It’s that time of year, when sniffling, sneezing, and sore throats are not uncommon. The weather has been wacky here in the southeast. We keep going from wearing our winter coats to being able to wear short sleeve shirts and back again. There is nothing like a hot, steaming bowl of chicken soup when you’re not feeling well. I got the inspiration for the following soup from Cooking Light’s recent recipe forLemony, Fragrant Chicken Broth.
1 whole fryer chicken (organic if possible)
3 stalks of lemongrass, outer layer removed and then smashed
1 4-6 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
5 green onions, both green and white
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
6 pieces of lemon peel (1 lemon)
1 tbsp salt (plus extra to taste)
½-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, very thinly sliced (optional)
· Place the chicken in a large stockpot. If you have one that has a full size pot strainer in it, that’s even better.
· Add 1 stalk of lemongrass cut in half, 4 cloves of garlic, 3 green onions cut into thirds, 6 pieces of lemon peel, ginger, 2-3 slices of jalapeno pepper, salt, and pepper.
· Cover with water.
· Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
· Reduce heat medium and simmer for 50-60 minutes
· Remove the chicken, lemon grass, garlic cloves, ginger, green onions, jalapeno, and lemon peel.
· Remove all the meat from the bones.
· Return all the meat to the chicken broth.
· Return the pot and broth to the stove and bring to a boil.
· Reduce heat.
· Thinly slice the green onions and add to the pot.
· Add the cilantro to the pot.
· If needed, further season with salt and pepper.
· Pour the desired amount into a bowl.
· Add 1/3 cup of rice.*
· Place 1¾ cup water, pinch of salt, 1 cup of rice in a pot.
· Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.
*Note: I highly recommend NOT putting all the rice into the soup. It has a tendency to turn mushy.