NO TOSSING OF MY CHICKEN BACK PARTS ##CHICKEN BACK SOUP WITH CORN/PUMPKIN

When it comes to utilizing a whole chicken, I’m first in line. Nothing goes to waste for yours truly. So, I had previously made chicken dishes from the dark and white portions. As a matter of fact, it was just a couple of days ago I had the left-overs of a super delicious curried chicken dish. Oh, I’m still salivating in that goodness.

I love the necks and back bones of the dear bird. I do think they make the most aromatic and tasty soups, gravies and broths. Frankly, I prefer to use these parts when I cook a  chicken soup. Originally, I had a chicken broth in mind; however, when I went shopping, I couldn’t help myself after spotting those corns on the cob. I decided to make a chicken back soup consisting of corn on the cob. Corns are plentiful on the market. And I fetched five of the yellow/golden wonders for $1.50.

Already, I had all the other ingredients:

  • Pumpkin (squash)
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Scallion
  • Bouillon cube (veggie flavor)
  • Chicken noodle soup mix
  • Scotch bonnet pepper

It was going to be a back to basic sort of dish. You see, over the years, I’ve devoured several chicken back soups; so I knew exactly my plan of action.

SOME OF THE VEGETABLE INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN BACK SOUP
SOME OF THE VEGGIE INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN BACK SOUP

Method:

  1. The skin and excess fatty parts were removed from chicken back parts. Then they were scalded with boiling water for a few minutes, drained and set aside.
  2. In a sturdy stock pot, a drizzle of olive oil was added. To that, diced carrots, onions, celery and bell pepper were added. Chicken parts were then added along with a seasoning of salt, black pepper, and crushed garlic.
  3. All ingredients were blended for approximately five minutes. Then roughly chopped pumpkin pieces were added along with thyme, bouillon cube,crushed pimento (all spice) and chopped pieces of corn on the cob.
  4. Cold tap water was then added to cover all the ingredients under low to medium heat with lid on.
  5. When pumpkin pieces were tender, these were removed and crushed with fork. Crushed pumpkin was added back to pot.
  6. After tasting, extra seasonings were added along with chicken noodle powder mix.
  7. This simmered under low heat until soup acquired the preferred consistency.
  8. Chopped scallion,parsley and scotch bonnet pepper were used to garnish.

My chicken back soup was chock full of amazing flavors. The corn was sweet and still possessed its crispness. I didn’t evade my chicken back bones. I removed the pieces of flesh and sucked on the bones. The scotch bonnet pepper was visible but not overpowering. All the aromatic flavors became one. It warmed my palate and stomach in a beautiful way. Moreover, it brought back childhood memories of when things were simple and foods were wholesome.

ROASTED PUMPKIN (SQUASH)/CARROT SOUP WITH A HINT OF COCONUT MILK

Like most of us, I commute and work long hours. As a result, it makes it rather difficult to keep a healthy and wholesome diet. It is easy to do a ‘drive-by’ through the many fast food eateries within the neighborhood. After all, the service is quick/convenient, and the prices are relatively inexpensive. More over, let’s face it, when the hungry pangs are evident and you know that there isn’t any prepared meal at home, the smells from these eateries pull you.

Nothing is wrong in surrendering to the need once in a while. I truly believe in a fine balance. Oh, once per week, I love those crispy/hot fries from McDonalds.  However, we all know that overtime the consumption of foods loaded with excess sodium, sugar and saturated fats can eventually lead to cardiovascular, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Not to fear, I’ve the perfect solution. On my downtime, I use the opportunity to prepare and cook soup. One week is lentil and the other week could be pumpkin. And that’s what I did on my night off from the ‘grind’. I cooked a rich pot of pumpkin/carrot soup. It was delicious and very easy to cook and prepare. This one pot wonder normally keeps me satiated for hours. Moreover, I always ensure to make extra and freeze in tupperwares for later.

Ingredients:

*Pumpkin (squash)

*Carrots

*Celery

*Onions

*Coconut milk (optional)

*Bell pepper(any color)

*Scallion

*Salt/pepper

*Thyme

*Olive/canola oil

*Chicken broth (optional)

1. Rinse and scrub carrots, and other veggies. Peel pumpkin and roughly chop carrots,pumpkin, onions, celery and bell pepper.

2. In a sturdy stock pot, over medium heat, add a few drops of oil and add veggies.

3.Keep on stirring and do a quick pan roast of veggies.

4.Season along and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in thyme and any other herb of choice.

5.Add chicken broth and/or plain water and cover veggies and allow to simmer on low to medium heat.

6. Add coconut milk (optional) to soup half way through cooking process.

7. On completion of cooking time, cool and then puree soup to your consistency in blender or food processor.

My pumpkin/carrot soup a bit nutty and very tasty. The flavors were bold yet smooth and creamy. I  served my pureed soup with a crusty cheese sandwich. Guys, sometimes that’s what beautiful things are made, easy, quick and satisfying.

As usual, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates.