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We are forecast to have precipitation in one form or another (mostly rain though) here on the hill in Vermont until at least Thursday. Rainy days can be relaxing especially when there’s a fire going in the woodstove and you have a nice hot cup of tea or coffee and a good book to read. What to have for dinner on such a night? Well, homemade bread and homemade chicken soup are always good choices. Last night’s roaster is tonight’s dinner (don’t you just love when one meal can morph into another?)

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Baby, it’s been pretty darn cold outside. Last evening’s soccer game, the sidelines looked more like an advertisement for a ski commercial than soccer. Parents, siblings and friends, myself included, were bundled with hats, gloves, fleece, jackets, blankets, you name it – ’cause it was darn cold out. Literally Tim and the other players were numb, so cold. Needless to say, we made a sidetrip to Dick’s on the way home to grab some warm X-Armor underclothing to wear under soccer jerseys since the weather forecast is not getting any warmer.

Soup has been a pretty consistent staple here at the T’s both because it’s warm and because it’s an easy to prepare ahead of time and eat as a quick dinner. We have been running, running, running, all week and the next couple weeks aren’t really looking too much better.

An easy, quick dinner is roasted chicken soup with leftover chicken. We had a roasted chicken on Sunday and I took the carcass, threw it in the oven and roasted it for about an hour and a half. When it comes out it looks something like this:

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Add the roasted chicken, roughly chopped celery, onion and carrot to the pot of cold water. I put all of this in my pasta insert to make straining of the bones much easier. DO NOT BOIL! Bring to a gentle simmer and let it cook for an hour or two. Boiling will turn the stock cloudy. After it has cooked, strain it all out and put in chopped onion, celery and carrots. I also put in chopped chicken breast meat at this point. Raw or cooked, whichever I happen to have on hand. Parsley, salt and pepper.

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I divide the soup in half since we are a divided house – some like dumplings with their soup, some like noodles.

Here’s the finished product!

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Okay, so I have been reading about stock vs. broth and figured that I would apply the test to my chicken soup recipe. What I wound up with was a “keeper” recipe in the family’s opinion. Last night we had roasted chicken. I cut all the meat off when before we ate, what was left (the carcass with some small pieces of meat) I roasted at 400 degrees until it was nice and dark (not burnt). I then transferred the roasted carcass into a stock pot with cold water, salt, pepper and two stalks of celery and one onion, both roughly chopped.

I cooked that down all afternoon today and then strained it. I took just the stock, added fresh chopped onion, celery and a couple carrots. Diced up the leftover cold chicken meat from last night and added that in. Checked the seasoning again and let that simmer until we were ready to eat. About 15 minutes before dinner, I mixed up a batch of dumpling batter and added that by the spoonful to the simmering soup. Brought it back to a boil, covered it and simmered for about 10 minutes or until the dumplings are fluffy.

The soup, along with homemade bread, made a yummy cold weather dinner when it was only 13 outside and snowing.

Evilwife on the move

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