Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Freezer Cleaning Soup

When I make chicken I almost always start from the whole bird. It's much cheaper and our meat CSA includes a chicken so I'm getting a lot of practice breaking a bird down into parts. James generally doesn't think much of wings, or legs. I've gotten in the habit of cutting off the parts I need and tucking the rest away in the freezer for chicken stock one day down the road.
I'm a saver. We don't have the shelf room we once did to store vegetable trimmings for soup stocks (now they hit the compost pile) inspired by one of my favorite food writers MFK Fisher's, genius tome How To Cook A Wolf. But even a quick search will still turn up shrimp shells, gravy or crab fat reserved for future risottos and quick soups.
When our too small freezer gets a little full I dig out the chicken parts for a pot of homemade chicken soup. Today's version combined celery, onions, carrots, parsnips (thanks to our generous gardening neighbor), a lone kohlrabi left in the drawer, cherry tomatoes, and brown rice into chicken stock generously laced with flavorful harissa. Everything simmered, covered, for an hour until the rice was tender and then I stirred in the shredded chicken (left from making the stock) and half a bag of corn that turned up on my freezer cleaning jaunt.

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