In anticipation of the coming season — chicken soup the Saunders way

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Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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44 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    Zazzy just randomly demanded chicken soup. As in, at 7PM I said to her, “What should we do for dinner?” To which she replied, “How about homemade chicken soup?” To which I replied, “Go fish yourself.”*

    Thanks to you, I have one less excuse to fulfill this wish. My hunch is this will be made during one of the coming weekends.

    * Zazzy often insists that my stories are completely made up. I didn’t actually tell her to go fish herself or anything there about. But what I did say carried the same message, albeit delivered differently, and that wouldn’t translate well to a story. So I take poetic license. She calls it lying. I just think it is part of being a storyteller. But, for the record, I did not actually tell my wife to go fish herself because of chicken soup.Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    This sounds delicious, and much less fussy than when I make chicken soup. So I hunk its a good bet come the rainy season I will give this recipe a shot.Report

  3. Avatar James H.
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    says:

    Just to clarify, in step 5 that’s a tablespoon if each of those spices, not a single tablespoon of them all together?Report

    • Avatar KnittingNiki in reply to James H.
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      says:

      James, I think he’s using fresh herbs…so a tablespoon of each would work. If you needed to substitute dried in a pinch, you are right that you would probably want quite a bit less. I bet this would still taste delish with just two or three kinds of fresh herbs, whatever you can get you hands on.

      Russell, you’d better believe we’ll be making this chez Kelly in the near future! My mouth is watering already…Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    Oh yea… what is “savory”? Am I totally an idiot for not knowing?Report

  5. Avatar Plinko
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    says:

    I’m still loving the food posts! This soup looks great delicious and now I want soup even though it’s going to be 80 today.

    The major thing I do differently here, that I learned from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook , is that I roast my chicken before making stock from it. It adds considerable time to the whole thing but it does add a real something to the flavor. If you’ve got all day for chicken soup sometime, you might want to give it a try, or maybe that’s one of those over the top things that we shouldn’t do at home, YMMV.Report

    • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Plinko
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      says:

      Hmmmm. That does sound like it would add flavor. Do you put the whole roast chicken in the pot, or just the bones? How long do you cook the chicken in the pot? I’d be afraid of overcooking it.Report

      • Avatar Darwy in reply to Russell Saunders
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        says:

        This might sound odd, but I’ve actually frozen the ‘remains’ of roasted chicken to make my stocks from.

        Then again, I have a stockpot which can accommodate two birds.

        If I’m in a hurry, I’ll cheat and pick up a rotisserie chicken for a ‘quick’ soup. I also loathe fennel, but I do add barley to mine in lieu of rice.Report

      • Avatar Plinko in reply to Russell Saunders
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        says:

        I put the whole chicken in, I don’t get too concerned about overcooking the meat as I run a very low simmer and I’ve never noticed it getting tough.

        You can remove the whole thing after about an hour and it should easily fall apart already, then you could reserve the meat and return the bones if you were so inclined. You also could crank your oven heat and crisp the outside more and not wait for the thighs to fully cook, since a few hours in the simmer will finish the job easily.

        I’ll peruse Les Halles and a couple of other sources for recommendations this evening.

        And, Darwy, I used to try and save carcasses but I don’t have the freezer space any more now that it’s full of stuff for the toddler. As soon as I spring for a chest freezer I will be back on saving all my roast bones and carcasses for stock.
        There are some pretty decent stocks on the market now, I go through several cartons a month. I make it from scratch only for a special meal a few times a year, a chicken soup like the doc’s would be one such case.Report

        • Avatar Darwy in reply to Plinko
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          says:

          I’m sooo thankful that my son is 4 now and eats like a trucker. I save beef, pork and chicken/turkey bones in bags whenever possible and then toss ’em in the pot.

          I don’t do fish – I hate fish – so I never have a fish stock around. I manage to plug my nose long enough to make my husband some chowdah once in a while.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Russell Saunders
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        says:

        Plinko’s roasting technique works just as well for beef bones: oxidation chemistry. And just pull apart the ol’ chicken carcass. A low simmer for a few hours should do fine.Report

  6. Avatar Rose
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    says:

    Sounds delicious!

    For the record, since it was brought up, the broth for my matzoh ball soup is pretty similar, but loosey-goosey, and unmeasured. I doubt I’ve made the same one twice. But I’d use any of those ingredients, except cloves seem….clovey. My onions are not peeled, to give soup more color. I highly support vinegar or lemon juice addition. If it’s for a Jewish occasion, I restrict the herbs to bay leaves, parsley, and dill and wouldn’t use a spice other than pepper. Always only throw in whole herbs. If it’s for around the house illness, we’ll use whatever we have, and may throw in some tomatoes and/or parmesan rind and grate parmesan over the finished product. I don’t use a whole chicken 0 just backs, necks, and wings, which are cheaper and more gelatinous which has nice mouthfeel. Poach breasts in it later if I want meat. Poach eggs sometimes in finished product also.Report

    • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Rose
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      says:

      I tend to give the herbs a rough chop or two, but they’re essentially whole when they go it. (It also makes it easier to fish them back out.)Report

      • Avatar Rose in reply to Russell Saunders
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        says:

        With Jewish soup, I pour the whole thing through fine mesh strainer anyway. With other, I make bouquet garni.Report

        • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Rose
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          says:

          I usually do several passes over the top with a strainer, which suffices for my purposes. If I were to go the extra mile, I’d pour the whole thing through, but I’m too lazy, plus the little bits of retained herbs and small flecks of meat give the broth a little more substance, IMHO.Report

          • Avatar KnittingNiki in reply to Russell Saunders
            Ignored
            says:

            okay now this is WAY too mouthwatering!!!

            I like the roasting the chicken first idea (or at least using the leftover carcass from 1-2 roast chickens to make the broth, or maybe even roasting the back and necks and wings that Rose suggested before putting them in the soup pot). I’d be inclined to save the meat out, to put in later at the end, and only put the bones and skin and carcass in to the pot with all the delicious stuff you suggested in the OP, Russell.Report

  7. Avatar James Hanley
    Ignored
    says:

    Dr. Saunders,

    Is publication of this recipe an implied physician’s assurance that the resulting product will cure my common cold and/or be good for my soul?Report

  8. Avatar Kimmi
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    says:

    Needs more carrot.Report

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