Home > Uncategorized > Chikin Biznis: Stock and soup

Chikin Biznis: Stock and soup

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 3 hours Yield: 4

Jointing a chicken in order to squeeze three meals out of it means that one of those meals is going to be a soup. To make soup, you need to make stock, and a small portion of that stock will also be needed for the casserole or curry that will constitute one of the other two meals.

If you’ve followed me down the “four into one makes three” road thus far, you’ll have jointed a chicken by now. The next step is to make the stock, followed by the soup. If you do not want to have the soup as a meal at the time of making it, it does freeze particularly well, as does the stock.

The protein ingredients you’ll use are the chicken carcass, neck and wing tips. You may add the liver, heart and gizzard if you so choose, but I tend not to use them, as I find the resulting stock too brown and perhaps even slightly bitter. What Eppie does, is simmer them in a small saucepan with a cup of rice, a grated carrot and a crushed garlic clove which is turned into a number of “puppy meal supplements” for daughter Alex’s beloved Jack Russell, Lola. A third of a cup with Lola’s usual eye-wateringly expensive “scientifically formulated” dog cubes makes for a much enjoyed meal. In this fashion, virtually every scrap of the chicken is used.

The stock flavourants you might need: Carrot, pearl onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, a mace blade and celery

Stock flavourants are, of course, a matter of personal choice, but there are a number of “musts”. Add to or take away from my recipe as you see fit, but do consider carefully the impact in each instance, on the final flavour outcome.

The style of soup you choose to make is also a matter of personal preference. Some people, like dear wife, Eppie, prefer a broth type soup with chunky bits of chicken and veg in it. Daughter Alex and I, on the other hand, prefer a creamy soup, which requires judicious application of the stab blender. Fortunately, both are possible, in that you can dish up for the broth adherents, before blitzing for the creamers!

Ingredients, Selection and Preparation


Chicken carcass, wing tips and neck: and of course the rest of the giblets if you so choose.

12 peppercorns

1 mace blade: that’s the husk of nutmeg. If you have none, then a pinch of nutmeg is a reasonable substitute.

1 sprig of parsley

1 sprig of thyme

1 carrot: scrubbed and quartered

4 pickling onions: halved, or a medium onion thickly sliced

2 sticks soup celery: include the leaves if they are young and pale green

2 Bay leaves


1 large onion: peeled and chopped

2tbsp canola oil

4 turnips: peeled and grated

4 carrots: peeled and grated

4 sticks soup celery: finely sliced, leaves excluded if they are dark green and bitter.

1 can chopped peeled tomatoes

1 cup soup mix: spread it out on a tray and pick out any stones, which are not uncommon in soup mix, by the way! An alternative to soup mix, is a cup of pearl barley.

3 cloves garlic: fresh, crushed

Salt and pepper


Place all the stock ingredients in a stock or soup pot and add 2.5 litres of water.

Bring to the boil then remove from the heat. Skim any fat and scum off the surface, and set aside to cool for an hour. During this time, the gelatine in the chicken bones leaches out into the stock, making it flavourful and concentrated. The measure of a good stock is the extent to which it jellies when it has cooled completely, and leaching the gelatine out of the bones in this manner achieves this.

Bring the stock back to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer it covered for 45 minutes. You may want to skim the stock periodically while it is simmering to remove any scum or excess fat.

Carefully remove the chicken carcass, wing tips, neck (and giblets if you used them). Set aside to cool.

Remove the stock from the heat and strain 300ml through a fine sieve into a freezer proof container. Freeze it for use with the casserole recipe next week.

Strain the remainder of the stock into another container and wash and dry the pot.

Once the chicken carcass has cooled sufficiently, carefully pick off all the chicken flesh – of which there will be a surprising amount – and put it into the strained stock. Do the same with the neck and the wing tips. Voila! You have the meaty part of your chicken soup.

Heat the canola oil in the pot, and add the onion. Sautè it until soft, then add the grated turnips, carrots, celery, stock including chicken bits, can of tomatoes, soup mix (or pearl barely) and  garlic.

Bring the soup to the boil, then turn it down low, and simmer it for about an hour, or until the soup mix grains have cooked completely soft.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you prefer a broth type soup, serve it as is, otherwise cream the soup using a stab blender.

Serve with crisp fresh breads and a sprinkling of parsley. Enjoy!

Wine match

Living down the road from Waterkloof Estate on the Sir Lowry’s Pass village Road, plus having a daughter who works in the tasting room over weekends, means that I’m inclined to visit the estate fairly frequently.

The estate makes four ranges of wines, three from grapes grown on the estate – Waterkloof, Circumstance, Peacock Ridge – and an entry level range, False Bay, made from fruit sourced elsewhere.

The range includes a delightful well priced and eminently quaffable Chenin blanc that works so well with this soup. The 2009 is selling currently at around R47 a bottle at the cellar door, a steal at the price.

A pale straw yellow in colour, it offers honeyed notes and Bartlett pear perfume.

The honey and pear follow onto the palate, which is concentrated due to the older lower yielding bush vines located on the Perdeberg mountain, cellar master Werner Engelbrecht tells me.

The wine is medium-bodied, with a lengthy finish, due no doubt to the 12 week natural yeast fermentation, and the month on secondary less before bottling.

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. January 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

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