June 16, 2010

Recipe: Homemade Chicken Soup

Hello, friends! It's been a while, for which I apologize. There's been a lot of good things happening in our lives lately which are keeping us busy. I promise to get back in to a good gluten free blog-posting groove! Which brings us here and now...

Last week, Mr. GF came down with a terrible chest cold. The poor thing was pretty miserable, a self-proclaimed "plague-monkey". I came down with a little bit of a sore throat, so on Monday he asked me if I could make some chicken soup for dinner. I said sure! Little did he know, I'd never made chicken soup before.

I googled some recipes and found this one to be the easiest to follow. I think next time I will attempt this in the crock pot on a Sunday, because by the time it was done, we were eating dinner at 9pm.

Homemade Chicken Soup

2 cornish hens (or 2-3lb of chicken tenders cut into 1" pieces)
1 qt. gluten free chicken broth
1 qt. water
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tsp. salt 
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 c fresh parsley
2 tbsp cornstarch

Heat olive oil on high in sturdy soup pot. Place 1/2 of diced onion and 2 cornish hens (with or without skin - skin add flavor but also adds fat) in pot and saute. When chicken is no longer pink, cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 20 minutes or until meat releases it's juices. Add chicken broth, water, and bay leaves to pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove hens from broth onto cutting board or bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, skim some fat off the top of the broth and into a sauteing pan. Add carrots, celery, other half of onion. Saute on med/low. Season to taste with fresh ground pepper and thyme.

Reserve 1 cup of hot broth into a small mixing bowl. Whisk cornstarch into reserved broth and then pour back into pot.

When hens have cooled a bit, use a fork to remove skin. Use a fork to shred and pull the meat off the bones, and add every bit of meat you can get to your pot. Once veggies have softened, add to pot. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes and serve hot.

Mr. GF also added some freshly baked bread to the meal, using Glutino/Gluten Free Pantry's French Bread and Pizza  Mix. If cooking stovetop, you should allow 1 1/2 hours of prep and cook time for this meal. It takes patience but the reward is great, especially for treating a cold. Make sure you have tissues handy, your nose will run!

We made a double batch of soup, so we reheated it the next night for dinner again. I must say, it was even better the second time around! The flavors really released and blended together having sat overnight in the fridge. I always worry about making soups from scratch for fear that they'll be bland, but I fear no more!
We had 1 slice of bread each from the loaf, so after dinner on Monday, Mr. GF sliced the rest of the loaf and froze it. We microwaved 2 more slices last night. We normally toast frozen gluten free bread, but microwaving is the way to go with homemade bread. The outsides stay crunchy and the inside stays soft. Spread a little Smart Balance on your bread (take care of your heart!) and you have a healthy homecooked meal that will clear out any nasty cold.