Tis the season for Santa Claus, snowflakes, twinkling lights… And colds. Ah, and let us not forget the flu.
While I was taking my daughter to an indoor playground to work off some energy, a little germ gremlin, a.k.a. patient zero, decided to cough, uncovered and open mouthed in my daughter’s face. So here we are, in bed and enjoying the cold and flu season’s finest of offerings.
What’s better for the common cold than chicken soup? Nothing! It’s been proven by science*, it’s written in books, and grandmothers have been using it to cure the ailing for centuries.
*Is it really proven by science? I have no idea, but let’s make some anyway!
Ingredients you’ll need:
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4lbs
1 medium onion
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
12 to 16oz (a bag or box) of any pasta you like
Enough water to almost cover your chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
To begin, let’s slice and dice our carrots, celery, and onions. Next, put your chicken in a dutch oven, or another large pot, preferably with a heavy bottom. Cover just to the top of your bird, leaving about an inch or so exposed. Add your celery, onions, and carrots – also referred to as a mirepoix (which is French for celery, carrots, and onions…). Add your bay leaf and thyme sprigs, we will save the salt for after the chicken is poached.
On high heat, bring your water to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce down to a simmer on low heat, put your lid on and cook for 1 hour.
After an hour, remove your chicken from the pot and add it to a large bowl to cool down and rest. This is also a good opportunity to fish out your thyme twigs and bay leaf. If you wanted to skim the fat off the top, now’s a good time for that as well.
Bring your stock back to a boil and add your pasta. Follow the cooking time directions on the package. I usually cook my pasta to al dente, shaving a few minutes off the cook time since the noodles will be sitting in liquid for the remainder of their existence.
While your pasta is cooking, start peeling meat off the chicken. I usually peel the skin off and discard, and then pull chunks of meat off using my fingers, shredding it a little as I go. If your chicken is too hot to touch, let it cool more.
After your pasta has cooked, turn off the heat and mix in your chicken. Stir, scoop, and enjoy!