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Some kind of soup with a whole chicken?? But not traditional Jewish Chicken soup.

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I have an idea that I want to poach a whole chicken and turn it in to some kind of soup - maybe middle eastern inspired. I've made chicken stock with pieces but never a whole chicken. How long do I simmer if for? Is the chicken still good to eat at the end or has it given up all the good taste/flavor? Any recipes? I'm thinking something with cumin, maybe saffron, chick peas, onions, garlic - maybe vermicelli and cilantro at the end. Thanks,

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  1. By the way, I don't need a flavor profile or anything - I have that figured out. I'm more in need on technique!

    1. I make this recipe for Italian Wedding Soup with a whole chicken: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...
      It's not the flavor profile that you are looking for but it may help you with proportion of water to chicken and how long to cook it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: masha

        I made this tonight. Very good, thanks for posting!

      2. Aimee, cook the chicken(with celery, onion,carrot, etc) for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, just till the meat falls off the bones. Pull off all the meat, and throw the bones back in the stock with the vegetables. Cook that for another couple hours. The meat has plenty of flavor still, and you can use it for that soup, or whatever else you choose.
        Here's one that is inspired by the chicken soup at a local Mexican restaurant. They throw together some rice, chunky spicy salsa, shredded chicken, plenty of cilantro, big chunks of avocado into a bowl of chicken stock. It's got little pieces of jalapeno that wake up your mouth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jmcarthur8

          'falls off the bones' is longer than my target. I try to apply the usual doneness criteria for chicken (temperature in the thigh). I've cooked chicken both whole and cut into major pieces. The pieces are easier to handle. For example the last time I cooked a chicken, I:
          - cut it (6 lbs) into major pieces
          - put the back, wing tips and neck in the pot (pressure cooker) with some vegetables (mainly onion) and water - cook for a while
          - add the other pieces, dark on the bottom, white on top - cook till meat is done
          - remove the breast, legs, thighs, wings, and when cool enough to handle, pulled off the meat.
          - return the bones and skin to the pot, and cook to make stock.

          I ended up with about a quart of well gelled stock, and about a quart of meat

          With those building blocks I can make a number of things:
          - chicken pho (with green onions, rice noodles, bean sprouts, etc)
          - Mexican style chicken soup
          - Italian style
          - chicken salad
          - add the stock to gravy or sauces
          etc

        2. I poach a whole chicken almost weekly (maybe a 3 or 4 pounder). I use the well known technique of bringing it to boil in a big pot, then turn it off and cover it with a tight lid and leave it alone for an hour. The chicken will be cooked perfectly. Then de-bone as desired and make stock from the bones, skin and misc pieces.

          It is an easy way to get both perfect chicken meat and rich stock.

          1. When I want to do what you're talking about. I cover the chicken with water or close to it, bring it to a boil after if comes to a full boil, turn the heat off, and cover it. It will be perfect in one hour.
            As long as you don't over flavor the water, you can use it for Asian, to Italian dishes.

            Just noticed that sedimental has done the same.

            With this technique you just pul the breasts off, and etc/ save the back and less meaty pieces for a richer stock. You can make Tortilla soup, any creamed chicken soup you want with any veggie and now using your spices, peppers, or alchohol, take it to any country.
            Your post is unclear, I know you don't want a Jewish soup recipe, but are looking for a specific soup recipe or idea, or what? Middle Eastern is a pretty big territory.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chef chicklet

              I learned the same basic poaching technique from the Frugal Gourmet. I remove the chicken as soon as the breasts reach 160 degrees, pull them free of the carcass, then disjoint the remainder of the bird and brown the pieces (including the skin from the breasts) in a very hot oven before returning them to the stock and cooking until the meat and bones are spent.
              (Sometimes I hold back a whole leg or both thighs to use in another meal.) I tend to add aromatic vegetables to the original poaching water but it will be fine if you poach in plain water and don't add vegetables until actually preparing the soup.

              Since discovering the speed and ease of cooking pasta in less water, without boiling, my big pasta pot went unused until I realized it's perfect for making stock. I can just lift out the strainer insert - no more splashing hot stock as the chicken falls into a colander in the sink, or invertin a hot, heavy pot.