Slow day home on the range. We got home from holidays and fell into sickness. Actually, Lola was sick during the holiday, too, poor babe. So today the kidlets and I are having a quiet day at home, sniffling and coughing :0
An opportune moment for a spot of invalid cooking if there ever was one, so I made chicken soup and a spiced plum cake. Smells amazing, at least, even if we might not be able to taste it so well!
I'm not sure if I have ever posted this 'recipe' for chicken soup, I thought I had but I couldn't find this version just now when I searched for it, so here it is, approximate and oh so easy, good for troubled tummies and all matter of other physical and non-physical ailments.
When you serve it up, remember to place the appropriate caring, motherly look on your face when you pass it over to your beloved sick one – it's all part of the charm.
1 whole good chicken
couple of carrots
few sticks of celery
bunch of flatleaf parsley
Fresh water to cover
squeeze of lemon juice
noodles or rice
Put the chicken in a pot and throw in the peeled and halved onion, carrots and celery chopped up into big chunks, peppercorns and parsley. Add enough fresh cold water to cover, bring to the boil and leave to simmer for ages, at least one hour, better, two. Invite some friends over if you feel up to it, just to share that inviting warmth around.
After however long, take the chicken out and large pieces of vegetable. Pour the remaining stock through a sieve to strain out the smaller bits. If you want to make a really clear stock you can then strain it again through a muslin cloth, but most of the time I don't bother. Set the stock aside for the fat to rise to the surface (if it's winter, put it outside!).
Take the skin off the chicken, and then the meat. It should fall off the bone very easily and be very tender (makes great sandwiches, this meat!). Discard the bones, skin and cooking vegetables, unless you feel like eating the veges.
To make the soup, skim the fat off the top of the soup and then take as much stock as you need and warm it in a pot. Add some of the chopped chicken meat and some chopped parsley, add lemon juice and seasoning as you like, and if your invalid would like something a little more substantial, some egg noodles or cooked rice. I like to add some avgolemono, it adds a nice lemony sharpness.
So there you go, a nice, restorative chicken soup for a cold day tending to sick little loved ones. Don't forget that motherly look! (sometimes its easy to forget that look after you haven't slept properly for a week because you've been up all night soothing and getting medicines…)