Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm not one to complain

But....

It's been a rough go the past week.  Sickness abounds.  Everywhere.

Homemade chicken noodle soup to the rescue!

So while I have absolutely nothing of importance to contribute to the blogosphere today, I thought I'd share two somethings anyway.  It's what we do.

The first is this:  After hiding The Flight of Gemma Hardy for four whole days (due to my excessive worry over how a fictional book would end--pathetic?  maybe.) (seriously, I hid it and then couldn't remember where I put it) I found it and convinced myself that since it had been summarized as a more-modern day Jane Eyre it couldn't end all bad.  And I stand here today to say this (no spoilers, don't worry):  You should absolutely, positively, one-hundred percent read this book.  It was just so very GOOD.

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The second is this:  My chicken noodle soup recipe.  This is crazy simple, and you probably already have a recipe similar to it, but there was a time when even the most simplistic recipes fazed me, so I hope this can help a new cook somewhere.  I don't even need a recipe anymore to do this (that's how easy it is), but I used to and I still have the card my mom wrote out for me, with lots of exact measurements and ingredients because that's the way I needed it.

With all that said, here's a recipe note:  All the amounts and some of the ingredients are approximations.  I don't always have fresh herbs, sometimes I forget to put in bay, garlic and onion amounts are all up for grabs.  Also, while I absolutely love fresh herbs in dishes, I don't always have them, so dried are a great option.

What you need:

One whole chicken (cut up) or several pieces of mixed dark and white meat (I used 2 large bone-in breasts and about 5 thighs today
whole peppercorns (I get the multi-colored, they almost smell sweet, love that)
3-4 bay leaves
sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 onion cut up--large chunks
several whole garlic cloves--you don't even have to take the skin off, just pop them off the head and into the pot
enough water to cover everything

Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 2 hours, or until the chicken is really tender.  Pull the chicken out onto a cutting board and use a strainer to get out everything else (save that amazing broth!!).

Cut your chicken up and put back into the broth.

Next, add the following in with the chicken:
4-5 carrots, chopped
2-3 spears of celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped (or leave in large chunks so your husband and kids can fish them out, whatever you need) (you can also use more here, we're just not a huge onion family)
as many garlic cloves as you think you can handle (and, here you do need to whack off that white skin, but just plop the whole clove into the broth, no need to cut up), I think I used about 10 today (onions and garlic are natural antibiotics!  Cure that cold!)
2 bay leaves
another fresh sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper (you can taste this at the end to add more as needed)

Now bring this to a boil and then simmer for another 2 hours.  You really need at least 2 hours if you're going to eat that garlic.  (And, believe me, it tastes soooo good.  It has a roasted, sweet flavor, not spicy or strong at all.  Trust me.)

About 20 minutes before you're going to eat, dump in about 1/3-1/2 a bag of egg noodles and boil according to the directions on the bag.

Ladle into bowls and don't forget the oyster crackers.  Growing up we always had crackers, peanut butter and pickles with our soup, so, dish up any accoutrements you feel like.  Or, none.  Really, this is a soup that can hold it's own.

Stay healthy!

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Printable recipe.  (This is new for me, so bear with me if it doesn't work--also, please let me know!  It's not a great format, but I'm working on it.)

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