Gordon has been cooking and experimenting with food since childhood. He loves coming up with new and tasty culinary creations.
How Can You Make Soup with Chicken Wings?
LIke millions of other people around the world, I love chicken wings. I also, however, love experimenting with them, finding new ways to cook, serve and enjoy chicken wings at their delicious, succulent best. While there is technically no limit to the number of different sauces we can use to coat chicken wings or the different types of crunchy coatings we can cover them in, there is a wider option we can also consider to further vary the dishes we prepare using these tender and tasty treats. That option is to effectively disassemble the chicken wings at some stage during the cooking and preparation processes, serving the chicken meat off the bone. In this instance, what I did was firstly roast the chicken wings before removing the meat - setting it aside for later inclusion in the soup - and using the bones to make a rich and tasty chicken broth soup base.
Chicken Wings and Mushroom Soup Ingredients
It is fairly obvious that chicken wings and to a lesser extent mushrooms dominate the ingredients list for this soup but there are a number of other items which you will require. The good news is that - just as with most soups - many of these ingredients are interchangeable with others where availability or simply taste/preference is an issue.
The stock/broth and subsequently the soup is prepared over the course of several hours or in fact overnight and should serve six to eight people.
8 to 10 whole raw chicken wings
Salt and pepper
2 small to medium white onions
2 medium carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 bay leaves
8 to 10 medium white mushrooms
3 tablespoons basmati or long grain rice
2 tablespoons frozen peas
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
How to Cook the Chicken Wings
The chicken wings could of course simply be poached as a means of getting the stock started. You will find, however, if you take the time to roast the chicken wings first, you will have an extra depth of flavour in your finished soup.
Start your oven preheating to 210C/425F/Gas Mark 7 while you wash the chicken wings and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
Lightly grease a roasting tray with vegetable oil and lay the chicken wings on in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes or until done. Remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool enough that the wings can be handled.
Peel the skin from the wings and discard, along with the wing tips. Pick the flesh carefully from the bones and add to a plastic dish with a lid. Store the chicken meat in the fridge until required later/the next day. The bones should go in to a large stock pot.
How to Make Chicken Wings Stock
Wash the carrots and celery sticks. Trim the ends and roughly chop. There is no need to peel in either instance. Peel the onions and cut them in to quarters.
Add the vegetables along with the bay leaves to the stock pot with the chicken wings bones. Season with salt and black pepper. Pour in around five pints of cold water as you will need three pints of the finished stock and much of the liquid will be lost during simmering and straining.
Put the pot on to a high heat until the liquid starts to simmer. Reduce the heat and maintain a gentle simmer for two hours.
Turn the heat off, cover the pot and leave the stock to cool completely.
How to Dry Mushrooms in the Oven
So why am I going to the bother of drying out the mushrooms in the oven before adding them to the soup? Good question - but there is actually a very good reason for doing this, I promise!
Mushrooms have a very high water content. If the mushrooms were simply chopped or sliced and added to the soup stock, this water would likewise be added to the soup, diluting to at least some extent the flavour. Similarly, by roasting the mushrooms to dry them out and get rid of most of this water content, their flavour is enhanced many times over before they are added to the soup. You could of course simply buy dried mushrooms but this technique is incredibly simple and could be carried out while the stock is cooking or cooling.
Usually mushrooms will be sliced or simply laid whole on a roasting tray to dry them in the oven. I came up with a slightly different approach. Just as many items would be sat on a wire rack when they come out of the oven to let the air circulate while the food rests and cools, I decided to use the same principle for drying out the mushrooms. I simply sat a wire rack on a tray and stuck the stalks of the mushrooms down through the wires. This holds the mushrooms steady and lets the hot air dry them evenly.
Preheat your oven to 300F/150C/Gas Mark 2. The mushrooms will take up to a couple of hours to shrivel up and dry out but check them after an hour and every fifteen minutes thereafter. You don't want them to dry out too much and burn. The mushrooms in this instance took one and three-quarter hours to dry to the desired extent.
Take the mushrooms from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes and then roughly chop.
How to Assemble Chicken Wings and Mushroom Soup
Measure three pints of your strained stock in to your clean stock/soup pot and start it heating.
Wash the rice in a sieve under running cold water.
Add the chicken meat, rice and mushrooms to the stock once it reaches a simmer. Return to a simmer for five minutes before adding the frozen peas and simmer again for five minutes.
Stir the parsley carefully through the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. The soup is now ready to serve.
Serving Chicken Wings and Mushroom Soup
You couold of course serve your soup simply on its own, with some fresh bread, or any way you like - but personally, I like some Italian bruschetta with a hearty soup like this and it only takes a couple of minutes to make.
Slice some one inch thick discs as shown from a wholemeal or other bread stick. Toast on both sides under your grill/broiler and rub the hot toast on one side only with a peeled garlic clove.
Drizzle the garlic rubbed side of the toast with extra virgin olive oil before seasoning with salt and pepper and you're ready to go. Ladle the soup in to serving bowls (garnishing with a little more parsley, if desired) and lay the bruschetta alongside on a larger plate.