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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken Soup From Scratch

Funnily enough, I have never made chicken soup from scratch before. We got back home yesterday from our wonderful London/Paris/Arras/East Dean vacation and both of us are suffering from bad colds. I actually managed to get two colds consecutively during our three week vacation - sheesh!
In any case, chicken soup seemed to be on order. I bought a whole chicken (actually two as they were on sale, and put one in the freezer) when we picked up groceries on the drive home. Today I checked out Mark Bitman's How to Cook Everything, and it was easy peasy. I made a few changes, because that always happens, to whit:

My Variation on Mark Bitman's Chicken Soup
About 4 pm I put the whole chicken in my biggest pot, which is not actually a stock pot, so I could not use as much water as Bitman recommends, which I think is a good thing. He said 14 cups but I could only get 11 cups into the pot. I added a coarsely chopped onion and ditto 2 carrots. I did not have any celery so used 1 teaspoon of celery seed instead. As indicated, I added 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 a bay leaf,  1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and several sprigs of cilantro instead of the recommended parsley, 'cause that was what I had. Then I brazenly added 4 peppercorns and all the water the pot would hold, and we were away! Brought it all to a boil, covered the pot, and let it very slowly simmer until 5:30. I pulled the chicken out, and took off the meat which I put in reserve in a bowl on the counter. I tipped all the bones and skin and gunk back into the stock pot and boiled that slowly until 6 pm.  Then while listening to the CBC radio news, I first strained the stock through a colander, and then again through a cheese cloth lined sieve so the stock did not have strange floating bits in it. I wiped out the pot to remove the scum line, then put the stock back in and brought it to a rolling boil. I tipped in a whole 340 gram pack of Catelli fine noodles and let it boil with the lid off for about 10 minutes. I added the coarsely chopped chicken, some chopped cilantro leaves, about 1/2 teaspoon more salt and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder. All to the boil again, then time to serve.
Wonderful!! The real thing!! I should have been making this for years!! We both feel better now, and there is enough soup left for about 4 more servings, so I suppose you could say that this recipe serves 6.

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