Snow is falling in the mountains, which not only means that winter is coming, but that cold and flu season is also on its way. I realized this when the end caps at my grocery store were lined with NyQuil, DayQuil, Robitussin and other drugs. But the moment I really realized this was when I suddenly felt tired and hot. Yup, I had a fever. I blame the sick kid in line at the pharmacy.
After reading my temperature more than once, I finally accepted that I indeed had a fever. So I did what any rational New Mexican would do: Ran to my freezer in search of some green chile. For those of you who don’t know, green chile has 181.9 mg of vitamin C. Oranges have a measly 51.1 mg. So yeah, green chile is kind of a big deal. Instead of eating the chile right then and there, I decided to make soup.
My favorite meal to avoid (or treat) cold and flu symptoms is a big pot of homemade chicken soup. This is probably the only soup I make where I will just drink the broth and be happy. MMMMMMmmm….
I like to start by making my chicken soup (or any soup, for that matter) with mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery), salt and pepper. I let this sweat and then add minced garlic and ginger. I like ginger because it tastes good and is supposed to help with various stomach problems. Win-win, am I right?
After those veggies have started to party, I will add my green chile, an entire chicken (minus the giblets of course) and add water until it either 1) covers the chicken or 2) fills the entire pot. In most cases I fill my pot with water until it’s almost to the top. Then I let that soup simmer until the chicken is done and watch my dog (or roommate) drool as the aroma fills my house.
Once the chicken is cooked, I take the sucker out and shred the meat off. I like to use two forks for this process. Then I add the meat back to the soup, season to taste, and viola! Winner winner chicken dinner.
I also like to cook steamed rice when I make soup. It helps fill you up on days where you are ravenous. I usually add rice to the bottom of my soup bowl just before eating. In my experience, adding rice to my soup will suck up most of the broth. This leaves you with something that looks similar to arroz con pollo and not chicken soup. To avoid this, I keep my finished soup and steamed rice separate until just before I eat.
If you are at this point and still wondering about my measurements, let me tell you: I don’t measure when I cook soup. If I’m feeling really sick, I use a small amount of veggies because I know my stomach can’t handle much food. If I am hungry, I will use more veggies to fill my stomach. I always use a whole chicken.
If I really have it together, I will add tarragon to my chicken soup. I got this idea from Alton Brown‘s killer chicken noodle soup recipe. Alton uses measurements and makes great recipes. Plus, his cooking show Good Eats is one of my all time favorite shows. Watch it now if you haven’t already. #NetflixandCook