In our hectic, over booked, go-go-go culture it can be very humbling to be taken down by a hefty cold virus, but it happens. Though I promote life style choices that support good health, I too have been known to burn the candle on both ends and indulge in festive Holiday abundance; and with young kids, our home is a giant petri dish. So, what is the best way to kick a tough winter cold when you’ve abused your immune system? I still believe in the classics; get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and good old fashioned homemade chicken noodle soup.
There is nothing better than homemade chicken noodle soup when you start experiencing the symptoms of a cold bug invasion. You can even multi-task while you make it! Over the years I have made it my quest to find the best anti-inflammatory, bacteria fighting, immune boosting ingredients to add to my stock pot while considering my time, budget, and energy levels. Making soup has always been my first line of defense before raiding the cold medicine counter at the local pharmacy.
Get the most use out of your chicken! This recipe yields about 10 servings of chicken noodle soup, 3 – 4 c. of loose chicken to use in salads, hot dishes, toss with pasta, etc., and 3 pints of bone broth.
Kick Your Cold to the Curb with a Chicken Recipe:
1 2 ½ – 3 lb. whole organic, free range chicken (including neck, organs, etc.)
7 large carrots, sliced
5 parsnips, sliced
2 whole onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, sliced
4 whole bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste (add one layer of salt with each new ingredient, or to your preference)
10 cups of water, plus additional for bone broth
½ lemon cut into wide slices
1/8 -1/4 tsp each fresh or dried oregano, thyme, ginger, turmeric, pepper
1 bulb of fresh garlic peeled and sliced
3 – 4 large handfuls of egg noodles
Step One: Chicken Stock
Fill a large stock pot with whole chicken, 3 carrots, 1 onion, 2 celery stalks, 2 parsnips, ½ lemon, 2 bay leaves and cover with water. Place the lid on the stock pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the water is boiling, turn it down to low and let it simmer for one hour, flipping the chicken half way through.
After an hour pierce the chicken with a fork to see if the meat pulls easily from the bone. Continue to simmer on low until the meat pulls easily off the bone.
Preheat your oven to 450°.
Once the chicken meat is tender and falls from the bone, remove the entire chicken from the stock. Let cool enough so it is not too hot to touch. Using a fork pull all the meat from the bones and put in a separate dish. Add any fat or skin back to the stock pot, along with the spices and garlic, continue to simmer for another hour.
Remove all of the solids from the broth and carefully run through a fine strainer.
WARNING: THE STOCK LIQUID WILL BE HOT!
Once cooled you can puree, or toss whole boiled vegetables in a freezer bag and freeze for a future soup base.
Step Two: Bone Broth
Place all of the chicken bones in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast bones for 25 minutes on the middle rack at 450°. You may hear them crackling while they roast; the goal is to lock in all the remaining flavor and nutrition to pull out into your broth.
Put roasted bones in a separate stock pot, along with the other half of your garlic bulb (peeled and sliced), and cover with water. Add lid and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once the water is boiling, simmer on low for up to six hours. The longer you simmer the bones the more flavor benefit your broth will have.
Run broth through a sieve, cheese cloth, or fine strainer to remove bone particulates and store cooled broth in a large mason jar or pitcher in the refrigerator for sipping as needed.
WARNING: THE BROTH LIQUID WILL BE HOT!
Note: I like to warm my bone broth in a mug with the spices and herbs listed in this recipe, including garlic and onion powder. Try experimenting with what you like. Sage is really nice too.
Step Three: Chicken noodle soup
Using your pre-made stock, add remaining vegetables, herbs, and spices to the pot. Let simmer on medium high until the carrots and parsnips are easily pierced with a fork. Add your pieces of chicken and noodles and let low boil until the noodles are done.
WARNING: THIS SOUP WILL BE BOILING HOT! HANDLE WITH CAUTION.
Ladle soup into bowls. Serve with a fresh sprig of thyme and buttered bread. Feel better soon!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health & Wellness Coach and Natural Chef. It is my recommendation that you always consult with a doctor for your healthcare concerns.