July 22, 2008

Basic Chicken Stock

A tough week ahead. My kids are down with a nasty cold. This calls for steaming Chicken Broth/Soup. Amma ondakiya frozen Chicken Soup theernu. Ende turn now, to replenish my pantry. Pokunnathinu mumbe, she jotted down the recipe for me. Her soup has a real healing mantra... my hubby swears by it. Its a lighter version of the typical post-pregnancy mutton soup and can be used as broth or as a base for other soups and curries. Jyaan adhinae americanise chayedu, by adding some veggies like celery and carrots. Best is to make a huge batch and freeze small portions in Ziploc bags.

Ingredients:(makes about 18 cups)
Chicken Breast with rib bone - 5 pieces
Celery - 4-5 sticks
Chopped Carrot - 1-2 cups
White onion - 1 large
Garlic - 3 whole bulbs
Ginger - 5 1" pieces
Bay leaf - 4 small or 2 large
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Crushed pepper - 1 tsp
Salt - 2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1 pinch
Water - 20 cups
For seasoning or tadka (for 2 cups):
Ghee - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Shallots (chomanna ulli) - 1 tbsp
Salt+Pepper - as per taste

Cut veges into small cubes.
Wash and cut the garlic bulbs breadthwise.
Cut and carve chicken. Reserve fleshy pieces for a curry and save the skin, fat and bones.
Put the water in a stock pot on full heat and add all the ingredients.
Let it boil on full flame for 15 minutes.
Reduce flame and let it simmer for 1.5 hours.
The stock will reduce by 2 cups. Take it off fire and let it cool a bit.
Seive the liquid into another stock pot. This is the clear soup.
Take the veges and small chicken pieces and churn in a blender.
Seive this mixture into the broth liquid.
Taste for salt and add if needed. Let the soup cool completely.
Transfer to Ziploc bags (2 cups each) for freezer storage.

Before serving:
Defrost one bag. Heat the soup in a saucepan. Make a tadka of mustard and finely chopped shallots in ghee. Season the soup with this tadka and add salt+pepper as per taste. (My mol prefer lots of shallots and no pepper, my hubby loves a fiery taste and adds plenty of crushed pepper to his bowl :)

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