The View From Here

musings by John The Irishman

“Chicken Soup for the…Wallet” ?

with 9 comments

The wife and I do OK – we don’t “want” for much, and if we need something we can usually afford it.  However, that’s NOT what this post is about.  This post is about eating on the cheap.  I plan to do more posts on the subject, but for now let’s limit this to…

…Chicken Soup !  We all probably had Grandmas or other relatives that made Chicken Soup from whole chickens, probably bought live or freshly slaughtered.  The nice thing about using a whole chicken is not only is it nutritious, it tastes great, has a lot less sodium, and no preservatives.  And one of the best parts – YOU can do it too !

The way I make my mine is very easy, and at the same time inexpensive.  It’s a great way to stretch your food dollar, and you have the satisfaction of doing it yourself !  The batch I made Saturday was roughly enough for 20 to 25 servings, at a cost of around FIFTY CENTS a serving – you can’t even get a small fry from the golden arches for less than a buck !  If you don’t want to eat it all at once it also stays just peachy in the freezer for long periods.

The whole process takes a little over 3 hours, but very little time is spent “hands on” – mostly just set it and forget it.  My soup is a bit on the spicy side, and was inspired by a Middle Eastern restaurant a few blocks away called Aladdin’s Eatery.  Aladdin’s started in that small storefront, but now has around 20 locations in many cities including Chicago, Pittsburgh and Arlington, Va.

I start with a thawed, whole chicken – maybe 5 to 7 pounds – and put it in a medium sized stockpot with just enough water to cover the bird.  Then I bring it to a boil and heavy simmer for a couple hours covered, periodically skimming off the scum from the top.  At the 2-hour mark I take out the bird, and using a fork pick clean the carcass.  I then return the meat and skin to the pot, again bringing to a heavy simmer.  I leave the fledgling stock uncovered so it has a chance to reduce for about an hour.

While the stock is reducing I cut up my veggies – carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, redskin taters, celery, onion and red or yellow pepper.  When the mix begins to taste “chickeny” at about the 3 hour mark or so I toss in all the veggies, a 14-1/2 ounce can of diced maters, some garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, tobasco and about 3 tbsp of buttah.  Don’t forget salt and pepper too !  The measurements are all by “feel” as this is a very forgiving soup – just sample the broth periodically and season as needed.  Oh – and pick out the skin that floats to the top !

When the soup has simmered another half hour or so it should be ready.  We like to serve our’s in a shallow bowl with a large pile of shredded extra-sharp cheaddar in the middle.  Grab a loaf of crusty bread and you are good to go !  This soup is very easy on the budget as stated, but it’s also really tasty – enjoy…


Written by johntheirishman

Wednesday, 7 March, 2007 @ 19:17 at 19:17

Posted in Eats

9 Responses

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  1. BAH! I was just getting ready to start tweaking pizza and now this! Although this looks pretty straightforward.


    Wednesday, 7 March, 2007 @ 21:29 at 21:29

  2. “Around 50 cents?!” C’mon SPED boy, I thought you were a little more thorough than that. I want it down to the fraction of a cent!


    Thursday, 8 March, 2007 @ 9:35 at 9:35

  3. Trying to be less “Aspy” so I can work on my limited social skills- sorry to disappoint. It ain’t easy bein’ me, BH…


    Thursday, 8 March, 2007 @ 13:54 at 13:54

  4. Almost makes a (non-food)person wanna cook it…


    Friday, 9 March, 2007 @ 3:05 at 3:05

  5. Nice, Astro ! You are a “college kid” on a budget though…


    Friday, 9 March, 2007 @ 6:28 at 6:28

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever had your soup. As always you cooking is top-notch, and you said you borrowed the flavoring from Alladins… I like that place too. Pam and I will have to give that one a shot when I get back…


    Friday, 9 March, 2007 @ 16:55 at 16:55

  7. I think you had it one night when Curtis & “Ankle Biter” came over, because she refers to me as “the guy with that soup”. How is John ? And Stifler ?


    Friday, 9 March, 2007 @ 19:49 at 19:49

  8. Cool…I like…I prefer the crock-pot method though, it’s always ready when I get home.


    Saturday, 10 March, 2007 @ 12:36 at 12:36

  9. jj : Never used a Crock Pot to cook – Trav does though…

    Trav : While walking the pups past Aladdin’s today I realized that’s where we first met you ! Remember – Lisa and I walked in and you and PC were already there . Wow – long time ago..


    Saturday, 10 March, 2007 @ 15:37 at 15:37

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