Thursday, November 8, 2012

On sick days

The first sick day of Kindergarten is upon us! 

It's days like this that make me grateful that I don't have much going on outside of these four walls.* It's a treat to be able to bring my daughter apple slices and sit and watch a Netflix episode or two with her, and bring the comfort that only your mom can give when you're little. 

I'll leave you all with a winter favorite for today. If anybody needs me, I'll be catching some quality animation with the best 6 year old around.

Chicken Noodle Soup:

This is the one thing that my children will unfailingly eat. Thus it is also one of the main reasons I always have a bag of frozen mixed veggies, or at least peas and carrots, in my freezer. I imagine this could serve quite a few as a side dish, but the four of us almost always finish the pot when it's what's for dinner.


2-3 chicken leg quarters (bone and skin included)
enough olive oil to coat the bottom of your pan
1/3 c dried minced onions
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
5-10 peppercorns, cracked
1-2 bay leaves
(1/2 tsp of any or all the following: thyme, parsley, basil)
salt to taste (start with 1tsp, add more as needed)

1/2lb small dried pasta of your choice (I prefer shells, because they're just so cute!)
1/2lb frozen mixed vegetables

You'll also need a fine-holed colander or cheesecloth to strain the broth and a big bowl or pan to strain it into. Shredded parmesan is a nice touch at the end, too.


Over medium heat, coat the bottom of a 4qt pot with a thin layer of olive oil. Insert chicken leg quarters, skin side down, and allow to brown slightly, taking care that it doesn't stick too much.  

Flip the chicken, then add onions, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves.

Stir intermittently for about a minute, or until the onions and bay leaves begin to color slightly. Don't let the garlic get too dark!

Add 3 quarts or so of water (enough to fill the pot to about 2" from the top), scraping the browned bits from the bottom as you do.

Add dried herbs if desired and reduce heat to medium low. Bring to just below boiling and allow to cook for ~45minutes. 

When chicken is cooked through, set aside. 

Strain broth into a large bowl. Discard bay leaves, etc. Return broth to original pot.

Heat broth to boiling. Add pasta and salt. Set timer to ~3 minutes before pasta is cooked.

Meanwhile, remove skin and bones and  chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. 

When timer beeps, add frozen mixed veggies and chicken to pot. Return to boiling. 
Test for seasoning and pasta done-ness.  

Serve with parmesan cheese on top if desired. 
*They also make me wish I kept it slightly cleaner within these four walls, but that's a different blogpost altogether. 

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