January is always a month of recuperation for most as we wind down from the crazy holiday season. It’s a month to stay cozy inside while winter starts its cold but beautiful cycle.
One of my favourite things to make after the holiday season is my garlicky chicken soup ﬁlled with vegetables and quinoa. Chicken soup is that eternal comfort food that warms your soul and nourishes your body. However, my favourite part of making really good chicken soup is the aromatics that permeate the whole house. The smell for me always brings back memories of holiday turkey roasting in the warmth of a house ﬁlled with the ones you love all gathered around sharing time together.
The best chicken soup starts with a very good bone broth something simple to make with the added beneﬁts of nutrients and protein to your soup. For a richer ﬂavoured stock you will want to always roast your bones before simmering on the stove. This is not a must do but something that if you have time to do will change the proﬁle of your soup.
There are a hundred diﬀerent ways to make a good chicken soup and as long as you source good ingredients you are sure to have a delicious meal. I always make a large pot, that way it can be packed into the freezer for a last minute meal on a blustery winters day. There is truly something so magical about the simplicity of a big bowl of chicken soup and a large hunk of sourdough bread smeared with butter.
So whether it’s just for yourself or for a dinner party try this recipe out and I promise you’re sure to delight everyone. Stay warm!
1 to 2 whole deboned chickens roasted golden brown (meat reserved for soup)
1 large onion cut into 1/8
2 Carrots peeled and chopped into large rounds
2 celery sticks chopped
1 head garlic cut in half so cloves are exposed
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp cider vinegar (the acid helps to extract minerals and nutrients)
6 thyme stems
Filtered water to cover
Roast bones at 400F for 20-30 minutes
Place all bones and pan drippings into a stock pot with all other ingredients top with water bring to a simmer on the stove and cook for a good 12hours (you may need to top the water up so keep a close eye on it low and slow for the best results) strain and reserve stock for soup base
Garlicky Chicken Soup
All meat from your deboned chickens diced
1 large onion diced
2 carrots diced
1 fennel bulb diced
3 celery stalks diced
10-12 cloves of garlic smashed and rough chopped
2 tbsp dried oregano
4 tbsp butter or oil of your choice
1 bay leaf, 8 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary tied with twine
The juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot place, oil or butter once melted add chicken meat and salt and pepper and brown meat. Once meat is golden add remaining ingredients and sweat for 4-5 minutes. Add your chicken broth and simmer for 30-40 minutes check for seasoning and add your lemon juice to brighten the ﬂavours. Serve with your choice of cooked noodles, rice quinoa or any grain you like!
Jenn Wilkinson is the chef and owner of 335 on the Ridge in Ridgeway.