Healthy Recipes: Chicken Soup December 30 2014

In kindergarten, my teachers Miss Sullivan and Mrs. Minteer taught us the following from the Carole King song book, "Chicken Soup with Rice".  These are times I remember with love.  Be glad you can't hear me sing this as I type!

"In January, it's so nice,
When sliding on the sliding ice,
To drink hot chicken soup with rice.
Drink it once;
Drink it twice;
Drinkin' chicken soup with rice."

"In February, it will be
My snowman’s anniversary.
With cake for him and soup for me!
Happy once;
Happy twice;
Happy chicken soup with rice."

I can keep type-singing, or just tell you how to make this yourself!

What You'll Need:
* One whole chicken cut up into pieces (or: 2 chicken breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks)
* Carrots - 5 medium cut into 1/4" pieces (makes about 2 cups) 
* Celery - 5 stalks cut into 1/8" pieces (about 2 cups)
* Onion - 1/2 of an onion diced (about 1/2 cup)
* Starch of Your Choice (if you choose to modify the song):
- Rice - 2 cups COOKED
- Potatoes - 5 medium UNCOOKED cut into cubes 
- Elbow Macaroni - 2 cups COOKED
* Onion Powder - to taste
* Garlic Powder - to taste
* Salt - to taste
* Pepper - to taste
* Lemon Juice - optional

What To Do:
* In a large stock pot, place your chicken pieces. Cover the chicken with water, filling the pot about to halfway. 

* Set stock pot to boil and let it boil for 15 minutes, then sit it to simmer for 10 additional minutes so the chicken is thoroughly cooked. 

* Because we love multi-tasking, while the chicken and stock is boiling, cut up your carrots, celery and onion.  If you opt for potatoes as your starch, cut those up as well; if you choose pasta or rice, you can begin cooking separately, as directed on package.

* While chicken is still in simmer mode, take a second large pot - and a strainer - and put those in your kitchen sink.  Those will become a repository for the chicken stock/broth you are making.  

* After the chicken is brought to a boil, then simmer, take that stock pot off the stove.  Slowly, pour the contents into the pot-and-strainer combination in the sink.  The pot will hold the broth and the strainer will catch the chicken. 

* Take the chicken - which will be hot - out of the strainer and put onto a cutting board.  Piece by piece, remove the meat from the bones and put back into your original stock pot.  Add your carrots, celery, onion and, if chosen, potatoes. 

* Take the stock/broth you've made and pour back into your pot.  Add your onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and salt to your liking.  Also, if you choose, add in your lemon juice.

* Set this to medium temperature for 55 minutes, until the house has the warmth and aroma of soup.  Add in, if you choose, your cooked rice or cooked pasta, and set it to simmer for 10 minutes.  You don't want your pasta or rice to get too gummy, but take in the flavor of the broth. 

* After 10 minutes, cool and serve!  Drink it once; drink it twice; drinkin' chicken soup with rice!