I know now, homemade soup is powerful foodie medicine so I thought I would go over the basics on how to make your own chicken stock so when you are not feeling well, you can use it to kick that winter cold to the curb!
Or at least hold it at bay before you can get some serious drugs which is what I did before I found out I have pneumonia.
I try to always keep a small chicken in my freezer for health emergencies like this one. I usually wait until they have a tiny chicken on sale for a few bucks and then hide it in the freezer. I let it thaw, break it down and put it on the bottom of a big soup pot/Dutch oven.
I also keep a lot of other things in the freezer for this food emergency health kit. I keep parsley stems and the parts of asparagus I snap off. It is my foodie New Year’s resolution to keep more bits and pieces of veggie clippings in the freezer too.
I also add rough chopped carrots, celery (especially the leaves), onions, green onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorns and some ginger. Not a lot, since I just want the health properties and not a ton of the flavour.
I fill the pot with just a few inches of space on top and put it on the stove. I bring it to a boil and then quickly reduce the heat to a simmer. I usually let it go for about 40 minutes.
As the pot is simmering, make sure to skim the foam off the top. Once it is done cooking, season to taste.
I remove the chicken. Do not let the chicken go to waste! I usually just take off the meat and incorporate it into my soup.
Then put cheesecloth on the bottom of a strainer (or in this case a steamer) and pour the broth into another pot. Let the veggies drain. I use a ladle to push out the rest of the broth. I let it come to room temperature and then let it sit in the fridge covered overnight. The fat will harden on the top which makes it easy to remove the next day.
If you can not use it all, do not let it go to waste! Put it in an ice cube tray, freeze it and store it away in Ziploc bags.
You can of course also use the carcass of your turkey to make my mom’s turkey noodle soup instead using the same technique after Christmas. Pure gold!
We woke up to a tsunami of snow today. The biggest consolation to this time of year is soup! I make a lot of it. If you are not feeling well, do yourself a favour and make soup with your own stock! It is the healing medicine of the foodie world. I am living proof!