Everyone’s been sick lately, and the bug finally caught up with me. Luckily, I remembered that there is no one thing that I’ve made more of or enjoyed more heartily than chicken soup. It’s been years in the making, but I think I’ve got it…the best chicken soup recipe ever, that is.
Simmer for one hour, equal parts chicken stock and water (say, 5 cups of each), along with four or five chicken legs or thighs, bone in, skin on, and an assortment of onion, celery, and garlic, rough cut. Also toss in your herbs and spices, dry or fresh, which for me is just thyme and red pepper flakes. Be heavy-handed! I cannot stress enough the importance of the red pepper flakes–it is the essence of the broth.
After that hour, remove the meat and set it aside to cool. Strain the soup into another pot, so you are left with a clear, but flavorful broth. Return to the heat. To this add thinly sliced onions or scallions, sliced celery–a lot of it–including as much leaf bits as possible, and watercress. Pick the meat off the bones, discarding the skin, and return to the soup. Finally, add and cook either egg noodles or barley, salt, pepper, and serve. This last round of vegetables doesn’t cook more than 10 minutes or so.
Ah, the power of spicy chicken soup. I’m feeling better already.