School is about to start which means EVERYONE IS ABOUT TO GET THE FLU! You cannot run, and you cannot hide, but you can be prepared. I am not talking about the flu shot (but definitely do that too!), but emergency chicken soup.
Most of us are not lucky enough to live with our parents (my boyfriend won’t let us live with his parents or else I would!) so when you get sick, you have to take care of your own suffering self. For those of you who are parents yourselves, my hat is off to you, and you need this recipe even more than I do!
When I am sick, I rely on my good aunties, Duane Reade and Netflix, to get me through most of the bad times. But homemade chicken soup cannot be bought nor streamed, so I make it in bulk when I’m feeling well, then freeze it in large containers to be thawed and reheated when I am diseased and miserable.
When I make this soup, I freeze 2/3 of it and eat 1/3 of it right away. I put all of the chicken in the 1/3 of the soup that I do not freeze for later. You can split the chicken evenly – chicken in broth freezes very well. Freezing only the hearty broth is a choice I make because I tend to get nauseas when I get sick and it’s easier for me to keep broth down. If you’re more of a headache/stuffy nose kind of invalid, go ahead an evenly divide your chicken.
If I can stomach it, I add carrots, celery, onions, and a starch like rice or matzo balls to my soup when it is thawed. Generally, if I am well enough to eat veggies, I am well enough to chop them. The veggies, unlike the chicken, do not freeze well and end up very mushy. I toss an ice cube of frozen dill in to finish and boom! You’ve got a bowl full of feel better goodness to see you through the tough times.
NOTE: this recipe works best with a 15-16 quart stock pot. The most common size of stock pots are 12 quarts. That will work too, but you may need to use fewer veggies. I would remove the onions in that case and replace with 2-3 tsp of onion powder.
Chicken Soup With Matzo Balls
1 whole chicken
1 bunch carrots, roughly chopped
1 bunch celery, roughly chopped
3 onions, roughly chopped
1 large ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
In stock pot, heat olive oil, onions, carrots, ginger, and celery on medium high with salt and pepper until onions begin to turn translucent. Put chicken in pot and fill with water to 3 inches below the rim. Cover and heat until boiling. Turn heat down to simmer. Simmer for one hour or until chicken is falling off of the bone.
Pull chicken out of pot with tongs. Set aside to cool. Strain liquid into a large container using a fine mesh sieve. Throw away cooked veggies and ginger.
When it is cool enough to handle, remove chicken meat from bones. Discard bones and fat. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
Divide broth into three large Tupperware containers. If desired, split chicken evenly between three containers and freeze for later. If not, put all chicken in one container and freeze the two containers with broth.
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 tbs dill, chopped
One container of pre-made soup or broth
In a large pot or stock pot, heat olive oil, carrots, onion, and celery on medium high heat with a pinch of salt. Heat until onions begin to turn translucent.
Add broth (with or without chicken) and heat until bubbling. When bubbling, add matzo balls, dumplings, noodles, or rice, if desired, and cook as directed by packaging (white rice usually takes 10-15 minutes). If you don’t feel like adding any starch, just heat till bubbling.
Add dill, salt and pepper to taste, and eat! Get well soon!
As always, here’s some pins for your pinning pleasure!