Well, now that you've filled up on clam chowder, how about a nice bowl of hot chicken noodle or rice soup?
This past week, our entire family has been sick to one degree or another, and homemade chicken soup always seems to be the best remedy.
There are a few variations to making this soup. I sometimes make what I call 'Cheating Chicken Soup'. That particular concoction is for when we want soup, but I don't have enough time to stew the hen for it. In that case, I microwave 3 chicken breast halves until fully cooked, and add to my broth. And instead of standard wild rice mix, I use minute brown rice. Cheating, I know. But still plenty good!
Another variation is sometimes we want noodles, other times we want rice. An easy fix.
But for now, I will publish my traditional chicken soup recipe. It's easy, it's good and it's a sure fix for those chilly, rainy, stuffy nose days.
Homemade Chicken Soup
1 medium stewing hen (Foster Farms, Pilgrim's Pride or Tyson Natural are all GF)
3-4 boxes Pacific Organic Chicken Broth
1 small package carrot slices or 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery (optional) chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp each sage, oregano, basil, dill, dry or pressed garlic (more or less garlic, depending on your tastes)
2 cups unconverted wild rice blend OR 16 oz Tinkyada rice spaghetti, broken into small pieces
In a 5 qt. stock pot, place the rinsed stewing hen. Add spices and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let chicken stew for at least 2 hours.
When the chicken is ready, place a large bowl in the sink and place a strainer in that. Pour the broth into the strainer. Place the chicken in the strainer in the sink, and pour the broth back into the stock pot. You can then place the chicken (still in the strainer) inside the bowl to cool off a bit.
Bring the broth back to a boil. At this point, if you feel you need more broth, add the 4th container.
Add the carrots, celery and onion. If you are using the unconverted rice, add that as well. The rice will need to boil for 30- 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you are adding noodles, add them when the carrots are crisp tender. Stir often. The noodles will need to boil for about 20 minutes.
About 10 minutes before the rice or noodles are done, begin to tear up the chicken and add it to the soup. If you boil the chicken pieces longer than 10 minutes, they may become stringy.
When using the unconverted rice, there have been times when more rice seemed necessary when the cooking time was done. So I simply added one cup of brown minute rice.
And now you have a nice, hot pot of homemade chicken soup!
The best part is, no one will know it is entirely free of allergens!
So eat up, and...
Happy Chilly Days!