Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 15 - Old-Timey Chicken Soup

What an unusual Christmas season this is turning out to be.  The festive aroma of cinnamon cider, cookies and pies is replaced with thyme and bay simmering in the stock pot.  We'll be replacing the Christmas turkey with good ol' Chicken Soup.
Served with Pepper Jack Biscuits.  I feel healthier already!
There are advantages to homemade chicken soup even when the cook is the one who is sick.  For starters, it's almost as easy as opening a can.  Chopped carrots, celery and onion are tossed in the pot with the chicken, a couple of bay leaves and a pinch of thyme; cover with water, bring to a boil, put on the lid and set it to simmer until the chicken fairly falls off the bone.  That leaves plenty of time for sipping honey lemon tea in front of a fire, all cozy and warm and wrapped in a favorite blanket.  Oh, yes, napping off and on is a distinct advantage.

OK, so that was a trip through Fantasy Land.  This year I put off rearranging the furniture until after the party and after the party, there was no energy left so there is no seat in which to snuggle in front of the fire.  But there are Christmas movies on TV, the cup of tea and an oh-so-warm favorite blanket.

By the way, thinking ahead, I also added a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the pot and will remove them as soon as they are tender-done.  That will be a time and energy saver later in the week for making chicken enchiladas and pulled-chicken B-B-Q.
It's the ingredients that matter not the measurements.
So, to finish off the chicken soup, remove the chicken and set it aside to cool.  Strain the liquid to remove the solids and return the stock to the pot.  Bring it to a boil, add salt and noodles.  (I like the thinner ones for soups.)  As the chicken becomes cool enough to handle, separate the meat from the scrap and cube the large pieces.  When the noodles are done, add a sufficient amount of pepper and the cut up chicken.  

It doesn't get much easier or more basic than that but if you use the extra large McCormick Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn Grinders like I do, you can enjoy that 'Ooooh, I'm a great cook' feeling.  Another thing I like about these grinders is that they are adjustable from a coarse grind to a fine one but McCormick doesn't sell this size any more.  Guess I'll have to buy some refillable ones.

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