Chicken Soup for my Mother’s Soul: Fool Proof Recipe

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Just like our mother, warm soup is the ultimate comfort food for my sister and me. Even today, if I had to eat only one meal for the rest of my life, it would be my mother’s chicken soup. She would make it on cold and damp Mill Valley days, when we were feeling sick, and especially when we came home from a trip. To us, chicken soup is the only thing that can settle your stomach after a long, stressful journey. My sister and I now always try and have a steaming pot ready when my mother travels to visit us, just like she used to do for us. Here is a classic, full proof beginnners verison of this recipe my mother taught me when I first learned to cook.

What you’ll need:

  • 5-6 chicken drum sticks, preferrably with skins on
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot, or two small carrots
  • 2 medium sized stalks of celery
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • salt and pepper

First, warm oil in a stock pot, and add in your garlic until it slightly browns on medium heat. Add chicken drumsticks and lightly brown on both sides, turning occasionally. Drum sticks are perfect for the novice chicken soup maker because they don’t require cleaning and preparation like a whole chicken, and you can pretty much boil them forever without worrying about them falling apart.

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Add onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaf to the pot.  If you plan to eat the carrots, onion and celery (which I recommend!), mince all three vegetables before adding. Add water to the pot just until all incredients are covered with water (don’t worry, all the vegetables will cook down, allowing for plenty of stock).

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Turn up heat and bring to boil. Then cover and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Finally, remove drum sticks from soup and separate meat from bone.  Discard bones and add meat back to stock.  You can also skip this step and just serve whole drum sticks in the soup.

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Don’t forget homemade chicken soup is perfect for freezing in individual containers.  Enjoy!

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