Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Love To Eat It, Hate To Cook It: A Fowl Business, Part II

I do find great comfort in a warm, fragrant bowl of chicken soup. I crave one especially at Passover and when I am sick. Not just any chicken soup will do. What I want is what my grandma used to make and I try my best to replicate it. I only make chicken soup about three times a year because I find I really don't relish the process at all. The product is all I am after.

Chicken soup recipes are deceptive. They seem simple enough but there is more to them than meets the eye. Place chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot, cover with water and simmer gently for 2 hours. Easy enough and I do I feel a vague sense of accomplishment,at having begun. As the liquid begins to bubble, the stinky part sets in. That old skimming the foam, froth or scum part comes next. The actual removal is problematic enough but to make matters worse, the vapors cling to my hair and I find myself engulfed in chickeny aromas.

What happens next is none to pleasurable either. After two hours, the recipe says to remove the chicken from the soup, strip the meat off of the bones and return to the pot. Once again, I find myself before a steaming chicken and now my whole being has become enveloped in eau de chicken. I carefully pick the meat off of the bones, stopping periodically to pop a choice morsel into my or Izzy's mouth (one consolation prize) for my chickeny toils.

Once that is done, I return all the bones to the pot and allow it to simmer for an hour longer, after which it is time to strain out the mass of chicken and vegetables and pour the soup into a clean pot. So for the third time I find myself bathed in chicken steam.

By the time I have put the stock away and washed the various pots and strainers, I have little desire to actually eat the soup. For that reason and in the interest of being organized, I prepare it in advance so that by the time I get to eat if, the fowl process that created it is only a vague memory.

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