As I ride the up and down of allergies to cold/flu to sharing it with my lady at home, I’ve gone through several remedies that ease symptoms. Each person is unique in what they can handle when it comes to being weak from any illness. I tend to hit any flu/allergy with something spicy combined with a ton of fluids. Water and juices mainly, but of course, the most basic of remedy: chicken soup.
In recent years, basic chicken soup has been renamed “bone broth.” This can include any animal bone that goes into a pot with mixed flavourful vegetables and water, with perhaps a bay leaf and other aromatic herbs to further flavour it.
Many of us had the comfort of our mother making chicken soup for us when we were ill as children and anything that encourages people to produce their own food and limit waste at the same time is great.
I invariably have the stripped bones from a roast chicken in a freezer bag in my freezer so I can make chicken broth on any given Sunday. Yesterday, with both of us in the house in drippy, coughy mode, I plopped that frozen block of bones in a large pot, roughly chopped/tore some vegetables with a few bay leaves and covered it with water. If you want to leave out the chicken bones and do a purely vegetable broth, I’d recommend adding slices of fresh ginger and whole cloves of garlic to had a more potent punch (and a vegetable broth takes a fraction of the time, about 45-60 minutes).
Your big pot of broth can be divided into smaller containers to go in the freezer so you can have it available at a moment’s notice. It’s obviously great for sipping when you have a sore throat, but it’s also great to cook your rice in for extra flavour or to add flavour to other sauces and gravies (Note: some chicken stock in a Mac N Cheese sauce instead of some of the milk is killer!!)
Bones from 2.5kg/5lb chicken
2 medium onions, roughly chopped (and used the stems and peels too, they have a ton of flavour)
6 stalks celery, roughly chopped (I use the inner stalks and leaves plus the knobby end of the head that would usually get thrown out)
4 medium carrots, unpeeled, roughly chopped
4 medium parsnips, unpeeled, roughly chopped
3 or 4 bay leaves
Place all of the ingredients in a large pot. Add enough water to just cover, bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 3-4 hours. Turn off heat, allow the bones and vegetables to steep for a further hour or two (or three or four if your recovering from a bit of cold or flu and you fall asleep after turning the heat off haha). Strain.
Feel free to pick any meat from the bones. It isn’t haute cuisine, but it’s just fine to add to your soup. Waste not want not!! Seriously, the meat from the shoulder blade of a chicken is THE best part of the whole chicken!! Eat it!!
Like I said above, the strained broth can be divided into small containers (I use containers about 500mL in size).
For a basic option that harkens back to my childhood, is to take a couple cups of broth, bring it back to a simmer over medium heat and cook some egg noodles in it (I just used about 1/2 cup dry csiga noodles. They’re a Hungarian short noodle, but just use broken spaghetti or vermicelli if you like). Add some of the chicken meat from the carcass and enjoy!!
…..enjoy maybe more noodles than broth. Fine, I like noodles. A nagging cold can make me a little childish!! 😉