Whole Chicken – Part 2: Chicken Soups

Recently we talked about how to thaw and cook a whole chicken. So the chicken is cooked.  It can be eaten as is.  The meat can be used in casseroles or stir-fries.  Or it can be used in soups.

Our 2 favorite chicken soups are Chicken Corn Soup and Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup.  Enjoy!

Chicken Corn Soup

This is a family favorite from my growing up days in southern PA.  In August we would purchase corn to blanch and freeze.  In the winter we would use the corn to make this soup.
Course: Soup
Servings: 4 quarts


  • 1 Whole chicken about 5 lb, can be whole or frozen
  • 1-2 onions diced
  • 1/2 celery head chopped
  • Water to cover chicken
  • 2 bags frozen corn may use 2 cans of corn
  • 1 bag egg noodles


  • Place the chicken, celery, onion and water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; cool.
  • Put 1/2 stock and cut-up chicken in 8 qt. stockpot.  Add corn. Bring to boil.  Add stock if it is too thick. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  (This can simmer as long as you want.) 10 minutes before serving add egg noodles, and add stock so that it is on the runny side.
  • Add salt at the table as needed/desired.


We vary this by using other starches in place of the egg noodles - rice, barley, potatoes, alphabet noodles or rivels. Rivels are just 3/4 cup flour added to 1 beaten egg. (Place the flour in a bowl; mix in egg with a fork just until blended. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into boiling soup, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until rivels are cooked through.) Rivel recipe

Hearty Chicken Vegetable Soup

Course: Soup
Servings: 4 quarts


  • 1 roasting chicken about 5 pounds, can be cut up or can be whole frozen chicken
  • 2-4 celery ribs sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2-1/2 quarts water
  • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces stewed tomatoes Or equivalent diced tomatoes
  • 4 medium carrots sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium turnip peeled and cubed, can substitute 2 potatoes

Seasonings - use ones you like - We especially like oregano.

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley opt.
  • 3/4 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and tarragon opt.
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt opt.
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper opt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder opt.

Additional veggies

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 cups frozen peas optional


  • Place the chicken, celery, onion and water in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken; cool.
  • Remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; return to pan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, turnips, seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add broccoli and peas if desired; simmer 15-20 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 16 servings (about 4 quarts).


Other veggies can be added.  Diced tomatoes can be used in place of stewed tomatoes.  We add salt and Parmesan cheese at the table.  Original recipe

Chicken Taj Mahal – Part 2

A while ago we posted about work we were doing on a new mobile chicken coop. That new coop is now in service.

It took several days for the chickens to learn that they had to walk up the ramp to get back inside the coop. The first few nights they would walk around  the coop knowing they had to get up in there, but unsure how. It  would have been comical except that we had to try and herd them to the ramp. Now they all routinely go in as the sky starts to darken at night.

We designed the coop to hold 60 chickens comfortably, and we have about 45 at present. By moving the coop regularly, the chickens don’t find alternate places to lay their eggs, which means we are not spending time searching for clutches behind trees or under weeds.

Sometime in November we will give the coop a good cleaning while the chickens are out. Then we will park the coop near the barn so that the chickens can have some artificial light. (This helps keep them producing eggs.) When snow arrives, they will be limited to this coop and a covered outdoor eating area.

When the weather warms, the coop will get another good cleaning, and the chickens will be off to the pastures again.

Both the chickens and the humans are enjoying the benefits of our chicken Taj Mahal.  Our thanks to the Farmer’s father for the idea and to the father and the Farmer’s sons for building it.  Excellent job!

Sty Guy

Our second son is currently working on his Ph.D. in mathematics. But his humble roots include being a pig farmer. He loved  his pigs like some kids love their dogs. He would play with them and ride on them.

Back in those days, we had sows that we would breed to raise a litter of piglets.

Now we buy our piglets in from farms which raise their pigs outdoors. Know why is this important? Continue reading “Sty Guy”

The Allure of Garlic

Have you ever thought about trying to grow something in a garden?  Garlic would be fairly easy to start with.

Why garlic?

  1. Here in the Northeast garlic is planted in the fall after Columbus Day. This means that you are not waiting for a wet spring to end or for snow to melt before you can plant it.
  2. Garlic doesn’t take a lot of space.  Several cloves planted 6 inches apart will give you several heads of garlic.
  3. Continue reading “The Allure of Garlic”