Bruce’s Chicken in a Pot

* Bruce is my father, a wonderful cook, someone who always inspires me in the kitchen and this recipe was written by him so that I could make chicken in a pot on my own but modified by me.*

This is an amazing recipe to warm you up on a cold or chilly day.  It makes the whole house (or apartment in my case) smell like chicken soup and herbs.  It is good for colds and flus or just to warm your soul and make you think about home.  Truly a comfort food!  The other great thing about chicken in a pot is that it gives you a lot of leftover to eat over the next week, including some incredible, rich chicken stock to be used in other recipes or frozen for later.

This is a recipe that takes a lot of preparation.  It can get a bit complicated because it has a lot of moving parts and steps.  The other thing to consider is that you have endless possibilities and combinations to put in your pot, but always keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to have an amazing initial meal AND have leftovers.  With that being said, we will be separating a lot of the components so that you can eat them separately later.

What you will need: (tools)
2 large stock pots (one to boil the chicken, and one for stock)
1 large mesh sieve (to strain solids from the stock)
1 pair of large thongs (big enough to pull a whole chicken out of the pot)
1 study slotted spoon
1 gravy/ fat separator (optional)
An assortment of bowls for your “pot items”
1 soup ladle
Poultry shears or clean, sharp scissors

What you will need: (ingredients)
2 small cans of chicken broth or stock
2 cans of water (use above cans once you use them)
1 whole chicken
Kosher salt

Veggies- really you can use whatever you have in your fridge:
2 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, quartered
String beans, ends trimmed
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
Scallions, sliced
1 bag of egg noodles- you can really use any type of carb you prefer, matzah balls, kreplach, rice, dumplings, etc

Aromatics- the main thing to remember here is to use ALL of the tips and tails of all of the veggies you use above.  Clean onion skins, celery leaves, carrot ends, etc.  You will use all of these in the chicken stock- just make sure it is all well washed!
2 cloves of garlic
10-12 peppercorns
10-15 coriander seeds (optional)
1 cardamom pod (optional)
1 star anise (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 or 2 strips of lemon or lime peel (optional)
1 chunk of ginger (optional)
1 tbsp of chicken bullion (one cube) or chicken consomme or chicken base

Starting the chicken:
We will be double boiling the chicken (so shtetl of us).  This means you boil the chicken really quickly in salted water to remove a lot of the fat and scum.  Then you rinse the chicken inside and out and start with the second boil.

Take out any organs (heart, neck, gizzard) that you find inside the cavity of the bird and put aside.  Clean your whole chicken super well under cold water.  When you feel like your bird is pretty clean, put it one of the big pots and cover it with hot water.  Add a lot of kosher salt (1/4 cups ish) to the water, put a high flame on and cover it.  Watch this carefully, you will want it to come to a full rolling boil but you do not want it to boil for too long.  As soon as it comes to a boil, turn of the flame, get your large bowl and the thongs and more the whole chicken to a bowl,  Run cold water over the entire chicken to wash off all of the skum and fat.  Once clean, set aside in a bowl to hang out while you prep the rest.

Preparing the other pot items:
Note: you have an hour to do this while the chicken is boiling (the above step).
Prepare your carb- in my case, I made egg noddles and cooked them according to the package, but make sure they are a bit al dente because they will continue to cook in the warm broth.

For your veggies- this is very simple.  You want to arrange your veggies in the order that it takes them to cook.  Add them to your boiling salted water in the order of needs most cooking time to least cooking time.  Dry off your veggies so they don’t get soggy.  Set aside.

Back to the chicken:
Once the chicken has simmered for about an hour- it should be sort of falling off the bone but not overcooked.  Use the ladle to put some soup in a strainer over a small pot, this will be the broth you use for tonight’s soup and the rest will continue simmering and put in your freezer.  Adjust your dinner soup to your taste- perhaps some salt and pepper.

Remove the whole chicken from the stock using the thongs and slotted spoon and put in a bowl.  Shred the chicken to put in your soup.

The preparation:
It is now time to pick our what pieces of chicken you want for your meal and put it in your soup bowl.  Add your veggies and noodles in your bowl and ladle your hot and strained (and seasoned!) soup over the chicken and other items.  Garnish with scallions and parsley.  ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE CREATED!

____

Okay, you are now full and very much satisfied- but the work is not yet over!!
Now it is time for the post production:

Make sure you remove the bones from your chicken and shred.  You can use the rest of this chicken for other types of meals or even freeze it!

Put your noodles in a container or bag and put in the fridge for later as well.

Focusing on the chicken stock:
Put all the chicken bones and fun stuff back into your broth (the one you ladled from to have your meal) and make sure there is enough liquid to cover everything- aromatics, bones, veggies, etc.  You may need to add more water.  Bring this a very gentle boil and partially cover, let this boil for two hours.  When two hours are up check the taste and adjust to your likings.  If it seems bland do not be nervous to add more bullion or consumme until the liquid is rich and delicious.  Let it cool slightly and strain the soup in a fine strainer or mesh sieve.  Discard the solids.  Pour the stock into containers, let cool and then put in the freezer.

Now you have some amazing stock for every day use or future soup!

What a project!

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