Thursday, January 31, 2013

Deleting the naughty...with Homemade Chicken Soup

I am a firm believer in chicken soup. I am not talking Campbell's or restaurant soup. I am talking about HOMEMADE chicken soup, with a real chicken to make real broth.

It is flu season, and unfortunately, it hit my household on a Sunday afternoon. It has been so long since anyone has been sick, I knew it was time for soup. I ventured out and bought a whole chicken to prepare the healing elixer for Monday's supper.

Don't be afraid of scratch cooking. It is better, healthier and more healing to make a good broth yourself, and believe it or not - easy.

Chicken Soup Ingredients:
whole raw chicken - no giblets, not frozen
lots of carrots (if you are lucky enough to have it available buy organic)
3-4 white or yellow onions (if you are lucky enough to have it available buy organic)
sea salt
Herbs: bay leaf, thyme, rosemary
Rapunzel Vegan Sea Salt & Herb Bouillion
whole wheat egg noodles or regular noodles, I prefer whole wheat
celery if you desire, and I don't.

1. Remove the chicken and rinse under water. Place in a large stock pot. Fill pot with water to cover chicken and 2 inches or more above for a very large batch and place on the stove on medium high heat.

2. Cut the top and bottom off an onion (or two, if you love onions), quarter it and put in the pot. Peel about 4 or 5 carrots or more, cut in very large chunks and put in pot.  Now is also when you can add 3 or 4 stalks of celery if you like it.

3. I add about 1 TBS of sea salt or so and  2-3 tsp of pepper. Then throw in 4 big bay leaves, 1 tsp of thyme, 1 tsp of rosemary.  I really don't measure so this is a guess.

4. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium after it's been boiling for about 15 minutes and let it simmer for 5 hours. This not only cooks the chicken thoroughly but makes it tender and it really gives the broth a chance to dance with all the ingredients.

Once the broth has finished it's 5 hours, I set another large pot in the sink and put a large strainer/colander on top of it. Then slowly and carefully pour the entire contents of the stock pot into the strainer, letting the broth drain into the pot below.

Place the stock pot back on to the stove at medium and pour the broth back into it. You can then put the contents in the strainer into your other pot to remove the chicken from the bones to put into the broth in the stock pot. You DO NOT put the carrots or onion back into the broth, just the chicken meat. You add more vegetables next.

Final Preparation:
Slice as many carrots as you want, as much onion as you want and etc. to put into the broth with the chicken. I add 2-3 cubes of the Rapunzel bouillion. I also add 2 bay leaves. Taste the broth and if it is too your liking season wise, you are good to go, if not, add a little more pepper, or thyme or salt. Whatever floats your boat.

Once this comes back to a boil, and your carrots are cooked to yoru liking, add your noodles if you want. You really don't have to, it is all about whatever feels right with bringing you back to health. If you want just broth, then eat that. You can add rice, or make dumplings. It is about getting well. So let that simmer a little longer til the vegetables or noodles, etc. are done.

I have a lot of prep work done in advance because I participate in a CSA and freeze vegetables for the winter from it. So, as you can see from the photo, my veggies are already sliced and diced. Makes it even easier.

It seems like a lot, but it is not, it's super easy and delicious!

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