Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is a necessity. I can’t tell you how distraught I’ve been, unable to make my husband chicken soup when he’s sick. I mean, I heat up Progresso chicken noodle in a bowl for him and can even give him crackers with it, but it’s not homemade and therefore will not miraculously bring him back to health after the first bowl.

Mom gave me her recipe – or at least the list of ingredients and vague instructions that passes for a recipe in our world – but I tried a couple of times and it wasn’t very good. I used chicken legs as instructed and was grossed out by the marrow sticking out of the bones and the fat floating around in the pot, and after all that work it didn’t even taste chickeny enough.

This time I had a picked-over chicken carcass left over from a previous roasted chicken dinner, and I decided to dump it into a pot and make soup out of it. Not much wasted if I failed, right? Also, I called Mom and had her walk me through some of it. Chicken carcass, a cut up onion, and 8 cups of water into a pot, and boil it for an hour or two on a medium setting. With a couple of bay leaves and some thyme.

Now – and here’s the part I don’t understand – I had to add a whole bunch of chicken flavored stuff (in this case, Bovril) to make it taste enough like chicken soup. And I don’t understand that. Surely, these chicken concentrates, liquid or powdered, were made from chickens. I have, and am boiling, a chicken. So why is my chicken not enough to make the soup chickeny? I’m hoping someone smarter than me can figure this out and explain in the comments. People make stock and broth from chickens, don’t they?

After deciding the broth was chickeny enough, I pulled out the bones and strained the soup into a big bowl to get all the floaty bits out. then it went back in the pot with some chopped carrots and celery and I let those cook while I cut up the little bits of meat left over from what I’d pulled off the chicken before boiling it. Cooked some rice separately to it wouldn’t get mushy, and then mixed it all together to produce a very yummy soup.

I’ll be trying this again, probably every time I have leftover chicken bones to play with. But if anyone can solve my “why am I adding chicken flavor to chicken” problem, I’d be grateful!

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