Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicken Soup with Orzo Pasta

This past weekend was cold and seriously felt like winter!  With two out of the three kiddos being sick, I figured it would be a perfect weekend to have some soup around.  The last time I made chicken soup I didn't feel like it had much flavor to it, so this time I decided to roast my own chicken to make some hearty Chicken Stock.  It really wasn't difficult to make at all and it was well worth the time!
Also, one of my new favorites is Orzo pasta.  It's such a cute, tiny little pasta that I knew the kids would like it!  It's actually pretty versatile too.  A couple weeks back I browned it in a little butter then added some chicken broth, let it simmer and served it like rice.  It was GOOD!
Anyway, here's my version of Chicken soup...pretty simple, but it definitely satisfies!

Here's the recipe for chicken stock, but if you want to skip this part, go right ahead! 
Chicken Stock:
  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • olive oil or melted butter
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • fresh thyme, sage & parsley sprigs (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • whole peppercorns (about 1 tsp.)
  • Large stock pot
  • Chicken Base (I used "Better than Boullion")
*Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Be sure to remove everything from the cavity first!  Have a large roasting pan can set it on a rack over the roasting pan if you have one.  Rub chicken all over with olive oil or butter and season all over with salt & pepper.  Place the lemon half and the herb sprigs into the cavity of the chicken.  Place the onion, carrots, celery and peppercorns in the bottom of roasting pan. Heat oven to 425 degrees, place chicken in oven then decrease heat to 375 degrees.  Roast for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a thermometer reads 180 degrees.  Remove all meat from chicken and set aside.  Remove as much skin as you can and place the carcass in a large stock pot.  Add the roasted veggies to the pot and fill the pot with enough water to cover the carcass.  Add to the pot 1 Tbsp. of chicken base (I bought a kind called "Better than Boullion".   Bring pot to boil and let simmer for 2-3 hours.  Wait to season with more salt until it's been boiling for at least an hour.  Strain a couple of times and either use stock immediately or refrigerate.  Skim off fat then place in ziploc bag to freeze for later use.

Chicken Soup with Orzo Pasta

  • 2 cups shredded chicken (the roasted chickens from the store work great too!)
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Orzo pasta
  • 8 cups chicken stock (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cube chicken boullion
  • salt & pepper to taste
   Heat chicken stock to a simmer in large soup pot.  Add carrots, celery and boullion and let cook for 10 minutes.  Add Orzo, chicken. parsley, salt & pepper to taste.  Cook Orzo until plump...about 6 minutes. 
Serve & enjoy! 


homemade chicken stock

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