How I Wash Mushrooms

I’m not going to get into the raging debate about whether or not you should wash your mushrooms.  I don’t want to fight with you.  Let’s just say that when I wash my mushrooms, this is the way I do it, because it’s way less of a pain in the butt than doing it any other way.

So.  You take your mushrooms.  Hopefully yours are a bit more fresh than mine are. You put them in a colander.

Mushroom Wash 1

You run cold water over them while agitating them and tossing them around.

Mushroom Wash 2

Then you let the colander drain for a few seconds before tossing the contents into a clean tea towel.

Mushroom Wash 4

Then you grab the corners of the right side of the towel in your right hand, and the corners of the left side of the towel in your left hand.

Mushroom Wash 5

Then you pretend that you’re polishing a bowling ball.  So you lift one hand, then bring it down while raising the other, and back and forth, jostling the mushrooms around inside your tea towel so they can get all dried off without getting smushed. This is me taking a picture of the mushrooms while also drying them. I need more hands.

Mushroom Wash 6

TADA.

Mushroom Wash 7

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

So I made a roasted chicken to go with our poutine from earlier, and the Pie and I ended up, in the events of that week, forgetting about the leftovers completely.

So let’s make some soup for those busy periods in our lives (which, this term, is pretty much every day).

Pop your carcass and any other bits of chicken you have, skin, bones, everything, in a large pot.  Cover it with 1 litre chicken stock and the rest with water.  Bring that to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let that bubble away for about an hour.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Remove the pot from the heat.  Set a large colander in a larger bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the colander.  This makes getting the wee bits of non-meat out of the broth easy.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Pour the strained broth back into the pot.  Strip the chicken of bits that you want in your soup, and chuck those bits in with the broth.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Chop 1 carrot and 1 onion and add those in.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Add 1 cup rice.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

I was going to add a can of tomatoes to this, but it turned out I didn’t have any (which was kind of a shocker, considering that I normally have about four on hand).  Instead, I had a little over 1 cup pumpkin purée, left from the Pie’s first attempt at pumpkin pie, so I added that in.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Sprinkle on some herbs (I used oregano) and add salt and pepper.  I also added a pinch or two of chipotle seasoning.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Put your pot back on the heat and simmer it for about half an hour, until the rice is cooked and the carrots are tender and everything is hot and yummy.  Taste, and adjust your seasonings if necessary.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Serve hot or freeze for later on.  It’s that simple!

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Home-Made Chicken Noodle Soup

Every time we have whole roasted poultry in the house I make soup afterwards.  Soup is a great thing to have in your freezer for days when you’re feeling lazy, and making soup from leftover chicken or turkey ensures that you can get every scrap of meat from that bird.

I saved the carcass and the wings from the tarragon chicken we had the other night.  If you’re not prepared to make soup right away you can always wrap up the carcass and freeze it for a later date.  Just don’t forget about it, otherwise you’ll be pulling bird bones out of your freezer for months.

Anyway, take your carcass, including wing bones or leftover thighs or whatever, plus all your skin and whatever you used to season the bird (in this case I stuffed it with lemons) and chuck it in a large pot.  Add enough water to just cover the whole thing, and drop in a spoonful or so of powdered chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let that sucker simmer for about an hour or so.

Remove from the heat and strain your broth.  I set a large colander inside a large bowl and pour the whole pot contents into that.

Then I can just lift the colander and all the broth drains out, leaving me with the bits still in the colander.

Return the broth to the pot and let the boiled carcass cool enough to handle.

Here’s where you get to play your favourite carrion bird, and you can go over that carcass and remove every last scrap of meat from every part of it. 

There’s always a lot more meat on the chicken’s back (which is usually the underside if you roast it breast-up) than you think, especially around the ribs.  Get all those little tidbits out and drop them into the broth. 

You can now discard your picked-over carcass, flabby skin, gristle, and whatever else was in the pot that isn’t meat.

Return the pot with the broth and chicken bits to the heat and bring to a boil.  At this point I like to add a bit of oregano.

Then you can pour in the noodle of your choice.  This time I used macaroni.

Boil for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked, then serve.  As I said, this stuff freezes well and it keeps in the fridge for about a week.