The Remedy (Chicken Soup)
My daughter decided to ignore my advice not to swim in a pool cooled by autumnal weather on Good Friday and woke the house up with the most horrific sounding chesty cough the following morning. There was nothing for it but rugging up on the sofa with some soothing chicken noodle soup.
Without a chicken carcass to hand, due to our selectively handpicked observations of Christian holiday traditions (no meat on Good Friday!), a trip to the shops for some chicken pieces was in order. I loaded up with chicken offcuts for a day of brewing a solid stock base full off natural anti-cough goodness, plus the addition of a couple of chicken breasts to meat up the noodle soup. As the wings and necks bubbled away in a pot of water on the stove I dodged questions about the validity of the Easter bunny i.e. “How does he carry eggs for all the children with just one small basket?”
I’ve always remembered Nigella Lawson’s tip about lining a measuring jug with a freezer bag and pouring in your cooled stock up to the 2 cup (500ml) mark, knotting the top and stashing it in the freezer for a handy way to store excess for future use in soups, risottos and the like. Unlike Nigella, I don’t put my measuring cup in the freezer with the bag of stock. I would a) run out of freezer space b) run out of measuring jugs, instead placing each bag in a Gladware container. This is important, because if you place them directly in the freezer draw they are likely to form shape around the wire basket or any number of other freezer items making them impossible to remove. I share this knowledge from my own vast experience.
Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion
Makes about 2 litres
500g chicken wings
500g chicken necks
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 leek, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
1 piece lemon zest
1 bay leaf
1 spring thyme
a few parsley stalks
6 black peppercorns
Place the chicken wings & necks in a stockpot and cover generously with cold water. Bring to simmering point and skim well. Add the remaining ingredients. Adjust the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer and simmer for 4 hours. Strain stock and allow to get cold. Remove any fat that has risen. Reduce stock to concentrate the flavour, if you prefer. Refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze in pre-measured portions.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries
100g dried egg noodles
1L chicken stock
200g cooked chicken (leftover roast, a quick pan-fried breast, bbq chicken etc)
2 heaped tablespoons chopped mint leaves
2 heaped tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
1 lemon, juice of
Drop the noodles into a deep pan of boiling, salted water and cook for two minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water and leave to cool in a bowl of cold water until you need them.
Bring the chicken stock to the boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Shred the chicken with a fork and knife and add it to the simmering broth with the mint, coriander and lemon juice. Add the noodles, stir and serve steaming hot in big bowls.Share this on: