Last week we published THIS POST on how we use our Instant Pot to make a phenomenal chicken stock. That article garnered a lot of attention, and we loved all the great feedback. But we also heard from some readers who weren?t all that thrilled about it.
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It turns out, not everyone owns an Instant Pot (shocking, right?!). While I?d be the first to suggest they go and get one right away, I totally get it.
So here’s the same recipe but done on the stove. This is actually how I made my stocks before the Silver Saviour arrived in my kitchen a year ago (in fact, when I do large batches this is how I double up the workload).
2 rotisserie chickens
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 star anise
1 TBSP Himalayan pink salt
2 TBSP black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin
Spices (to taste, generally about 1 TBSP each): poultry seasoning, savory, dried basil, Italiano Seasoning
Break down your rotisserie chicken. This recipe works best with at least two chickens. Remove the bones, skin, and fat from as much of the bird as you can, placing these in a large stock pot. Try to set aside as much meat as you can, as it’s a real pain to try to separate it from the hot stock ingredients later. Plus, this leaves you with some meat to just serve for supper or make into sandwiches.
Also throw the strings in the pot. I know that sounds weird, but it’s a thing that I do. I figure those strings probably absorbed some of the juices from the cooking process, so what the heck. You’re going to toss all this stuff out later anyway.
Use some hot water from the tap to loosen the jelly and fat from the bottom of the chicken container. This is an important step you don’t want to miss, as there’s a ton of flavour in there you don’t want to toss away.
Add all of the vegetables and spices to the pot. Pour the contents of the containers into the pot to start with. Top it up with COLD water until your ingredients are just covered.
The cold water is the trick here, because part of the process to drawing out as much flavour as possible comes from heating all those ingredients together.
Place the pot on the stove, uncovered, and turn the heat up to high. Bring it to a boil, and let it boil until the liquid reduces to about half. Fill it up again with COLD water, bring it to a boil, and reduce. Fill it up again with cold water, bring it to a boil, and reduce.
Now, this last reduction is the last reduction. Fill it up with cold water. Bring it to one last boil. Cover the pot with a lid, and reduce the HEAT to medium low. The lid will prevent it from reducing. Simmer this for two three hours, stirring occasionally.
After simmering, remove the stock from the heat and let it cool. Strain it through a colander into a large pot to remove the big chunks. Then strain it again through a sieve to take out the grainy things and spices. You now have a delicious, clear chicken stock that you can cool in the refrigerator, separate into sealed bags, and freeze.
TIP: When you’re boiling a large pot to reduce, it’s worthwhile getting a splatter guard for it, just to stop it spraying all over your cooktop and making a mess.
To Make Soup:
Chicken stock has all sorts of uses in cooking, from risotto to flavouring casseroles. But the best and most obvious use is in making a great soup.
Because the stock is fully cooked, you can do anything you want with it. My process is something like this:
Into a medium saucepan add half an onion (chopped), two celery stalks (finely chopped), and about a cup and a half of carrots (diced). Dice some cooked chicken (as much as you want, but usually about 1 1/2 to 2 cups). Now to this you can add any extras you like: potatoes, sliced mushrooms, frozen peas, diced bell pepper, parsnips, noodles, rice; it’s entirely up to you.
Fill this pot with chicken stock. There’s no need to add anything else.
Bring the soup to a boil (if adding noodles or rice, stir constantly until boiled). Cover and reduce heat to medium. It’s ready when the hard veggies (carrots especially) can be pierced easily with a fork.
In our house, we like to serve this up topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some crusty rolls with butter.
Tried this recipe? What are some of your favourite tricks to getting the perfect chicken soup? And why haven’t you got an Instant Pot yet? Leave us a comment below!