Monday Before Last I got the flu.
Sometimes the vaccine doesn’t match the current strain and, Voila!, you go out to eat on Friday afternoon and
by Monday afternoon you think you have a head cold.
By Tuesday: You have a fever of 102.5 with debilitating joint pain.
On Wednesday morning: Your fever breaks and you feel, and look like, over cooked pasta. Limp. Washed out.
Thursday: You begin to feel better only to get the punies and you can’t eat.
Friday: Your head begins to clear and it all goes to your lungs. They hurt. It is hard to breathe. It is late and you are worried about pneumonia… you consider paying the $300.oo copay for the ER.
If you know about it, you make bone soup from broth you created last month, and stored for such an occasion as this. Chicken with 8 cloves of garlic and lovely gluten free egg noodles. You eat lots of it for lunch and dinner. You feel better.
Then, that night you have a nightmare in which you wake screaming, jump out of bed and yell, “You stupid [expletive]!” at the bad guy in your dream and your husband says, in a sleepy voice, “Are you OK?” and goes back to sleep. While you wait for your ears to stop thumping you go make a cup of chamomile tea and read about Hobbits and Tom Bombadil. You become sleepy again and go back to bed.
Saturday: Is a bit better.
Sunday: You can breathe out of both sides of your nose at the same time. Your lungs don’t hurt, and you can eat. You’ll live.
Life is good.
How was your week? 😀
Trust me, when you make the recipe below it will not look like this.
- bones from chicken carcass (fresh, or saved from roasted chicken)
- 2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced (or more if you are sick and need the boost)
- 1 small onion chopped medium
- t tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. butter (if you don’t eat butter then add another tbsp. of olive oil)
- 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 c uncooked brown rice OR egg noodles (amount to preference)
Optional ingredients ~ minced flat leaf parsley, sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter, green peas. Want more meat? Cube a cooked chicken breast and add to the pot the last 30 min of cooking.
- Simmer bones in a stock pot with enough filtered water to cover plus 2 inches. Watch pot and add water as needed. Cook until bones fall loose and keel and joints are gelatinous. (About 8 hours minimum, or overnight for best health benefits. See notes below!)
- Place a sieve into a bowl large enough to catch all the liquid and then pour the contents of the stock pot through the sieve. Lift bones and meat out of the broth and let cool in the sieve. Save the broth!
- Carefully sort out bones from meat and toss the bones.
- Return broth and meat to the stock pot. Add celery, carrots, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to the stock pot.
- In a skillet, add olive oil and butter and heat to medium. Add onion and saute till translucent and softened, add garlic and saute about 3 minutes more. Do not let the garlic brown. Add this to the stock pot.
- If using rice add at this time.
- Let simmer till all vegetables and the rice are tender. Test for salt and add if necessary.
- If using egg noodles add and cook per package directions
- If you choose to use the noodles, and would prefer to let the soup sit overnight for flavor development (recommended!) then wait to add noodles to cook when you plan to serve it.
- You may think that there will not be enough meat. Surprisingly, if you didn’t pick at the carcass, there is more than enough meat to make a fine chicken soup!
- I often hold chicken carcases in the freezer and cook down several in a large canning/stew pot and then save the excess in containers for soup starting at a later date. In this case I was fortunate to have done the broth in advance!
- Often broth, or bone soup instructions say to add chicken feet (gaack!) or vinegar to make the store-bought bones produce plenty of gelatin in the broth. I have never had a problem with producing the gelatin from store-bought chicken bones. It is quite apparent when I refrigerate my broth and it solidifies, that I have accomplished my goal without the use of the vinegar and the nasty feet. The gelatin is released if the broth is cooked for a long enough time. I recommend a minimum of 8 hours, and if cooking 24 hours (best) then use a crock pot.
An aside: I know someone will tell me it was the vaccine that did this, however, I got my flu shot in October. I feel it is safe to assume it wasn’t the shot that gave me the flu… it just didn’t keep me from getting sick this year.