Monday, October 8, 2007

It's That Time Again!

It seems like everyone is coming down with colds these days! And with all of the new information we're seeing about over-the-counter cold medicines being dangerous for our little ones, where do we turn to give our children the relief they so desperately need this time of year? Here at The Pfaffl House (Wink!), we have a little routine for when colds hit. We slow down our activity level as much as it's possible to do with a pre-schooler in the house. We always make sure the sick person uses a non-medicated saline solution nasal spray several times a day to thin mucous secretions and keep their nasal passages moist. Andy and I drink a lot of hot tea when we're congested, but for Landon, I heat apple juice on the stove and add lots of fresh lemon juice (and sometimes mint) to make something more "kid-friendly". He feels so much better after snuggling up on the couch with a sippy cup of his own special "hot tea". (Try it yourself...It does wonders for a sore throat!) Besides that, we also love using those vapor plug-ins and having a cool mist humidifier on hand. I have to say, though, that the BEST thing we do to treat those nasty winter viruses is good old-fashioned chicken soup! Here is how I make it from scratch:


1 (3-5 lb) whole chicken, cut into parts
1 bag of carrots
1 bunch of celery stalks
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 pkg. egg noodles
cheesecloth (for straining the broth)
salt and pepper (to taste)

**Have a Broiler-Fryer quartered for you at the grocery store to make the recipe easier**

For the stock:
To begin, place the chicken pieces into a large stockpot. Add three carrots (cut in halves or thirds), two stalks of celery with leaves (cut in halves or thirds), one onion (quartered), six cloves of garlic (chopped), a handful of parsley, and chicken pieces to a large stock pot. Fill pot with water to cover all ingredients (I use a gallon of Deer Park so I don't have to lug the giant pot back and forth across the kitchen). Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about two hours (You can cook it even longer for a richer broth).

While the stock is cooking, slice 4-6 stalks of celery, peel and slice six carrots, dice one large onion, and mince (or coursely chop) 6 cloves of garlic. Set aside.

When the stalk is finished simmering, remove the cooked chicken pieces to a separate container for later. Next, place a layer of cheesecloth into a colander and strain the stock. Discard all of the vegetables left in the cheesecloth.

Return the chicken stock to the pot and stir in all of the chopped vegetables.

Bring to a low boil. Then, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the carrots are tender.)

While the soup is cooking, pull the white meat chicken from the bones, cut it up, and when the soup is finished boiling for the 30 minutes, add the chicken to the pot. Add a handful of chopped parsley and a bag of egg noodles to the soup. Continue to cook, covered, for about 10 more minutes or until the pasta is done.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Extra suggestions:

We usually buy a carton or two of Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth and add it to the refrigerated leftover soup to reconstitute it before re-heating it.

Add or subtract vegetables to your liking. We usually add tons of garlic since it's "nature's antibiotic! :o)

Add herbs/seasonings as desired. (Oregano & sage are both good.)


Sharon said...

Thank you for posting the recipe!
You sound so Betty Crocker. ;) I'm impressed.
I've yet to try those vapor plug-ins. Hmmm...
And those nasal sprays are handy. We've even noticed them beneficial while Brennan has been teething.

Great ideas. Next time Aidan has a cold (hopefully no time soon!), I'll try warmed apple juice for him. Thanks for the tip. :)

Andrea said...

I'm going to have to try to make this. Thanks for posting the recipe!

Kim said...

That warm apple juice with lemon sounds great! And probably more readily accepted by the little ones than regular tea :) I'll definitely be trying that one!

Funny how we all seem to to have this topic on the brain these days :)

Amy said...

Now that cooler weather is finally here I am definitely in a soup mood. My homemade chicken soup uses mostly pantry ingredients (canned chicken and canned broth)... yours looks delicious!