With cold and flu season upon us, I wanted to share what I have made and kept in my freezer for decades. My sons began to call it “Sick Soup” and the name has stuck over the years. Simple, nourishing, and delicious, it’s the perfect choice to have on hand for a quick meal or when your family members are not feeling well, and nothing else sounds quite as good to the patient.
For this recipe, I used a 16-quart heavy stainless steel pot, which yielded four gallons that I separated and put into my freezer so we will be prepared in case we or someone we know needs some.
Just adjust your ingredients for the size pot you own, or if you want to make as much or more than I did, give me a holler and you can borrow from my sixteen, twenty, or twenty-four quart sized pots.
6 lb chicken (I was blessed by a friend with a free-range bird which I used in this)
1 family sized package of boneless skinless chicken thighs
Kosher or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 bunches of chopped celery
3 large diced onions,
3 bunches of chopped parsley
4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
Additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For added health benefits, 1 gallon of organic poultry bone broth
This, you can purchase. Or, for a fraction of the cost, you can make your own. I made and froze mine from our Thanksgiving turkey carcasses, so that’s what I used.
Check out “Bone Broth Benefits: Are They All They’re Cracked Up to Be?” by Dr. Josh Axe to research the benefits of bone broth and how to make your own. It’s so worth it.
Rinse the fresh chicken under cool water. Put into the pot, cover with 2 1/2-3 gallons of water IF you choose to also use bone broth. If not, add 3 1/2 gallons of water and add about 2 tablespoons of kosher or pink salt. I love the minerals in the pink salt so I use it in just about everything.
Bring to a gentle boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover, and let cook slowly overnight.
In the morning, strain and set the chicken aside to cool, returning the broth to the pot.
In another large pot or pan, (I had to do this twice since I was making such a large amount) add 1/3 cup of olive oil and sauté the celery, onions, parsley and garlic for a minute on medium heat then turn down to low heat, cover and let the veggies “sweat” for eight minutes.
Add them to the broth.
Debone and shred the cooled chicken by hand and put in with the vegetables. If you chose to use bone broth, add that in at this time. Let simmer together a couple of hours.
Taste and add desired amount of salt and pepper.
Serve hot by itself, or if desired, over rice or cooked noodles.
If making enough to freeze, let cool completely before storing in freezer bags or containers.
***One variation that I like to make is substituting cilantro for the parsley and adding fresh lime juice to taste. This version is delicious served with rice and topped with shredded cheddar or jack cheese, diced avocado, tomato and/or jalapeños, chopped green onions, and additional cilantro and eaten with tortilla chips.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and I pray for a happy, healthy 2019 for you and your loved ones.