Make Homemade Chicken Stock and Chicken Soup simultaneously with this 2-in-1 Recipe
Homemade Chicken Stock and Chicken Soup with Amaranth
There’s nothing more comforting than soup, especially in the winter time, which were going on month 5 of up here in Michigan. And even more so when you’re sick with the cold or the flu, which we’ve definitely experienced a lot of these last few months as well.
This recipe contains directions for both:
- Homemade Chicken Stock
- Chicken Vegetable Soup
Three things about this post/recipe that make it different from other Chicken Soup recipes:
- It uses a whole chicken
- It makes soup and stock simultaneously
- It uses the grain, Amaranth, as a thickener
Chicken Stock vs Chicken Broth
Making this recipe was the first time I made my own chicken stock, which is the most important part of chicken broth. I always bought store brand chicken broth in a box, so I never truly knew the difference between the two. Actually I thought they were the same thing, but now I know that’s definitely not true. Chicken stock is made from simmering chicken bones for 4-6 hours. Chicken stock is just one part of the chicken broth, along with seasonings, herbs, spices, vegetables, and even chicken meat. Chicken broth can be made by only simmering chicken meat for 2-3 hours.
Chicken stock is much more flavorful and rich than just chicken broth, so it’s worth the wait time. This is because the bones contain collagen, and when simmered long enough, turns into gelatin, giving the broth the texture.
So, I purchased a whole chicken with the intent of creating chicken stock and a chicken soup for dinner. But, when I was searching the web for a chicken soup recipe that made the chicken stock on conjunction with it, I couldnt find anything. I only found recipes for either just chickens stock or just chicken soup USING homemade chicken stock or store bought chicken stock. I didn’t want to make the stock and soup as two separate recipes. It seemed like a whole lot of wasted time when the stock was being used as the main ingredient in my soup. How could I make the two at the same time?
I had many questions that I couldnt find the answers to online and I couldnt find a step by step recipe of chicken stock AND soup, I decided to just do a little trial & error, testing, and experimenting to figure it out the answers to these questions myself.
Here were the questions that I had:
If I’m using a whole chicken, how much stock will this make compared to how much I’ll actually need in my chicken soup recipe?
You’ll have much more stock than you will need for one batch of soup. After the stock was cooked, I filled up two 32 oz mason jars and put them in the refrigerator before adding the rest of my soup ingredients.
Can I use the same vegetables in the soup that I use to make the stock or will they be too mushy after the 4-6 hour cook time?
Depends. I made the chicken stock with onions, carrots, and celery. After simmering for four hours, the carrots were the perfect softness to dice up and throw back into the stock for the soup. The celery and onions were too soft so I cut up new ones to use for the soup. If you simmer your stock for longer, you may need to use all new veggies.
How long should I simmer the entire chicken if I want to properly make the stock, but also use the meat from the chicken in my soup?
Since the bones need to simmer for 4-6 hours, I threw the entire chicken in the pot and simmered for one hour. After the hour when the chicken meat was completely cooked through, I cut the meat from the bones and stored the meat in the refrigerator until it was time to finish the soup. I threw the bones back in the pot and simmered for another 3-3.5 hours.
Should I add a small amount of boxed chicken broth or stock to the simmering pot along with my whole chicken?
A lot of recipes I came across when searching for answers recommended mixing a small amount of boxed chicken broth in with your water when simmering. I think in doing this, you can speed up the process of making your chicken stock, but it defeats the purpose of homemade chicken stock if you do do this and you wont get the rich flavor and texture that you would get from your homemade broth. I did not include this in my recipe.
This is all included in the step by step two-in-one chicken stock & soup recipe below 🙂
using amaranth as a thickener…
I received a bag of Amaranth in the mail and had no idea what to do with it. It’s a grain that looks like quinoa. So I cooked it on the stove top and served with scallops and vegetables one night for dinner. It didnt taste very good on its own like quinoa does. When quinoa cooks, it absorbs the water and gets bigger, giving it texture similar to rice. Amaranth did not expand when cooked. It turned into a gooey, sticky, pasty texture. I did a search on what to do with amaranth and came across an article that said because of amaranth’s gelatinous texture, you can put amaranth in soups and stews for added thickness. I’ve been adding it to my chicken soup ever since. Amaranth is just one healthy food that you can use to thicken your recipes. Click for a list of 10 healthy thickeners for your soups, gravies, sauces, dips, and other foods.
Since I wanted to make a basic traditional chicken and vegetable soup, I only added carrots, celery, and peas. The fun thing about chicken soup is you can add whatever vegetables, grains, noodles, or beans you want. Get as creative as you want or stick to plain old boring chicken soup like me 🙂
2-in-1: Chicken Stock & Chicken Soup with Amaranth
Make homemade chicken stock and chicken soup simultaneously with this 2-in-1 recipe including amaranth for thickening.
- 4 lb whole chicken
- 2 onions
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 bunch carrots
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- sprigs of thyme as many as you want
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 cup amaranth
- 1 can peas
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp basil
- salt & pepper
To start making the chicken stock, place the whole chicken, 1 onion (quartered), 2-4 carrots (halved), 2-4 celery stalks (halved), 2 bay leaves, a few sprigs of thyme, garlic cloves, and a handful of fresh parsley in a large stock pot. You can add as much vegetables as you'd like.
Fill stock pot so that the water covers the entire chicken. Bring to a boil. You may need to add a couple cups of water to keep the chicken covered.
Once the water boils for a couple of minutes, reduce to a simmer and cover.
After 60 minutes, using tongs, remove the chicken and place on a cutting board or wire rack. Let cool. Keep simmering everything else. *Make sure your stock is not heating more than a simmer. If there are a lot of bubbles rising to the surface or you notice you're losing a lot of water, only partially cover.
Once chicken is cooled. Cut off all of the meat from the chicken and store in the refrigerator. Return the bones, fat, and skin to the pot and simmer for another 3-5 hours.
While simmering, dice 1 onion, 3-4 celery stalks, and carrots (if needed). Chop parsley leaves so you have 1/2 cup tightly packed.
Cook your amaranth by adding 1 cup amaranth with 2.5 cups water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Set aside until stock is done.
Once your stock has simmered for the 4-6 hours, remove any fat that has risen to the top. Then, strain your broth into another large pot or pan so you're left with just the broth.
Fill mason or other glass jars with about 32 oz of broth and store in refrigerator for four days or freezer for 6 months. The amount of broth you remove from pot will depend on how thick you want your soup. For this recipe, removing 32 oz was perfect.
Place your pot back on the heat and continue to simmer. If your carrots are too mushy from the stock, toss out along with the other vegetables and chicken bones from the stock. If not too mushy, then dice them up and throw them in the pot along with your diced onions, diced celery, chicken from the refrigerator, amaranth, cumin, salt & pepper.
Simmer until vegetables are soft, 10-15 minutes. Lastly, add your peas and fresh chopped parsley and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt & pepper if needed.
Let cool and serve. If you want to add noodles to your chicken soup, make separately and add to individual bowls.