As some of you peoples might already know, the Has' and I caught some lovely 3rd grader germs (small children carry nasty bugs). I got my mom's recipe for the family chicken soup that changes every time someone makes it. So here are the basics and you can tweak it as you see fit to comfort you or your coughing, sniffling, sneezing loved ones.
Time to cook: 2.5-3 hours. But most of that is sitting on your ass so don't panic.
Serves: the soup needs of two sickies, two meals a day, for about three days.
*Two chicken breasts with bones and skin.
*If you have any chicken carcasses hanging around in your freezer, throw them in. We used the raw spine and breastbone from a chicken we had butterflied a while back.
*Half an onion. I like sweet.
*Pasta (amount/type up to you) We use about a cup of alphabet soup noodles as alphabet soup + cold medicine = very amused sick people.
*About 2-3 tablespoons of any jarred tomato sauce.
*Salt and pepper
*Onion salt, garlic powder, and thyme to taste. (about 1 tsp. each)
*Water. A bunch of it. Even tastes good with Nashua tap water.
Throw all your raw chicken bits and breasts into a large pot- dutch oven is probably good. Fill with as much water as you can fit and still carry to the stove. Salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
While this is heating, chop up about 1/4 an onion in bitesize pieces and coarsely break up the rest into about 2" by 2" chunks of onion. Don't worry--I dare you to chew that onion later.
Once water boils, skim off the protein foam muck until water is clear. Lower heat to medium-high and add onions, all the spices, and 1 tbs. of the tomato sauce (more if you like). Stir and mostly cover so that there is room for steam to escape.
Set a timer for 1 hour. Check the soup every 10-20 minutes to make sure it hasn't exploded all over your kitchen. Stir if you like. I like. If at the end of the first hour, you lose over an inch of water, add it back from the tap. If the soup loses it's red/orange tinge from the added water, add your second tbs. of tomato sauce.
Set your timer for another hour. (if your timer is cool enough to go up to two hours, do that in the first place.) Continue to check and stir. At this point you should be salmonella free, so taste test for your spices. Right now the soup should have a very mild taste. That's okay.
When your timer beeps, remove the two breasts and place in a bowl. Trash any extra chicken bits, they have served their purpose. Place the breasts in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes or just until they are not too hot to handle.
By now, the onions should be floppy and soft. Bring the soup back up to rolling boil and add your pasta. For brothy soup, add less. For a soup you can eat with a fork, add a bunch. When al dente, take it off the heat and cover.
When the chicken doesn't burn you, pull the meat off the bone and tear into bite size pieces. Discard skin and bones unless you do really unique and smelly crafts on your weekends. Add the chicken back into the soup and serve to the nearest sick person.
If you like your arteries: before consuming, store overnight in the fridge then skim the top for any fat that solidified.
Drink: Ginger Ale and DayQuil
Music: The Nurse Who Loved Me, A Perfect Circle