When you're suffering from the world's worst cold EVER [insert sympathy here] there is nothing better than chicken soup. It may be an old wives tale but there is something satisfying about this delicious liquid that makes everything seem better. A bowl of hot, steaming soup will instantly warm you and take the edge off the chills, and apparently the warmth is good for loosening the mucus which is making you all snotty. Nice.
That lovely thought aside, this is a great recipe which I've found is really getting me through this illness (alongside copious amounts of smoothies!!). It's also easy to make and although it takes a while (I like to look at it as a leisurely process) it's great because a lot of that time you can leave it in the oven/on the hob and go slob on the sofa under a blanket watching crappy television. 'Tis the season to be jolly after all!
The key to the cold-zapping-ness of this recipe is that a) it uses the whole chicken, bones and all, and b) it's packed full of immune-system boosting chilli and garlic. Be generous! I hope this recipe will get you through the Christmas cold and if you're not ill, I'm sure you'll enjoy it anyway! What's even better is the chicken I got was actually reduced to £2.50!! Estimating this makes around 7-8 portions, that makes the whole thing create hearty meals for 56p a portion (or 87p a portion if the chicken was full price). Result!
I'm entering this recipe into the Co-operative electrical shop competition because I love it so much - find out more here: www.coopelectricalshop.com
Cold-zapping gluten free chicken soup
- Small roast chicken
- 1 large leek
- 2 small onions
- 4 spring onions (I had these leftover from my Boxing Day salad!)
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 punnet of mushrooms
- 2 tsp mild chilli powder
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Hot water (enough to cover the chicken carcass)
- Knob of butter
- First you will need to roast the chicken. I coated mine in salt and pepper, placed in a roasting bag (it makes it so much juicier!) and followed the instructions, cooking for an hour and a half. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the bird. Go enjoy a Lemsip on the sofa while you wait!
- Allow the chicken to cool a bit and then remove as much meat as possible. Dice the breast into small chunks, pull the meat from the wings, thighs and drumsticks and remove as much else as possible.
- Next you need to create the stock. Place the carcass, skin, and all remaining bits of the bird (not the meat you've removed though) into a large pan. Add the ends of the leeks and spring onions (the bits you'd normally throw away) and then cover with enough hot water so the carcass is completely submerged. Add a generous helping of salt (around 1 ½ tsp) and black pepper, plus the chilli powder, chilli flakes, tumeric and basil leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of hours on a low heat.
- Once cooked, you need to pour the stock into a measuring jug/pan through a sieve, removing all the bones and veg. If you can pick out any meat add it to the stuff you have put aside. You want to the liquid - but can throw away the bones and other solid bits.
- To the empty pan, add the knob of butter and crush in the garlic cloves. Fry for approx one minute on a low heat, then add in the leeks, onions, spring onion, sweet potato and mushrooms - all chopped into bite-size chunks.
- Stir the mixture on a medium heat for about five minutes until it softens. Add the stock to the pan and bring back up to the boil. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Taste the mixture and season if needed with a little extra salt. Add the chicken, re-cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
- The soup is now ready! You can serve straight away, or chill in the fridge and re-heat as needed. You can also freeze it and then you have a handy meal on-the-go. Because of the high protein and good amount of vegetables, it's basically a meal in a bowl.
You can play around with different vegetable combinations or flavouring in the stock, but this was by far my favourite and I am enjoying devouring the whole lot! Hopefully I will be on the mend soon...
Other warming winter lunches recipes...
Smoky chilli con carne
Chicken, chickpea and chorizo casserole
Butternut chicken mess