Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chicken Soup... The Real Thing, Baby!

I was scheduled to play golf with hubby this morning, but his tee time was for 9:00 a.m. and I decided I didn't want to drag my bootie out of bed that early. So, I called one of the wives I normally play with every Wednesday & Friday, to see if anyone was playing. When she answered the phone, I could tell she was sick. Turns out she has walking pneumonia, so, as is my M.O., I offered to bring some of my medicinal chicken soup, made from scratch. She didn't decline, which showed me just how sick she is. Normally, she'd protest.

Lucky for me that I had all the ingredients, or she might not be getting it today, when she needs it, because I really don't like going to the store. Sick friend or not.

So, I thawed out a nice, plump little chicken from H.E.B. that I'd had in the freezer. I filled the dutch oven with water, added the chicken, yellow onions, spring onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, 3 cubes of chicken bullion & black peppercorns. Just before the water came to a boil, I turned the fire down to simmer and will let it simmer for 3 hours.

Once it has cooked for the 3 hours my Grandmother always adhered to, I'll let it cool for approximately 20 minutes, then pour all the broth through a colander lined with cheesecloth, for a nice, clear soup.

 Allow the chicken to cool for a bit longer, while tossing the stewed veggies, bay leaf, and black peppercorns into a bowl (that will later be taken out to the compost pile in my veggie garden) and I prepare fresh veggies. Chopped celery, carrots, yellow onions, garlic, and spring onions.When this task is accomplished, I begin picking the meat off the chicken bones, then chop it into bite sizes.

Put 1 Tbs. of butter & 1 Tbs. of olive oil in the bottom of the pan and saute the onions, adding the celery, carrots & garlic (but not the spring onions) after a couple of minutes & cooking a minute or so longer. I also add 2 Tbs. of dried parsley (since I don't have any fresh available).

At this point, I add the chicken and it's broth to the pan and bring it to a simmer, allowing it to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Just before serving, I add the thinly sliced spring onions.

Since egg noodles tend to soak up all the good broth, I cook the noodles separately in another pan, to be added to the individual bowl, upon serving. I usually serve it with garlic toast or, if I'm lucky, the HU makes his kick-ass cornbread that he does in a cast iron skillet in the oven. Or sometimes we just have saltines with it. Mmmmmm! Talk about comfort food, baby... this is it.

Okay, by now some of you may have noticed that I forgot to add the parsley and the spring onions before I took the picture. You would be right. However, since I didn't feel like setting up for the picture again, you'll just have to use your vivid imaginations, because I'm not doing it again, thank you very much.
Bon Appetit!