Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chicken Soup

I have a head cold. I do not like having a head cold. I mostly haven't liked having a head cold since I became an adult. You know, since Mom wasn't around to make chicken soup and fuss over me and I could take a day or two off school. Wives and girlfriends, God bless 'em, bring a lot to the table but I've not found one who fusses like a Mom.

I also haven't found one who makes good chicken soup so I had to learn by myself. My first few attempts weren't so hot. Possibly because I refused to look up a recipe or ask anyone how they made theirs. As my great-grandmother used to say, when she read my cards or tea leaves, "you're too hendy-dependy." She meant "independent" of course. Some might say "mule-headed." One or two might shorten that last one.

Anyway, I'm gonna make a pot of chicken soup today as well as take extra garlic and vitamin C tablets. In two or three days I'll be cured. Or desperately looking for a mother substitute.

Here's how I make my soup:

Put a whole chicken or chicken parts (usually leg quarters or thighs) in a large pot and fill the pot three-quarters full with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer for a while - usually about an hour. Remove chicken and put on a plate to cool. Chop up an onion and a few cloves of garlic and add it to the de-chickened water. Also add some veggies like bits of carrots. (Do NOT add celery as celery is God's revenge on us for everything bad we have ever done.) You may add some peas. I usually dump in some frozen ones. Canned ones are too mushy. Frozen corn is also okay as are green beans but not too many of those because I don't like them all that much.

Add several tablespoons of the powdered chicken broth/soup fixings or several cubes if you prefer them. I like the powdered stuff. It dissolves quickly and you can taste as you go until it gets that good chickeny flavour.

Now peel off all the skin from your chicken and separate the meat from the bones. It should just about tumble off because of the previous simmering. Break the chicken meat into bits and plop them back into the pot. Nibble on some as you go. It's okay. Nobody is watching.

Now you've just got to add some egg noodles. I usually dump them right into the pot and let them cook via simmering along with everything else. However, I recently received one complaint that my soup was too starchy. I may, or may not, cook the next batch of noodles in a separate pot and then add them to the soup. Depends on whose turn it is to do the dishes. (HAHAHAHA! That might have been a joke!)

I've started adding dumplings to my last few batches of soup too. I like the meal-ish quality they add. Plus they taste good. My sister Theresa told me how to make them. I was not too hendy-dependy to ask. Just add a little water to salted and peppered flour and stir it around until it's thick and gloppy. Then, using a spoon, dribble the glop bit by bit into the simmering soup. The blobs cook through in a few minutes.

Now it's just a matter of adding salt and pepper and maybe a bit more of the powdered stuff and waiting a decent interval for everything to cook through and the flavours to marry - maybe another hour or so.

Soon, you can enjoy, in a miserable, head-coldish kind of a way, a delicious bowl of hearty chicken soup.

Almost as good as Mom used to make.

Now if only someone would bring me a bowl of it, murmur "poor darling" while placing a cool hand against my forehead and pick up my discarded kleenexes, life would be fairly bearable.


Anonymous said...

Like you said, no one fusses quite like a Mom. But this is especially true if you're faking the illness. This is what I did to keep out of school when I was a kid. It was not fun when Mom found out I was faking it.


uniquematerial said...

LOL at sean.

I wish I could fuss for you Frank, but alas, I am too far away.

Did you know you could make dumplings from can bisquits? They work real well and no clean up!

And whatever you do - Do Not - ask for dumplings down South. You will be sorry. Really sorry. Think of paper mache`. Long wide strips of slippery starch. Urk.

Frank Baron said...

I hear ya Sean. Did you use the old rub-forehead-as-fast-as-you-can trick so the friction would heat up your head? Worked for me a few times.

Thanks for the tip Unique. However, I don't know what "can bisquits" are. Do you mean canned dough - like the Pillsbury stuff?

Bhaswati said...

Aww. Sounds like you had a terrible bout of cold, Frank. I hope you're feeling better now. The soup sure sounds delish. Thanks for the recipe!

Frank Baron said...

I am feeling better now bhaswati. Thanks for the well-wishing. :)

uniquematerial said...

Can bisquits are also called slam bisquits but I think you have the idea.

Peel off the paper and slam it on the counter. Peel off the paper and viola`. Instant dough ready to cook.

You can use 'em for dumplings. Honest. And no sticky fingers either.

Frank Baron said...

I'll try them Unique. Thanks. :)