Chicken soup is good for the soul, and this recipe is very economical as you can make so many things out of it, as well as a hearty meal of chicken soup.
You Can vary what you put into the soup and you could use a "boiler" if you wanted to save further on costs. I have used a free range chicken as I prefer this to the cheaper ones.
I have used giblets which many people would say yuck to, however, although these do not look nice raw, they are very yummy when cooked, and give the soup a richer taste, as well as being very healthy.
Cook it a further 12 hours and you will have "bone broth soup".
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 hours in slow cooker or 2 hours
Serves: About 10
Ingredients For the Matzo balls 1 packet Matzo balls mix (available in International or Kosher sections of supermarkets)
For the soup 1 whole chicken
6 sticks celery
About 6 brussel sprouts
1 large onion
Method For the soup
I made the soup in a slow cooker as I find it is thicker if done this way, however, if you do not have a slow cooker, just boil it for about 2 hours in the normal way on a low heat.
Cut the vegetables up into very large pieces (as they are easier to take out this way).
Put the washed chicken and chicken frames in the pot, and add the vegetables, and salt and pepper.
Add enough water to cover the ingredients.
Turn the slow cooker to high for about an hour or until it is almost boiling, and then turn down to the lowest and leave overnight or about 12 hours.
Let it cool and lift the large pieces of vegetable out for another use.
Take the meat and bones out.
Strip the bones and keep the chicken meat for another use, or you could add some pieces into the soup when you eat it.
Strain the soup, and you have your first meal - a clear broth!
For the matzo balls
Mix the eggs and add the packet of matzo balls to this mixture.
Let stand for about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile boil some water in a large pot, and with wet hands form small balls out of the mixture (they will get bigger as they cook).
Drop them into the water and boil for about 7 minutes.
Take them out carefully.
Drain and freeze a few at a time if not eating straight away.
Meat and vegetable dinner - I ate the warm vegetables for dinner.
I also ate the giblets and necks with the vegetables and that was a delicious meal in itself.
Clear soup - I ate the strained soup, after leaving it overnight for the fat to settle at the top before skimming this fat off.
I also used the shredded chicken in several recipes as there was quite a lot of tender meat, and I froze two lots of 250 g each for another few meals again. Check out my wholemeal pizza recipe for one idea.
I then had the soup with the matzo balls in it and these were also delicious heated up with the soup.
I also froze a lot of small portions of soup both for eating, and for cooking when a recipe requires chicken stock, and it saves using shop bought ones with a lot of salt/preservatives in them.
So, out of one batch of soup I will get about five different meals! Couldn't get more economical than that!