Friday, January 15, 2016

Grandma Dargento's Chicken Soup

(Originally published April 2009) 

My littlest son Jasper (he's 4) is home with a sad spring fever. So, I did what any other anxiety ridden Italian mama would do, made him chicken soup. Passed down from my sweet Nana, it is also now my cure for everything. I have been asked countless times to share it with friends and family. So,finally, here it is. I hope you enjoy. -Marlo
This is a very hearty chicken soup that my grandmother used to make for me to cure everything. It was her cure for colds, a bad day at school, to seal a long term deal with your boyfriend (Worked for me! Married 12 years and counting!)I have been making it since I was a teenager. My family likes it with too many veggies and too many noodles. I cook a variation of this soup at least twice a month and have my prep time down to 15 minutes. Then, I can read the Sunday paper while it is cooking!
If it is too hearty for you, cut the quantities of veggies and noodles a bit.
Grandma Dargento's Chicken Soup
1 Whole Chicken (Fryer works best )
4-5 carrots, diced
4-5 stalks of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, optional (I like Organic Muir Glen with Italian Herbs best)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 -1 lb noodles (tortellini's, thin egg noodles, rice or any other of you favorites)
About 8 or so cups of water. Just enough to cover chicken.
So, here is the MOST important part. Getting the fat out of your broth.
Rinse the chicken in warm water and place in a pot (I use a 7 1/2 quart Le Creuset Dutch oven that my grandmother gave me a hundred years ago! But any pot will do). Fill the pot with cold water, just enough to cover the chicken. Cold water gives you a clearer broth. Bring to a soft boil, uncovered. I always chop my veggies while waiting for my water to boil. As the water begins to heat, you will see the fat rise to the top. Use a large spoon to skim this off. This part takes a few attempts but is well worth it. You may lose a lot of water while doing this. Don't worry, you can add more if necessary.
After you feel you have skimmed as much of the fat off as possible, add the vegetables, tomatoes (you need less salt if you use tomatoes, nice!), salt and pepper. Add more water if necessary. Cover and lower the heat to the lowest possible setting on you stove for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
You will know when it is ready. Your chicken will be practically falling apart. I use two large spoons to take the chicken out and transfer it into a large bowl to cool. If you lose any chicken pieces, just use a slotted spoon to pick up them up out of the soup. After the chicken cools, remove the breast meat(or dark meat if you prefer). Tear it into rough, bite sized pieces or dice the chicken and add to broth. This is a good time to check your salt and pepper again.
Lastly, cook the noodles in a separate pot of water until al dente. Add to broth.
*I made the mistake in my early twenties of cooking my noodles in my broth. Big mess! It soaks up all the broth leaving you with a noodle stew!
*Another variation that I love is to make is a Spanish chicken soup! Everything is the same, just add a full squeeze of lime juice to your broth and 1 minced jalapeño (seeds removed) with the other veggies. Use rice instead of noodles. Serve with fresh minced cilantro, favorite hot sauce and lime slices. I sometimes serve it with simple quesadillas. Yum!!!

Share some of your family favorite recipes!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do you have something to share with the group? Comment here, just please be respectful of others, polite and nice (as we try to be) to set an example for the cool, crazy kids!