commodorified: A cartoon of a worried looking woman in a chef's hat (cooking for people who don't)
[personal profile] commodorified
Boring Chicken Soup

This recipe has two major virtues: it's tastier and somewhat healthier (because fewer odd additives) -though probably not cheaper - than canned and the prep time is roughly 1 cup of tea, so the cook can leave it to simmer and go back to bed before they fall over.

A certain amount of advance hoarding is desireable, because cold and flu season, and if you're making this you don't feel like shopping, but you can skip pretty much any ingredient you don't have, including, oddly, the chicken (in which case add the beans if possible). Veggie broth and canned beans is a completely valid approach, if you want vegetarian soup, too. Turkey works fine and then you'll get a dose of tryptophan, which can only help. Chicken boullion is ok but salty: watch how many salted things you add or it's going to taste like ass and you'd have been happier with canned.

Depending on head-count, you need:

1-3 litres of chicken broth, which you made or bought a club pack of and squirreled away when cold season started.

1-3 lb frozen skinless boneless chicken pieces, which ditto. Thaw them and chop them into cubes. Chicken sausage works, if it's not too heavily spiced with something you don't feel like eating right now. I am not responsible for what happens if you use chicken or turkey dogs, though it will probaby be edible...

Celery, fresh, frozen or dried (you can buy three heads, chop it, bag it and freeze it, some day when you're feeling healthy and it's on sale, if you like. The dried is pretty useful though, and cheap and easy to store.)

Carrots, fresh or frozen. Babycut are pricey for soup but *very* handy.

Garlic, the prechopped stuff.

Dried or frozen onion

Fresh and/or frozen vegetables , as many as you can fit in. Pretty much anything you like enough that you have some around.

A can of beans, if you feel like it. Six-bean mix is good, but whatever you keep handy. If they're packed in anything but unsalted water, rinse them. Otherwise toss the liquid in, it's tasty.

Spices: figure out what you like when you're sick and keep it on hand. I use Penzey's Adobo and pump it up with extra ancho pepper and cumin, which is pleasantly decongesting without being super-hot, but anything works: curry, italian, french ...

Herbs, dried: herbs de provence, bouquet garni, fines herbes, italian herbs, cilantro, dill, parsley, whatever you like and keep around and think will go with the spices.

Noodles. Or pasta, or rice, or quinoa, or diced-up plain oven fries or, oddly enough, tortilla chips or ripped-up corn tortillas, which will go very noodly in the soup but don't disintegrate. Mind your total salt if you use tortilla chips, especially if you're also using canned beans and commercial broth. Should be okay, just don't add more til it hits your bowl. It's going to condense some.

Salt, pepper, dried parsley to taste.

Bring it all to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer at least 60 minutes, go back to bed. Serve with ... actually, people can serve themselves, you did your bit.

Freezes well, keeps 3-5 days in the fridge.

Date: 2013-10-04 12:29 am (UTC)
wcg: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wcg
Good to see a post from you!

Date: 2013-10-04 01:57 am (UTC)
kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
From: [personal profile] kindkit
Chicken soup is a lovely thing when you're sick.

I've come to crave chicken congee when I'm sick--recently I made it in the laziest, easiest way imaginable and it was perfect:

Put some chicken pieces in a slow cooker. I used four chicken thighs straight from the freezer, actually. Add lots of peeled, sliced ginger and a few cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half. Then add some rinsed rice (I used about a cup and a half of short-grain rice to what was at least two quarts of water, and the resulting congee was still very thick). Add water (I added boiling water to speed up the process, since the chicken was still frozen) and cook over low heat until the rice is cooked to a falling-apart, porridge-y consistency. At some point you should take out the chicken pieces, remove the skin, take the meat off the bones and return it in bite-sized pieces to the congee, but this can wait until the very end if, say, you take a long nap while the congee is cooking.

If you don't have a slow cooker you can do this on the stovetop over low heat, but you'll have to check the pot every hour or so to make sure the liquid hasn't all evaporated.

While I was very sick I ate this with just some soy sauce added for saltiness and flavor. Later, when I was feeling a bit better, I used fish sauce and some chile-garlic paste and topped it with a few dried shrimp that I'd toasted in a pan.

Congee in my experience is not only good when you have a cold or the flu, but also if you've got nausea or digestive ills. I lived on it for about ten days a couple of years ago, when I had Mysterious Stomach Troubles and it was literally the only thing I could bear to eat.

Date: 2013-10-04 02:32 am (UTC)
mm_writes: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
From: [personal profile] mm_writes
(here via Network) OK, so I hadn't thought of adding beans (probably making this soup tomorrow as I have a leftover chicken waiting for me to do something with it). Thanks for the idea.

Date: 2013-10-04 11:09 pm (UTC)
thecataloger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thecataloger
I have homemade chicken stock in my fridge!! I am so trying this

Date: 2013-10-06 05:23 am (UTC)
beable: (Default)
From: [personal profile] beable

So, er, how long does chicken broth/soup last frozen? I made matzo ball soup last Passover and froze the leftover broth (aka the soup but with all the chicken and veggies taken out and long since eaten), and now it's in the feezer portion if my fridge as the broth of doom as I dont know whether its still food or not.


Frozen Lifetimes

Date: 2013-10-08 01:24 pm (UTC)
james_g4clf: James in a boat in Kerala (Default)
From: [personal profile] james_g4clf
My guess is that it's OK, but look for green fur! Fridge freezer areas are not nearly as cold as proper freezers. In a real freezer I reckon that soup/stock is best used within six months, but still harmless after a couple of years.

James - whose family was still eating up tins saved in mid-1939 against WWII in for most of the 1950's without any obvious harm

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