say about the mealy texture the meat gets.  I just made chicken stock last weekend (I do it in the pressure cooker) and the meat is just awful.  I chucked it all.

Even a bird that isn't old gets plenty tough after two or three hours of simmering. In my opinion the only poultry part that stands up to a long cook is a turkey neck. If you don't mind a hybrid stock toss in a few turkey necks with a chicken carcass and you can eat them as a chef's treat after the stock is done, with broth and generous amount of salt. Fat necks are better than skinny necks.

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5 minutes ago, Hassouni said:

Well my usual MO is to simmer the whole chicken for an hour then remove the meat and return the bones - tried that with the stewing hen and noooope

This works with a regular chicken for sure; certainly with the dark meat and wings. By an hour though, the breast is basically inedible (to my taste) on many birds. Although I guess if for that first hour you're barely poaching a larger bird, it can be ok.

 

I like to remove the breast and bone it out before starting the stock (basically I cut up the whole bird), go forward and make the stock, and then just poach the breast in that stock.  That way I end up with perfectly poached breast meat, which makes an awesome chicken salad. Makes Sig Eater super happy.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I have a dab of turkey left over, so today it's going to be turkey, corn and sweet potato chowder from a recipe I saved from somewhere:

 

SOUTHWEST CHICKEN, CORN AND SWEET POTATO CHOWDER
Serves 4 to 6.
Ingredients
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch dice
1 quart chicken stock
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thawed)
2 cups half-and-half
— Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Directions
1 Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut in 3/4-inch dice. Heat butter in 4-quart soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 2 minutes or until chicken is opaque. Add the pepper, onion and garlic. Cooking, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the sweet potatoes, stock, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce to the pot; stir well.
2 Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes. Add the creamed corn, corn and half-and-half. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately, sprinkling each serving with cilantro.
 
I'm just going to add the diced turkey (I have about a cup and a half of it) after the onion and other veg are sauteed and then simmered for a bit. Note to @rotuts -- not to worry, no bell peppers will be harmed in the making of this soup.
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Don't ask. Eat it.

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