Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soup #15 / Chicken Stew

OK, so I know we just got out of the chicken rut last week, but like I said it's our go-to, and it's so perfect when you're not feeling well and you need something comforting. E actually made me this soup after I texted him from work the other day saying I was feeling like I was coming down with a cold. Coming home to a delicious bowl of creamy soup is the best medicine after a long day. 

What you will need:
  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite sized pieces and cook (E says he did this on a separate pan with a little bit of oil, cooking just enough so they are cooked, but not dry.)
  • 8 cups of Chicken Broth (2 boxes)
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
  • 8 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 brown potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • About 1/8 cup, or 1/4 stick, of butter
  • Sifted flour or Wondra flour to thicken
  • Pepper and garlic powder to taste

How to make it:
To start off, make a roux so the stew is thick. In your soup pan, heat your butter. When melted, add in flour a little bit at a time, stirring constantly to prevent clumps. You want to keep adding flour until you've created a creamy looking sauce (think Alfredo sauce style!). 

Add in the carrots, celery, onions, and chunks of chicken and stir until they become slightly brown. Slowly stir in the 8 cups of chicken broth. Add in the potato chunks and stir. Add pepper and garlic powder to taste. Stir and cover, allowing the soup to cook down (about 5 minutes on medium heat). 

Now remove about 3-4 ladles of broth and place them into a medium sized pan and place on medium heat. Add sifted flour or Wondra to thicken into a gravy-like state. Stir vigorously to get out any clumps you might have. When it's smooth and saucy, slowly stir into the soup mix. Let the soup cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the soup is the thickness you'd like.  If your soup is still not the desired consistency, you can repeat the thickening by pulling out another few ladles full of broth and thickening with more flour/Wondra. Remember that when your soup sits for a while, it will also thicken up some more.

Ladle into bowls and enjoy with some crackers (and cheese if you'd like!).

The Verdict: What do you think? Success! The flavor is a classic, but the thicker broth makes it even more of a comfort food. I enjoyed it for two days it certainly helped me feel better. 

What we'd do differently: E says he thinks this soup worked out just fine. It just took a bit of juggling, or in this case mixing of the broth/roux/flour to make the consistency just right.  I can't complain... it was pretty darn tasty. And when you're not feeling well and you come home to husband whose just made you a hot bowl of soup, you don't want to change a thing!