There is just something about a warm and soothing soup that feeds the heart and soul especially if you are under the weather. Fall finds me back in the kitchen making farmer this great chicken bisque. When we were first married there was a restaurant called Chris's Woodshed that we used to frequent on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. It has long been closed but they used to serve a chicken bisque almost exactly like this. It took several years to tinker with this recipe and finally come up with something much like we would have when we were celebrating. Now we can celebrate any time and so can you.
Begin by cutting up a two to three pound stewing hen. You can cook this whole as well but it cooks a little quicker if cut up. To this add two to three grated carrots, three stalks of celery chopped, one onion diced, salt, pepper and season salt. Boil chicken in enough water to cover (around 16 cups) until meat is tender and falling off the bone. Sorry I didn't show you a photo of a bloody raw chicken but my hands were too messy to touch my camera.
A watched pot never boils. At least that is what my mother always told me. But I have to watch because I have burned far too many meals by not watching. Not that you do that. I just have a small wee problem with distraction.
Once the chicken is fork tender remove and set aside to cool a bit. Reserve eight cups of chicken stock more or less. This will be added back in soon. Be sure to keep all the cooked vegetables in there as it adds to the flavor of the soup.
Over medium heat make a butter roux by melting 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter and slowly adding 1 cup of flour and whisking for a short time to cook off the flour taste. Be careful you don't burn or scorch. At this point begin adding reserved chicken stock slowly, whisking all the while to keep it smooth and creamy. Sometimes I use the full eight cups and sometimes I use more or less depending on how thick it is. When I made this it took a little over eight cups. The consistency should be thick and creamy.
After removing the chicken from the bones rough tear or chop the meat and add it back into the soup.
At this point taste to see if you need to add more salt or pepper. See how creamy and delicious this looks. Remove from heat to keep from scorching. Serve immediately.
CHICKEN BISQUE SOUP
2 pound stewing hen (fryer)
Enough water to cover (16 cups)
3 Tablespoons salt
Season salt to taste (I used around 2 Tbs.)
3 celery stocks
1 large onion
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
Boil chicken, water, salt, pepper, season salt, celery, carrots and onions until chicken is tender and can be pulled off the bone.
Reserve 8 or more cups chicken stock.
Make a butter roux by melting 1/2 cup butter then slowly adding 1 cup of flour and whisking for a short time to cook off the flour taste. Be careful not to burn or scorch.
Begin slowly whisking in the reserved stock to the butter roux over medium heat. Keep adding stock until it is a thick and creamy consistency. Add in chopped chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Stir constantly.