Healing Chicken Soup {Yes, we're still sick...}

Mar 18, 2011

Can you believe it has been three full weeks and we are still dealing with illness? Papa Bear and I have finally gotten sick, as well as Levi and Miles...again. Miles was the first one to be sick and was fully recovered until a few days ago. Tuesday, I took Levi to the doctor and they confirmed that he has bronchitis. The other three boys are getting their strength back. I was forced out of bed very early this morning with a raging sore throat, so I took advantage of being up at dawn by enjoying some hot tea and reading Lazarus Awakening. {I'll post my review soon.} Then I got started on making chicken stock so we could have chicken noodle soup for lunch {and probably dinner}. Homemade chicken soup is not only soothing and nourishing but has healing properties.

Making chicken broth is easy and not an exact thing. You just cut up some vegetables, throw in a chicken, cover with water, and let it simmer for a few hours or so. But I know that most people like their instructions a little more specific, so I'll tell you what I do. There are other ways to do it, like the method Kimi Harris uses at The Nourishing Gourmet. Do a little research and experimenting to find out what works for you.

First of all, I buy the most natural chicken available at our grocery. It may cost a few dollars more than a regular one, but is healthier and it ends up being the best deal. I pay almost $3.00 for an aseptic box of natural chicken broth at the store, which contains about four cups. When I make my own, I end up with about five times that amount of nourishing chicken stock and have enough chicken for two meals {soups or casseroles}. For a smaller family, you could probably stretch it further.

Add to large stockpot: 
One yellow onion, cut into wedges
3-4 carrots (unpeeled), cut into 1" chunks
2 stalks of celery, cut into 1" chunks
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 whole chicken, rinsed (include neck and organs, if desired)
1 bay leaf
5 peppercorns
2 tsp sea salt
Cover with filtered water by 2"

Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a steady simmer and cover. Let it simmer for at least two hours, preferrably longer. You'll know it's ready when the chicken falls apart when you try to lift it out. I use a large slotted spoon to remove chicken to a plate.

Pull chicken from carcass. You may freeze bones and carcass to make bone broth later.

Use slotted spoon to remove rest of vegetables, chicken skin, and parts.

After removing chicken and vegetables, you will still have tiny particles that your slotted spoon can't get. 

Do the next two steps in your kitchen sink
Trust me, you will probably spill some of the boiling hot liquid. Consider yourself warned.

Pour the broth through a strainer into another large container. I use my other stock pot or Dutch oven. If I'm making chicken noodle soup right away, then I start adding the ingredients for that (see below). If I am not using it immediately or have too much, I pour the broth into glass jars and store it in the fridge. I use chicken broth frequently enough that I don't freeze it, but I could.

I use a canning funnel to fill my jars. The fat floats to the top and after some time in the refrigerator, it will solidify and may be removed with a spoon, if desired. These are half-gallon jars. They hold 8 cups, but I only filled them to the 7 cup mark. So, I guess you already figured out that I made 21 cups or almost 1 1/2 gallons of chicken broth.

To make chicken noodle soup:
Simply add a cup of chopped chicken, a couple of thinly sliced carrots, a sliced stalk of celery, 1/2 onion (diced), two minced garlic cloves, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or to taste). Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer until carrots start to soften, add egg noodles and cook until desired tenderness. Salt & pepper to taste.


  1. Oh girl! I am so sorry yall have had such a long run of sickness in your house. :( Prayers today!

  2. New follower here, hope you will follow back!

  3. So sorry to hear you and your family are having such a long, lingering illness! My prayers are with you that you all recover soon.


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