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Chicken Soup for the Cold

Lucus and Margaret at the Golden Strike Bowling Alley

Pictures from before illness. After illness, not pictured.

Note: The following is an actual conversation held in the Volunteer House. Names have not been changed.

Week-Ago-Me: Isn’t it great how we’ve been here for two months and no one has gotten sick?
Week-Ago-Margaret: Yeah! We’ve been living in close community, but we’ve been good about eating well and taking vitamins.
Week-Ago-Eva: Hey, you two! You’ll jinx it.
Week-Ago-Me: What was that you said about vitamins?

Suffice it to say, I fell ill the next day. And when you’re in Radio, if your voice doesn’t work, you’re somewhat out-of-luck. If your ears are stuffed up, that goes double. And I lost both, rather quickly. I had enough in me to get through the Sounding Board episode that I was scheduled to host, but went home thereafter and was able to rest.The people of KNOM – staff and volunteers alike – are truly wonderful. In no other place have I been so encouraged to take personal time when needed, nor bounced back so rapidly due to taking that personal time. I’m not quite back to 100%, but it’s no longer such a scary distance away. And the other volunteers have been great about suggesting vitamins to take, and buying two containers of OJ (which we used up over the course of two days). Though I was the first to get sick, the other volunteers swiftly followed (with the exception, of course, of Josh – who I imagine is immune to everything after wading through the streams around Nashville and fighting fires in California).

On Saturday, though, I was feeling well enough to make some Chicken Stock. Admittedly, it’s easier these days to “make stock” by simply buying it from the store, but I was determined to make it from scratch. Well, part of that determination was that we’d roasted a chicken earlier in the week and still had the bones left over – and what else would you do with chicken bones?

The best part about making chicken stock from scratch is how little effort it really requires. The biggest part of it is letting it simmer for hours, which when you’re sick, is pretty much all you want to do anyway. And when it’s done… it’s so much better than any store-bought broth that it brings tears to your eyes. And, for whatever reason, chicken soup still serves as an “internal hug” – helping you feel better even if nothing medical takes place. Margaret dubbed our chicken stock “miracle broth,” and so that’s what it’s official name is now.

Here’s the recipe for KNOM Miracle Broth, if you’re feeling a little under the weather and want to cook along with us.

Spoon in Broth

None of us had a camera – so this is the best we could do to show what it might look like, if you’re more professional than we were. But it’s a great picture of broth!

Ingredients:

Leftover bones from 1 roasted chicken (meat clinging to the bones is OK, and encouraged!)3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
Skin from same onion
4 heads and stalks of Broccoli, roughly chopped
2 stalks of Celery (if you have them – we didn’t, and it was fine without!)
2 handfuls of Kosher Salt

 

“Simon & Garfunkel” (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme), 1 tbsp each, roughly chopped or ground
6 whole black peppercorns

  1. Put the chicken bones in a large stock pot, and cover with water (about 3/4 full)
  2. Bring the water to a boil, chop and add other ingredients
  3. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer
  4. Simmer for at least 4 hours, but up to 8 hours
  5. Skim any “muck” from the top – use a wooden spoon with light swirling motions
  6. Let stock cool
  7. Set an empty stock pot aside, and top with a colander or strainer
  8. Pour the stock through the colander, catching the stock in the second pot.
  9. If you wish, pick out any veggies or meat from the colander and save them in a container with a lid
  10. Put the stock back on the stove and simmer, or pour it into a pitcher and cool in the fridge
We ended up using the miracle broth to make lentil & rice soup with additional pieces of chicken, but it was delicious heated up on its own. What food do you make when you’re sick? Let us know in the comments!