If you are like me, you have a ton of friends that will tell you that chicken soup is the best thing when you are sick and is some kind of miracle meal that will make you feel better. I could not agree more after having strep and trying to get over it. If you have really good friends that bring you soup that's even better! (I didn't and it was ok.)
You are sick and running a fever of 101.5 and it feels like it is getting worse. The only thing you can think of doing is floating on a giant block of ice in your bath tub until either your fever broke or the unbearable heat was more tolerable outside.. You wake up on a sunday morning with a sore throat and what feels like sandpaper attached to your tonsils. That was me on sunday and I started my dose of antibiotics I have saved up from the last time I had a sinus infection. Hey, don't judge the unemployed. The last thing I wanted to do was make a big pot of chicken soup because I know what will happen with the leftovers if they are not eaten right away. Well, that is what this post is about, we shall talk about the varying things you can do with a simple pot of chicken soup/stock. This was me on sunday and nothing worse then sweating over a cutting board when all you want to do is die.
What you will need for your basic pot of soup is one value pack of chicken legs or thighs (today I am using thighs for a reason, MEAT), one package of celery, 1 lb of carrots, and 1 very large or 2 medium yellow onions. Chop the veggies to bite size and toss in a pot of boiling water. Peel the skin off the chicken and toss in the pot of boiling veggies and fill with enough water to cover. Add about a tablespoon of pink salt (i prefer this for the mineral content) and about a teaspoon of fresh coarse ground pepper. Simmer for about an hour and cool. Taste of course to make sure you have enough salt as this will be key for the stock before freezing or using for other dishes.
This is the basic ingredients for chicken soup. You can add more ingredients like orzo or small pasta starts/letters to make the soup kid friendly. Add some curry and and coconut milk and you will have an asian soup. This is a great starter for Italian Wedding Soup as well. Tonight I am making a red curry stew over Jasmin rice.
Do not think that just because you are sick you are stuck eating boring chicken soup until you are better. I have found that I love a good spicy soup like the Thai soup Tom Kha Kai. Can be the base of a good minestrone, or freeze the stock (minus all the goodies) for later when you need stock for a pasta dish or my favorite dish Marsala chicken.
If the chicken is still on the bone, you can remove them and use for other dishes as well like shredded chicken for salads, add BBQ sauce and you have pulled chicken sandwiches, saute with onions and some green chilies and you now have a taco filling.
Do not stress that you will have chicken soup coming out of your ears, it is definitely a good thing. Just remember to think outside the pot. Tonight I am making red curry for the first time with some of my chicken soup. What will you make?