God I feel awful at the moment. I’ve caught a bug from someone (and if I ever find out who, they will pay THEY WILL PAY) and I feel (and look *sob*) TERRIBLE! Everything aches, my sinuses are blocked which makes my head feel like it weighs 10 stone, I’m producing more snot than I thought possible and I just sneezed 15 times in a row and gave myself a stitch. But enough about how sexy I am right now, I don’t want you to get carried away.
Everybody says that chicken soup when you have a cold will sort you right out. I have never tested this theory before, but by day 4 of feeling like shit – when I finally caved and begged for a day off work to spend in bed – I thought I’d give anything a go.
I’m not saying chicken soup is the wonder-drug some people seem to think it is; I certainly wasn’t cartwheeling around the living room or anything. But it’s easy to digest, soothing, and after couple of bowls and a hot toddy (whisky, lemon, honey and hot water FYI – don’t go easy on the whisky) I felt better and slept better than I have in a while. And yunno, it tasted pretty good too!
What you need:
A large knob of butter – about 60g
4 banana shallots, finely chopped
About 200g free range chicken breast, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
A good shake of dried tarragon
3 tablespoons plain flour
500ml veg stock & 500ml chicken stock
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons soy sauce
250ml double cream or crème fraiche
What to do:
- Melt your butter in a heavy based pan and add your finely chopped shallots. Cook on a low heat with the lid on – stirring frequently to stop them catching or browning too much – for about 20m
- Add your diced chicken breast, garlic and tarragon and cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. The reason everything is chopped quite small is that this soup isn’t blended so bear that in mind!
- Add your flour and stir, stir, stir for about a minute to make a roux (the photo below is supposed to illustrate this. Look carefully guys, I did my best in difficult circumstances, k?)
- Slowly add your stock/lemon/soy sauce mixture and keep stirring. The flour will make it nice and thick but DO stir because you don’t want floury lumps in your soup. Vom.
- Once all of your liquid has been added, put the lid back on the pan and simmer for about 10m. Check your chicken is done but it really should be unless you’ve fundamentally misunderstood the word ‘diced’
- Take it off the heat and add your cream or crème fraiche and stir
- Reheat, eat, feel restored. Feeds 4 ill people for one meal or 1 ill person for a couple of days