Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crockpot Chicken Stoup

What is a stoup you may ask? It is not quite a stew, but thicker than just a regular soup. Thus the T placed oh so nicely in the middle of the soup to represent its thick yummy goodness!  Sure to warm your body as it starts getting colder out!

I came up with my version of a stoup from an adaptation that my mother would make growing up and my father’s cholent {Jewish meat and bean stew, literally everything but the kitchen sink} he would make for holidays.  My stoup is super thick, creamy, and just what the doctor ordered for the cold season.

During the week I tend to be a very lazy cook.  I always try to find ways to make the quickest dinner when I come home from work, while still being able to go to the gym and do whatever else needs to be done.  That is where my stoup comes in.

I prepare my stoup the night before we plan to devour it {ahem, I mean my husband does.} Then the next morning before I leave for work, I just take it out of the fridge, set, and forget.  Then, right when you walk in, BAM you smell it!  I don’t think our dog likes it very much, being stuck with this smell all day and not being able to have some.  But, we add the cow knuckles just for him, and that keeps him occupied for hours!
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
The photo really does not do this stoup justice, but I was in a rush to snap one before it was all eaten up!
What you will need:
Chicken- as much or as little as you would like, and any part of the chicken bone/boneless
Beef bones- for a richer flavor, and so our dog gets to take part in this
1 onion
4 potatoes
1 cup baby carrots
2 tomatoes
1 scallion stalk
1 cup barley pre soaked
1 cup kidney beans pre soaked
1 head of broccoli (I use the stem as well)
1 cup mushrooms
4-6 cups good H2O
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cajon seasoning
3 tsps. garlic powder
3 tsps. paprika
2 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground tumeric
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
The first thing you want to do is to start soaking your beans and barley, each in a glass of water.  Even though everything is going to be cooking all day in water, for some reason if I forget to soak them before they are always crunchy! {not what you want} So this step is crucial to your bean consistency.

Grease the bottom of the crockpot, I swear cleanup is so much easier after.

Dice up your potatoes, add to the crock.
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
Next, dice up your scallion, carrots, and tomatoes and dump them on top of the potatoes.
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
Next up, the onions and mushrooms!  Onions always make my eyes tear beyond belief, so I started to wear my swimming goggles while dealing with them.  Not the most attractive, but boy do they really work!
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
For my broccoli, I use both the head and long stem.  Usually I just toss the huge stem, but that is the bulk of the broccoli when you buy it. So I just went all in and decided to throw it in my stoup.  Once cooked, it sort of has the consistency of a parsnip or a potato and takes on the flavors of the rest of the ingredients.
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
Any part of the chicken will do.  If using boneless chicken breast {was on sale that day} dice it up. Another time I made this; whole chickens were on sale, so I just cut the chicken up in eighths. I find that the whole chicken works best for the flavor of the stoup.
I also added 2 cow knuckles {found them totally by accident in the stew section of my grocer’s meat dep’t} which gives my stoup a richer, heartier flavor.  
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
Once you have all of your veggies and protein in the crock, add your seasonings, and as much or as little of your sauces you would like.  For my sauces I really didn’t measure them, but I used roughly ¼ cup of each.
Next, add your soaked beans and barley to the mix.
If you are going to start cooking your stoup now, add your 4-6 cups of good H2O. {enough to fill your crock just about to the top}
Or, if you are preparing this the night before like I did, just cover with your crock lid and leave in the fridge overnight.  This also allows all of the spices and sauces to merry together with all the veggies and chicken.
Then, in the morning add your water and set to low and forget.
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
12 hours later it looks like this.  You can cook for less time on a higher setting, but I am gone for 12 hours, so I just set it on low for that time.
Crockpot Chicken Stoup~ The Dreams Weaver
This one crock lasted us all week! 
If you don’t want to use it all at once, wait for it to cool and transfer to freezer-safe containers or Ziploc bags.

Another way to serve this stoup, boil up some of your favorite noodles, drain.
Add some of your stoup to your drained noodle pot, and reheat. If you want more of a chicken noodle soup consistency, add some more water while it is heating up. Voila! Chicken noodle soup!


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