Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chicken & Sliders Soup

I've never had much interest in making my own stocks before. Chicken stock/broth/bouillon was always something I bought in the store and never really minded. But sometimes in cooking you get the urge to try making something from scratch, if for no other reason than to appreciate how much hard work goes into making a soup from base ingredients. But then there's the question of what to do with the stock once you have it. Many people I've seen and read say you can freeze it in small quantities to use when you please, but I've never been much of a freezer stockpiler. My freezer currently has a loaf of bread (because it usually molds before I finish it), some frozen fruit for smoothies and some coffee. So I wanted to use my stock right away to enjoy the fruits of my labors. Then I remembered a soup that my mom used to make - chicken with sliders. Note: sliders, in this meal, are not miniature burgers, but rather fat, thick noodles that you slurp up with your soup.

Chicken Stock
From Elizabeth's Edible Experience.

Ingredients
2 rotisserie chicken carcasses, picked of meat (set aside), skin and fat
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled, quartered
3 carrots, unpeeled, halved
2 stalks of celery, cut into thirds
2 bay leaves
10 sprigs of parsley
5 sprigs of thyme
1 head of garlic, unpeeled and halved crosswise
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 gallon cold water

Directions

Rotisserie Chicken Twins

Chicken Bones

I started with two rotisserie chickens and de-meated them by hand. This is an interesting, messy and slightly gross process. It is interesting observing the structure of the chicken and how all the muscles attach to each other. The best part is letting your fingers roam, searching for pockets of meaty goodness. Get every last bit that you can because this meat will go back into the chicken soup after making the stock.

Stock Ingredients

Place all of the ingredients except the water in a large (8-10 quart) stockpot. The easiest part of this recipe is that each of the ingredients, except the chickens, need only a minimal amount of preparation. The stock is strained at the end, so you don't have to worry about peeling or dicing anything. Just be sure your veggies are free of grit.

Ingredients Taking a Dip

Add 1 gallon of cold water to the stock pot and bring to a boil. This will take some time since most of the ingredients are either at room temperature or cold and the water has to rise from 75 degrees F to 212 degrees F.

Post-Boil Stock

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 4 hours. In this case, a simmer is heating the stock-to-be such that you see the occasional bubble float to the surface. Do not stir.

First Strain

Strain the contents through a colander placed on top of a large bowl or pot. Remember, unlike cooking most foods, you want to keep the liquid and get rid of the solids. Don't forget and pour your lovely stock down the sink.

Second Strain

Just to be safe, strain the stock again through a fine mesh strainer. You don't want any small bones or inedible bits to get into the final product.

Finished Chicken Stock

Place the stock in a large, sealable container and chill overnight. The next day, remove any surface fat. At this point the stock can be used immediately (after you're done admiring the magic of turning clear water into a golden broth) or you can freeze it in batches for up to 3 months.

Grandma's Chicken & Sliders Soup
Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients
Chicken Soup
Approx. 96 oz of chicken stock (see above)
3 carrots, peeled, large dice
2 celery, peeled, sliced
3 yellow squash, trimmed, diced
1 onion, peeled, large dice
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
Meat from 1.5-2 rotisserie chickens (see above)
Salt and pepper to taste
Other dried or fresh spices (thyme, rosemary, etc.) to taste
Sliders
1 cup flour
1 egg
2-3 tbsp milk

Directions
Place chicken stock in a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Put all of the vegetables, chicken and spices in the soup to cook, approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on how many veggies you like in your soup.

Flour in a Pile

For sliders, place flour onto a cutting board in a little mound.

Making Slider Dough

Form a well in the center of the flour pile. Drop the egg into the well.

Sliders

Mix flour and egg together with a fork. Add enough milk to form a solid dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to desired thickness (remember - noodles will plump in the soup) and cut into short, wide strips with a pizza cutter.

Chicken & Sliders Soup

Drop the sliders into the boiling soup one by one so they don't stick together. Cook until they float, about 1-2 minutes.

And there you have it! Scratch-made chicken and sliders soup. The noodles are a little heavy and chewy, adding interest to the light chicken soup. This soup is perfect any time of year because it is versatile enough, light enough and filling enough to satisfy you no matter what the weather is like. The vegetables and rotisserie chicken make the soup taste fresh, adding to the homemade quality.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG I am soooo glad I found this. My grandmother used to make this & all of us grandkids LOVE eating this. She just called it Sliders. Nobody knew how to make it or if it was called by a different name. I was bored a few weeks ago and decided to google it and what do you know....there is someone who knows what sliders are. I'm making some right now. Thank for posting this.
Kristie

Wendy said...

My Grandmother's were more like gravy than a broth. I think she used flour to thicken the stock. So nice to see this favorite of mine. My heritage is mostly French and most of that French is also Canadian. So proud of this dish!