Who doesn’t love a big bowl of chicken soup on a chilly fall evening? Chicken noodle, chicken and rice, chicken and vegetable, chicken tortilla, chicken and dumplings….there’s a soup for every day of the week. If you remember soup like grandma used to make, there’s one secret for making it happen without stress and fuss. The secret? Use a slow cooker!
They’re inexpensive appliances, and if you don’t have one in the back of your pantry, do run out and get one—it’ll be worth its weight in chicken soup!
On sale this week at Brookshire’s is Pilgrim’s Pride Whole Chicken—the key ingredient to great chicken soup. And with your slow cooker, making it is a snap!
Rinse the chicken, and check inside to be sure there aren’t any giblets (innards) in there. Place the chicken in your slow cooker. Throw in whatever vegetables seem nice and soup-worthy: an onion, garlic, celery, a potato or two…..this isn’t for the final soup yet, but to create a really flavorful broth. If you like, season with salt, pepper, bay leaf and poultry seasoning. Add water to fill the cooker about halfway and turn on the slow cooker and let it cook all day (or all night, depending on your schedule).
After 8 hours or so, pull out the cooked chicken and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Strain the incredibly delicious-smelling broth. Skim off the fat for a healthier soup.
You can chill the broth to make soup later, or proceed: Put the broth in a kettle and add the vegetables you love to see in soup: a bag of frozen mixed veggies, maybe, or corn, green beans….it’s your call. Pull the chicken meat off the bones (it practically shreds by itself) and add. Adjust the seasonings: add salt, pepper or poultry seasoning to your personal tastes. Simmer until veggies are done. Add cooked rice, or uncooked noodles (or whatever other ingredients your recipe calls for), simmer a few more minutes, and your soup is ready to serve.
Wasn’t that easy? And it all started with whole chickens on sale!
Note: omit pasta for a great gluten-free meal!