Saturday, September 29, 2012
Devil's in the Details
A few years back when my oldest was living in a neighboring city, she fell ill with a nasty bout of the flu while I was on a trip to California. She’d asked her boyfriend, a chef, to please make her some chicken soup if it wouldn’t be too much trouble. He brought her an offering of sorts. She called me.
“Mom, you’re never in a million years going to believe what Rhyan considers a bowl of chicken soup when I’m so sick. @$%#@ Ramen Noodles!”
“Oh, no. He didn’t. Really?”
“He’s a @$%#@ CHEF and he brings me RAMEN NOODLES???? I felt rotten and now I feel even worse.”
Heads up, readers - it’s a really good idea to cover the nuances of what your partner considers “comfort food” at the same time you’re discussing your financial standings, your spending habits, your religious leanings and your political persuasions. Getting it wrong can be life altering. Don’t put yourself into a situation where you have to take a stab at it - get the information up front and in clear terms. And if it’s a chicken soup recipe you’re needing, here’s a fail-proof version. It takes a while to make, so it’s better to cook a big batch and freeze it so you won’t be caught empty handed.
Did I mention that my daughter and I were both sick this week and there wasn’t a drop of soup to be found in either of our houses?
Doghouse Chicken Soup
Any of your favorite vegetables will work in this recipe - green beans, zucchini, etc. The recipe is also easily doubled or tripled. You can make extra stock by roasting the chicken bones after deboning it after its initial cooking.
4 quarts water 1 large chicken, cut up, or a large roaster
1 bulb garlic, roasted and removed from paper
2 yellow or white onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
½ cup chopped celery, about 2 stalks with leaves included
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup cooked lima beans
½ lb. small pasta (orzo, penne, etc)
Chopped parsley to taste
Chopped rosemary to taste
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Wash the chicken thoroughly and pat dry. Cut up into pieces and put into a large stock pot. Pour in water, add roasted garlic and bring to a boil, skimming off foam. Cook until chicken is tender and falling from the bone. Debone chicken thoroughly, saving aside the bones. Strain the stock by sending it through cheesecloth in a sieve. Discard garlic cloves. Let it cool completely. If making more stock, put reserved bones into a roaster. Roast in a 400-degree oven until charred. Put charred bones into a stock pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few hours. Repeat straining process and add to original stock. Refrigerate all of the stock overnight so that fat will rise to the surface. Remove fat and return stock to the stovetop.
Add the vegetables, herbs, salt and pepper. Cover and let it simmer for roughly 2 ½ hours, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
And lastly, remember to get your flu shots! Stay healthy and happy!
spring thaw . . .
out of tissues