We all know how to make chicken soup.
What I want to know is how YOU make your chicken soup.
As I see it, there are essentially two basic, fundamental approaches:
1. The "Chicken Stock" method: Start with chicken stock, then add the other ingredients such as additional water, seasonings, vegetables, chicken meat, noodles, etc.
2. The "Whole Chicken" method. Start with a whole raw chicken, and cook it with the other ingredients such as water, seasonings, vegetables, noodles, etc.
Of course there are countless variations on each of the above two mentioned methods, but I think those are the two basic, fundamental approaches to making homemade chicken soup, right?
So, that being said, which method do you use and why?
Me, personally, I favor Method 2, or the "Whole Chicken" method.
Why? To me, cooking the raw chicken (with bones and meat all together) along with everything else, including the seasonings -- usu. for me it's salt, pepper, ginger, green onions, red dates, tangerine peel, gingseng, lady bell root, etc. -- allows for the chicken meat and bones to soak up the seasonings during the cooking process. The flavors all meld together to create a unique taste, and in many ways a different "chicken taste" if there's such a thing.
Using chicken stock as your starting point, on the other hand, creates sort of a flat taste. The chicken stock's taste is already set, no doubt from hours and hours at a low long simmer in your stockpot. Sure, you can add seasonings, but they just tend to -- for lack of a better word -- add to the chicken stock's original flavor. Nothing new is created.
I am not trying to stir up a debate as to the best method for making chicken soup, and I am by no means an expert on the subject -- although I do know what I like and how to make what I like.
I am just curious as to how you do it, and why.