Chicken broth for the soul

A lovely recipe from Clotilde Benard Kiely, who farms in the Comeraghs, her new home (only 20 years now). This broth contains her organic chicken, lots of garlic, and the chance to “kill colds”…. We hand over to Cloitlde, and in her own words… (Franco-Waterford)

aka Jewish Penicilyn

It is true that for the first month of summer, it may seem a bit peculiar to go over this recipe, although, times are strange and it actually does feel appropriate to discuss it now! If anybody could be an expert, i would say that this recipe would relief the symptoms of Coronavirus.

In our ‘kinda’ French house, we call it “La Soupe tue-rhume” which literally translate into “the kill-cold soup”.  When it comes on the table, it is often on a cold wet day, where sniffles from my children can be heard. As we all gather at the dinner table around the pot, we are doing karate action while screaming : the “kill-cold soup is gonna knock this cold out me!” And this… isn’t a joke.

Because it is true, as a well as being simply delicious, Chicken Broth will help alleviating symptoms of cold, flu and congestion by magic or not…  And there is my way to make it:

Ingredients: chicken bones or whole chicken : Organic or proper free-ranging chicken; 2, 3 carrots; 1 big onions; 4, 5 garlic; 1 leek; 2, 3 branch celery; 1 bay leaf; organic veg stock (optional); salt; pepper; 1,5l for bones & 2.5l for a whole chicken

Method: Chop all the vegetables small and even (feels so much nicer when you eat it). Put everything into a big pot and bring it to the boil. Don’t forget to season. At the start, a little scum will form at the surface, strain it with a spoon and keep boiling gently for a good 30 or 40 minutes. You will see drops of oil/fat colouring the water the chicken melts into it.  This is all the goodness coming out! Smell it, taste it, it should be flavoursome. You can then remove the bones or chicken out of the broth. You can keep simmering the vegetables for another little while, adding more salt & pepper to your taste. It is that simple!

This broth can be accompanied by toasted bread to soak in or not and if you are feeling very French, how about grating a bit of cheese over it!

If you are using chicken bones only, you will need less water and the bones can be discarded after the soup has cooked. If you are using a whole chicken, boil it for around 40 minutes and take it out of the pot, leave it drain for a bit and roast it in the oven as you usually would, decreasing the cooking time (the meat will only be nicer ; melting in your mouth).

Remember, it is healthy not use too much salt, but these spices really help enhance to flavours of dishes and completely transform it! Ever watch Ratatouille? Do just as the rat does above his soup in the kitchen : wave your hands above your pot, to catch the smell of it and you will understand all the subtilty of seasoning a dish.

PS – Keep in mind than any old veg can be used for this recipe ; the essential being carrots, garlic, celery & onions. Any other ones, abandoned in the bottom of the fridge would be glad to join the party and add their fair share of taste : some turnip, parsnip, a leaf of cabbage, cauliflower, etc.