There are many things winter means to me, the most prominent of which is getting a cold. In that most frustrating state when the cold hasn’t fully set in but you’ve entered the itchy and scratchy throat stage that let’s you know that your misery is imminent, all you want from life is to be able to swallow without the lump of pain ringing in your ears. All you really want is a comforting, chicken broth that’s packed with nutrition, soothes your throat on its way down, and keeps it lubricated. Who’s with me?
I get a cold so often that it’s alarming when I go an entire month cold-free. I get a cold pretty much every other week. Didn’t drink enough water all day? Cold. Took a shower and a cold breeze hits me? Cold. Didn’t wear hoodie? Cold. Didn’t wear socks for 5 mins? Cold. Didn’t watch Home Alone 79 times in December?…..You get the drift. I’ve got a pretty standard cold “drill”- one that even M is familiar with by now. Ginger tea, Vitamin C, antihistamines, lots of rest and lots of hearty chicken broth.
The good thing about this chicken broth is that it satiates your desire for something savory, and it is packed with a ton of ginger, which really warms me up from the inside out and helps me fight the cold, and I’m going to share the recipe with you just because 🙂
- 2 carrots
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 large piece of ginger
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 2 small onions
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 2 whole dried red chillies
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 3-4 pods of cardamom
- 5-7 bay leaves
- Handful of cilantro
- 1 full chicken, 800 grams (I used Doux). I removed the skin but you can keep it on if you'd like.
- Salt as desired
- Place everything in a large pot, and pour cold water on top till chicken is 80% covered. If you want to eat the vegetables, I suggest cutting them into bite sized pieces. I planned on discarding them once their flavors had been absorbed into the broth, so I just added them whole.
- Bring water to a boil, and let it boil for 4 minutes.
- Turn heat off, turn chicken over, and let it sit for 10 mins
- Turn chicken over again, and let it sit for another 10 mins.
- Poke chicken with a knife in 2-3 areas, and if there’s no pink, the chicken is done. (I learnt this trick from limeandcilantro.com and it ensures the chicken doesn’t overcook)
- Remove the entire chicken and remove the meat off of the bones with your hands. Make sure it has cooled down though, or the steam released will burn like there’s no tomorrow. This meat can be used for several things, including being added back into the soup whilst drinking.
- Place the bones/carcass back in the pot and let all the ingredients simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Taste and season at intervals as per your preferences, but bear in mind that the flavors concentrate as the broth cooks down.
Once it’s cooked, you can consume whatever is needed, and bottle the leftover to refrigerate or freeze. This broth works beautifully as chicken stock as well. I like to chug this straight from a mug, whereas M likes to have it with the chicken that was removed from the bones in step 6, as well as some of the vegetables.
It’s very important to use chicken that is free-range, and hormone free. I used Doux Chicken for this recipe because they’re raised in the French countryside where there are stricter controls, hygienic SOPS, and I feel like a chicken raised in the countryside is a happier chicken which translates into a healthier chicken.
Do you have a cold-beating remedy you swear by? Please do share in the comments below!