Well, it may not be a substitute for the flu shot, but Rotisserie Chicken Soup sure is tasty. And, heck, even CNN has suggested chicken soup as a cure for cold and flu.
This chicken soup is pretty easy to make and except for the store-bought chicken, it requires only basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
It helped that I made the soup over a two day period, and I would suggest you do the same.
The recipe was inspired by Chef Laura Frankel's fantastic article and recipe for chicken soup, both of which appeared in JUF News. (Sorry, Laura, I'm lazy. It's in my DNA to look for an easier method.)
The result is a semi-homemade chicken soup, that's full of rich flavor, thanks in part to the spices sprinkled on the rotisserie chicken.
If you want to up the soup's health quotient, add some anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric or cumin, an idea I stole from noted Indian cookbook author and fellow Chicagoan, Anupy Singla Gupta, who suggests cooking with these ingredients to stay healthy this season.
By the way, I used a nice, big, plump bird from Costco. By the time I got the hot fowl home, it had cooled enough to handle, and I was able to pick off all the meat without singeing my fingers. Also, I cooked the pasta--pretty bow ties--separately and added them upon serving the soup so they wouldn't get overcooked.
So go make yourself a nice steaming pot of chicken soup. I mean, if not now, when?
Rotisserie Chicken Soup
1 rotisserie chicken
1 4-quart box of low sodium chicken broth (I used Trader Joe's organic brand)
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
pepper, to taste
1 16-ounce package pasta of your choice, cooked al dente and separately, according to package directions
1. With your hands, tear off all the meat from the chicken and place in a large bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
2. Place the rest of the chicken--the skin and bones, in a 4-quart pot. Pour water in the pot until the pot is at least three-quarters full. Heat on the stove top until boiling. Then simmer for 1 hour.
3. Remove pot from stove and throw away skin and bones. Pour broth through a strainer with another large pot or bowl underneath. Cover broth and place in the refrigerator several hours or overnight.
4. When ready to make the soup, pour two cups of water and 1 box of low sodium chicken broth into a large soup pot. Add onion and bring to a boil. Simmer several minutes or until onion is softened.
5. Remove the broth from the frig, skimming off the fat. Add broth to soup pot along with chopped celery and carrots. Bring to a boil again and simmer until all veggies are softened--about 5 minutes.
6. Remove the chicken meat from the frig and chop into bite-size pieces. While veggies are simmering, add chicken meat to soup pot and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pepper, to taste.
7. Place a small amount of pasta in serving bowls (I used about 8-10 bow-ties) and ladle hot soup over it. Enjoy!