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Need some help making chicken soup without bouillon

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I grew learning to make chicken soup with lots of bouillon cubes. I know I shouldn't, so I've been experimenting with "alternative" options (i.e., Better than Bouillon). But I just recently discovered that almost all forms of that stuff contain MSG (yeah, I know, duh!), so now I'm at a loss. How does one make a rich chicken soup without bouillon?

TIA!
post #2 of 30
Make stock from chicken bones?
post #3 of 30
subbing. Me too.
post #4 of 30
Ok I will elaborate. If you don't have leftover chicken bones/carcasses you can buy a couple pounds of necks and backs from the grocery for really cheap! Cover with water and simmer several hours, strain and there is your soup base.

I always make broth after eating a roast chicken, I just use the carcass
post #5 of 30
post #6 of 30
Do you add anything else to your pot when making the broth? Veggies, spices? Is it flavourful enough on its own?
post #7 of 30
I make my chicken stock with the bones from a roast chicken, some carrots, celery, onion, and whatever else I have on hand in terms of veggies. I add a bay leaf or two and usually a hot pepper.

I make chicken noodle soup by sauteeing diced carrots, celery, and onions in a bit of olive oil, then deglazing with the stock and adding noodles and bits of chicken. When the noodles are ready, the soup's ready.

post #8 of 30
I usually take and saute some onions, celery, and carrots in oil (canola) or oil and butter... then I'll add in whatever chicken I find on sale or a left-over rotisserie chicken carcass. Add water to cover the chicken... and then let it simmer for an hour or so. Then I'll remove the chicken and take it off the bone. To the broth/veggie mixture, I'll add my noodles and let them cook... then a bit of poultry seasoning and salt and pepper. I'll re-add back the chicken then.



You can make really quick chicken broth in a pressure cooker, BTW.
post #9 of 30
I made chicken soup for the first time about a week ago, and there seemed to be so many different ways of making the soup... I got my mother's method. She basically cooks the chicken whole first and takes it out, making a light chicken stock. Then while it's cooling she cooks the veggies (carrots, whole peeled garlic cloves, onions, celery, other roots such as rutabaga, potato, etc) making a light veggie stock with the same water. The soup is delicately flavorful this way; if you used stock instead of water originally, then it would be more strongly flavorful--which is nice but not necessary if you don't have the time or inclination. Then of course she tears up the chicken and puts it back in and cooks it all for a few minutes to marry the flavors.
post #10 of 30
http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/artic...of_stock.shtml
post #11 of 30
mine is a boiling chicken cut up, the gizzard, onion, carrot, celery, parsley root if i can get it, celery root (celeriac). Cover with water, bring to a simmer, skim, add a bit of salt and some flat leaf parsley. If I'm making it to serve as a plain soup I also add dill. I usually add the herbs after it's cooked an hour or so, then let it cook another couple of hours.

Backs and wings make a pretty good stock if you can't get a whole boiling chicken (which pushes the cost up). If I were only making stock to use in further cooking I would do that but for a really strong soup base I would want the whole chicken.
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
OK, so maybe we're just addicted to salt then? When I make chicken soup, I generally add a whole (or half, after we've roasted and eaten it) chicken, carrots, celery, potatoes, bay leaves, and some other spices. It's just never very flavorful when I'm finished, so I usually end up throwing in a few bouillon cubes too. What am I missing? Am I using too much water or something? Do I just need more salt and herbs/spices?
post #13 of 30
I always add a healthy amount of sea salt to mine. Just use salt, not boullion.
post #14 of 30
Are you not boiling the chicken in the soup water?

Maybe you aren't adding enough salt. You should just add salt to taste, meaning until your tongue is satisfied with the amount of salt in it.

Are you adding onions?
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxie View Post
Are you not boiling the chicken in the soup water?

Maybe you aren't adding enough salt. You should just add salt to taste, meaning until your tongue is satisfied with the amount of salt in it.

Are you adding onions?
I do boil the chicken in the water until the meat falls off. It MUST be the salt, then! No, no onions though. Should I? Saute first, or add in to boil?

Thank you everyone, for the help. The weather's cooling off and the kids love chicken soup. However, I don't love feeding them MSG :
post #16 of 30
Oh definitely add onions, they add sweetness to the broth. Add some whole peeled garlic cloves too--cooked for a long time, they become sweet and mushy. It's probably the salt. Try adding enough salt to taste, and unless it tastes like salty water, problem solved
post #17 of 30
I throw in a chicken, onion, garlic and seasoning salt. Yummy every time.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
OK, awesome, I'll do that then! Thank you :
post #19 of 30
Melissel, you should try making actual chicken stock. It will make all the difference, I promise you.

After you cook a whole chicken and serve it, pick most of the easy-to-get-at meat off the bones. Then put the chicken in a pot and put water over it to cover (3-4 quarts). Add a quartered onion, a carrot and a stalk of celery in chinks, a few smashed garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, and a few peppercorns. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for at least 5 hours. I simmer mine for about 15 hours, adding extra water if necessary. Making it in the crock pot is also easy and safe.

After it is done cooking cook slightly and strain the broth into a container. Refrigerate, and when the fat has solidified on top skim it off. Your broth may be solid: that is the natural gelatin from the bones. It will liquefy when warmed and be brothy again.

I freeze mine in wide mouth pint jars and thaw when I need broth for soup or other recipes. When making a soup add salt to taste, as this broth is unsalted.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinuviel_k View Post
Melissel, you should try making actual chicken stock. It will make all the difference, I promise you.

After you cook a whole chicken and serve it, pick most of the easy-to-get-at meat off the bones. Then put the chicken in a pot and put water over it to cover (3-4 quarts). Add a quartered onion, a carrot and a stalk of celery in chinks, a few smashed garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, and a few peppercorns. Bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let simmer for at least 5 hours. I simmer mine for about 15 hours, adding extra water if necessary. Making it in the crock pot is also easy and safe.

After it is done cooking cook slightly and strain the broth into a container. Refrigerate, and when the fat has solidified on top skim it off. Your broth may be solid: that is the natural gelatin from the bones. It will liquefy when warmed and be brothy again.

I freeze mine in wide mouth pint jars and thaw when I need broth for soup or other recipes. When making a soup add salt to taste, as this broth is unsalted.
OK, I did exactly that yesterday with a carcass that I had, but I didn't boil it for that long--we had to leave the house so I only got two hours out of it. It's in the fridge now. Should I fire it up again in the morning?

Also, so I'm sort of "double chickening" the liquid? Using the chicken stock (from the carcass) as the base liquid for boiling up another (whole) chicken to make soup? Am I getting this right? Because if so, I'm really glad I boiled that carcass yesterday--DH wanted me to just toss it!
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