Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Soup

It’s always the mom’s fault.  You know that, right?  You’re a hypochondriac if you take your kid to the doctor and it’s really not an ear infection.  You’re a bad mom if you don’t take him/her out of fear of looking like a freak and it turns out to be a double ear infection and you should have known that because the kid has no fever, is sleeping through the night, and is still eating and drinking.

In the past week, I have been told twice that I am feeding my kids poorly.  Michael Pollan alerted me to the 26 grams of sugar in Yoplait.  I already knew about the Twinkies.  A doctor/parent and the nutritionist at my kids’ school talked about fats, sugars, excitotoxins and some other things that I cannot spell.  I think I am the only living being on the planet who has not switched to organic milk.  I am not ready yet to replace my butter with ghee.  I appreciate the doctor/parent’s advice about “you don’t have to change everything, just start with something.”  Starting Thursday, I will be drinking organic milk in my latte.  By Friday, I expect my skin to glow, my hair to be thicker and shinier, and the extra pounds to have melted away.

Chicken Soup
I have started thinking about Passover and Easter recipes to post – they fall on the same weekend this year and with Spring Break coming up, the holidays will be here before you know it.  In the past, I would have made matzo ball soup in a chicken broth from a can but my newly attuned sensors screamed MSG, can metal, -oses, -ates, and -ides.  I have no idea if canned chicken broth contains any of those but the fear of judgment!  I decided to make my own chicken broth.  To it I added some matzo balls (made from a box mix by Manischevitz), cut angel hair pasta (because that’s how some of the NYC delis serve theirs) and with the shredded chicken from the broth that I made.

  1. 3-4 lbs of chicken (I used chicken breasts, skin on, bone in – some recipes say the whole chicken)
  2. 10-12 cups cold water, enought to cover the chicken
  3. 1 medium onion, cut into 8 pieces
  4. 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  5. 1 celery stalk, cut into 2-inch pieces
Place the chicken and water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently.  Skim the impurities off the top of the broth.  In a food processor, put the onion, carrot and celery and pulse until finely chopped.  Add to the pot.  Simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes – the chicken should be cooked by then but you can check it with your meat thermometer.  Remove the chicken and save it for adding back to the soup or for another cooking purpose.  Strain the broth (only) into a different bowl.  Let it cool, uncovered and then refrigerate. 

When you are ready to serve, reheat.  You can add cut or shredded chicken, matzo balls, noodles or cut spaghetti, carrot slivers, parsley, etc.  Salt to taste.  Who’s the negligent mom now?

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