Flu advice from my mother: Chicken Soup, rest, and lots of fluids

Flu season is in full swing.

There are not many things worse than being sick. I remember as a child, being very ill and my mother requiring three things. First, we were relegated to our rooms, with the door closed. Two, we were not allow to get out of bed and three; she would stuff us full of chicken soup.

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My mother worked full time when I was growing up so she didn’t have time to make homemade soup. I was offered all kinds of soups from a can; chicken and stars, chicken with rice, and chicken noodle soup. I did love the soup and all the attention I received, but now that I’m all grown-up, I decided to do things a little differently.

These days, I make my own homemade chicken noodle soup for an ill family member. Personally, I still get chicken soup from a can, because I’m the only one who knows how to make it, but that’s about to change.

Chicken soup is very easy to make and even the most novice cook can do it with a little guidance. Over the years I have found recipes that are easy but flavorless. I have also found some that tasted wonderful, but it took all day to make. About 8 years ago, I combined two of my favorite recipes and came up with a winner. It requires only a minimal amount of work and can quite possibly, make someone over eat sou; if that were possible.

One recipe called for a roux to thicken up the soup just a tiny bit and the other uses a homemade chicken broth instead of canned chicken broth, which to me seems to defeat the idea of, “homemade.” I load the soup with extra chicken meat, carrots, celery and onions. The soup does require about two and a half hours of simmering, but it’s worth it, if you can wait.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This silky soup is good for any kind of illness that throws you off kilter. The soup is loaded with lots of chicken and vegetables. You can leave it unthickened for a traditional brothy version or you can add the roux for a heartier soup. The roux is added last, so you can decide at the end of the cooking process.

In addition, you can always substitute the chicken for 2 whole pheasants. Once the pheasant is done, remove it from the broth and proceed with the recipe. Currently, I’m out of pheasant and will have to make do with good quality chicken.

Here is a link for pheasant broth

https://wildchow.wordpress.com/recipes/easy-pheasant-broth/

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In a large stock pot bring the water to a rapid boil and add chicken, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns,  and salt. Return to a boil and simmer uncovered over high heat for 30 minutes, reduce heat and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes. After soup has simmer for 30 minutes, taste soup for seasoning and adjust with more salt or chicken soup base seasoning.

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Remove chicken thighs with a large slotted spoon, set aside to cool. Skim the top of the broth for any undesired foam that may have accumulated around the rim of the pan.

Add carrots and bring back to a boil and reduce heat to a slow simmer. Continue to cook for another hour and 15 minutes until carrot are very tender.

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Remove bay leaves. Shred the chicken thighs and return to simmering chicken broth. Add dry egg noodles and cook for 15 minutes. While noodles are cooking, mix butter and flour together in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook the flour and butter for 2 minutes (mixture will resemble sand).  Working quickly, add 2-4 cups of the chicken soup to the flour mixture and briskly stir with the wire whisk. Continue whisking the soup into the flour mixture until it forms a gravy like consistency. Add thickened soup back to the large pot of simmering soup and stir the thicken soup into the entire pot of soup over medium-high heat for 5 more minutes. Add the heavy cream to the soup.

Click on the link below for the full printable version of the recipe.

https://wildchow.wordpress.com/recipes/chicken-soup/

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

5-6 quarts of water

2 large onions, diced

4 stocks of celery, sliced into small pieces

2 bay leaves

2 cloves of garlic, sliced in half

1 tsp of dried thyme

½ tsp turmeric

10 black pepper corns

2-3 tablespoons of coarse salt to taste

4 large carrots peeled and dices into ¼ inch pieces

6 cups of dry egg noodles

Chicken stalk base for additional seasoning if necessary

Roux (optional)

½ cup butter

¾ cup flour

½ cup of heavy cream

Directions:

In a large stock pot bring the water to a rapid boil and add chicken, onions, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns,  and salt. Return to a boil and simmer uncovered over high heat for 30 minutes, reduce heat and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes. After soup has simmer for 30 minutes, taste soup for seasoning and adjust with more salt or chicken soup base seasoning.

Remove chicken thighs with a large slotted spoon, set aside to cool. Skim the top of the broth for any undesired foam that may have accumulated around the rim of the pan.

Add carrots and bring back to a boil and reduce heat to a slow simmer. Continue to cook for another hour and 15 minutes until carrot are very tender.

Remove bay leaves. Shred the chicken thighs and return to simmering chicken broth. Add dry egg noodles and cook for 15 minutes. While noodles are cooking, mix butter and flour together in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook the flour and butter for 2 minutes (mixture will resemble sand).  Working quickly, add 2-4 cups of the chicken soup to the flour mixture and briskly stir with the wire whisk. Continue whisking the soup into the flour mixture until it forms a gravy like consistency. Add thickened soup back to the large pot of simmering soup and stir the thicken soup into the entire pot of soup over medium-high heat for 5 more minutes. Add the heavy cream to the soup.

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