The Gift – Chicken Soup for a Cold

For any of you under the weather, nothing like homemade chicken soup. Here’s my recipe, something my husband and I cobbled together using bits and pieces of two recipes in the book: 1001 Delicious Soups & Stews, 2nd ed., Edited by Sue Spitler with Linda R. Yoakam, M.S., R.D. The two recipes are on pp. 284-5, Chicken Noodle Soup and Country Chicken-Noodle Soup. We adjusted things to suit our own preferences. It’s not quick – but it’s worth the effort:

HOME-MADE CHICKEN SOUP:

Part I: Stock

1 whole broiler or stewing chicken (about 4 lbs.), cut up
4 quarts water
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 small onion, cut up

Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.

Remove from heat.

Scoop out the chicken pieces and set aside.

Strain the broth, removing and discarding the boiled onions, used bay leaf, and any chicken skin or bones.

At this point, if you are in a hurry, just go directly to Part II. However, I prefer to put the strained broth in the refrigerator overnight, and I do the same with the plate of chicken pieces. I find it easier to remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin the next morning when the chicken is cold, not to mention you avoid burning your fingers. Also, refrigerating the broth allows as much dissolved fat as possible to solidify on the broth’s surface. The next morning I just scoop the fat off the broth’s surface. I just don’t like fat.

Part II: Finishing the Soup

Remove all meat from the chicken bones. Discard skin and bones. Shred the meat into small chunks and set aside.

Slice up 3 cups of carrots and 4 cups of celery (including some leaves)

Dice up  ½ onions (Omit this step if you hate onions (like me), or add more if you prefer)

Saute the carrots, celery, and onions in 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the soup pot, until tender. About 5-7 minutes

Add to the sautéed vegetables in the pot:
the strained chicken broth and the shredded chicken pieces
1 tsp. dried marjoram
¼ cup diced parsley
splash of dry sherry (optional)

Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken and vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Next, return soup to a boil and add about ½ lb. of egg noodles or angel hair pasta nests, crumbled.

Cook 3-7 minutes at boil, depending on the size of the noodles.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

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