Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chicken Soup Cure for
the Sacramento Plague…

It seems like everyone around me has this weird lung plague going on–half strep throat, flu, cold…not sure what, but I know it's been pretty nasty and seemingly takes forever to recover.

I received a call J (also plague stricken), convinced he was dying. I asked what I could possibly do.
"KD Soup." he replied.
Hmm… "Does he mean the Stew from last year?" I thought.
"What sort of soup?" I asked.
"Chicken Noodle." He said.
"Hmm…I have never made that before…" I paused, "But I could try."
"Thank you."

And so it was set. My first attempt at Chicken Noodle Soup. Not entirely from scratch, as I would be buying the noodles (would like to make those too, sometime––maybe even use gnocchi as the carb element). But here is what I did to make the soup (after covering myself in a face mask and gloves before I entered his kitchen).

Here is what I used in my soup:

1 1/2 quarts Chicken Stock
1-2 Tbs Butter to sauté
1/2 Red Onion
1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly diced
3.5 carrots, sliced in half-inch slices (about the same amount as onion)
1 Leek sliced thin
2 green onions (I use the white part and halfway into the green).
1/2 bulb garlic
chicken meat (I cut up about 4 chicken breasts, and some of the skin/fat I removed, I put into the stock to be removed from the final soup before serving)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves (I use kitchen scissors to remove the herb from the stem)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (this will help congestion)
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 package Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper Peppardelle Egg Noodles.

Cracked pepper to taste
Sea Salt if needed

To begin I set the chicken stock (start with homemade for the best results) in a big pot on the back burner (low to medium heat), while I cooked all the items to go in the soup separately. This saves a lot of cooking time. I put all the spices/herbs to be used in a small bowl and set them aside.

Then I sautéed the garlic (chopped as finely as you like) and onions in some butter, then added the leek and carrots, and about 1/3 of the spices. I cooked the vegetables for about 5-7 mins, to carmelize and brown them a little, and to get a jump start on the cooking time of those carrots.

Next, I added the veggie mix to the stock, with a 1/3 more of the spice/herb mix. I let that cook along while I seared the chicken.

I added more butter (yay) into the skillet, and seared the chicken pieces to brown them a little. Added the last 1/3 of the spice mix to the chicken. Then, I tasted the stock mix to check seasoning. At this point, you can add salt if needed.

I placed the seared chicken pieces into the stock pot, then added the uncooked noodles into the pot. Simmer until the noodles have cooked through.

Serve with cracked pepper.

Reheat the soup the next day and it will taste even better.

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