The past days of sub zero temperatures have taken their toll, on both of us. A nasty flu has been going around and decided to hit us at full speed. No fun. On a brighter note, I just realized that the days begin to become longer again! Yay! I’m done with the cold period. Period.
What’s even worse for a serious foodie than not having the time to cook, is to not being able to taste. Luckily by now my taste palettes are back in o-k shape, well, at least I can tell what I’m eating again. A few days ago, Richard over at German Diary asked for our favorite chicken soup recipe and with all the colds going around, the timing couldn’t have been any better. Temporarily returning from a journey into a colorful pink world, it’s -for now- back to the basics:
Here is our home made medicine to get a handle on the ugliest cold – from a culinary angle. Many recipes call for vermicelli noodles, I like it better with ditali rigati – this way I have something to actually bite on. Chicken broth made from scratch simply can’t be compared to an off the shelf instant something – it’s just so much better. And most important, it makes you instantly feel better, too.
Brown onion halves (leave onion skins on, they add a nice color to the soup afterwards) and bacon in a flat pan. If they gain a little more color than necessary no worries (in fact it adds a nice taste), but don’t completely burn them either.
One bird makes one pot of soup. Quarter gutted chicken (no need to separate the flesh from the bones) and blanch for two or three minutes in boiling water. Rinse thoroughly with cold water. Clean and roughly dice the vegetables for the stock base. Place chicken pieces, vegetables and bacon in a large pot. Add cold water to cover as well as the spices & herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for about 2.5-3 hours. Remove any foam that may be building up throughout the simmering process with a skimmer.
Remove chicken and strain the remaining mixture through a fine sieve or cloth (I prefer a clear broth). Skim off fat from the surface, season to taste and briefly bring to a boil again. For the last three minutes or so – add the small cut vegetables (the ones that will remain in the soup).
I prefer to cook pasta in a separate pot. This yields a clearer broth and in case I have leftovers, the noodles don’t get all mushy – up to you. When done, arrange in a bowl with the chicken broth and some fresh parsley.
Of course there are a zillion ways of turning this naked bird into your fave chicken soup, this recipe has been a good and steady companion through our nasal and cough times.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe source: own creation
Prep time: 15min., cooking: 2-3 hours
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 onion, halved (with skin)
bacon, chopped (amount to taste)
1/2 celery tuber
1/2 leek (only the white/light green parts)
fresh thyme and parsley, chopped (amounts to taste)
2 bay leaves
1 boiler chicken, quartered
1.75 - 2l water
salt, black pepper corns and freshly ground pepper, nutmeg
finely chopped carrots and green onions (remain in soup!)
150g ditali rigati (pasta)