Paleo Chicken Soup for the (Flu-Ridden) Soul

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What was originally intended to be a week off has now stretched into an unintended and crazy-making two. I was all set to hit the bar hard and heavy after establishing several PR’s the weekend before, only to be knocked flat on my second day back by the flu.

Or at least, I think it was the flu. Whatever it was, was playing symptom bingo with my body for a full 24 hours before deteriorating into something more like a cold, but lingering in the chest. Either way, the end result had me ducking out of Crossfit for not one, but two classes and a weekend lifting session.

Now, even though I know two weeks off doesn’t lead to any sort of significant muscle deterioration, I feel as weak as a kitten. And I’m still not fully rid of this bug. Bah. So what’s a girl with a cold and a jug of chicken stock to do?

Make chicken soup, of course. Paleo-style.

We already had several cups of leftover chicken stock from a chicken we’d roasted the week before, but if you don’t, you can just use cans or a box. I’d heartily recommend getting yourself a whole chicken and roasting that fowl beast to a tasty crisp, but if you’re already sick, this is an entirely unnecessary step. Hell, being awake is a unnecessary step at this point.

The nice thing about having stock from an actual chicken, though, is that you can use the fat on the top (you saved it, right?) to sizzle your vegetables first. But if not, there’s always coconut oil.

You’ll want:

– 3-4 carrots
– 2-3 stalks celery
– 1/2 to 1 whole onion
– 1 head broccoli
– 1lb chicken thighs, cut up into chicken chunks
– 5 cloves garlic (you’re sick, remember? No such thing as too much garlic)
– some salt
– some pepper
– probably some chicken broth

Anyway. Take the carrots, celery, onion, & broccoli and chop that shit up. Not too fine. Coarse-like. Heat up a pan with whatever fat you have available/prefer, using as much as you need to coat the bottom of the pan. When a spritz of water makes it sizzle, throw on the onion, saute for a bit until starting to brown, then the carrots & celery. Give it about two-three minutes, stirring happily.

Meanwhile, in a stock pan, hit up some more fat. Same deal, but this time crush garlic into the oil. Stir briskly, so as to avoid burning the garlic, then toss in the broccoli and coat with the garlicky oil. Cook until just starting turn bright green, then add the veggies from the other pan and enough stock to cover the veggies. Turn down the heat to medium low and return attention to the now empty pan.

Add more fat if needed, then saute your chicken pieces. If you chopped them up small, this shouldn’t take too long, but be sure they’re thoroughly cooked – they won’t cook much more in the soup. When they are done, add them to your pot, add more water if needed, then cover the pot and bring the whole mix to a simmer. Let it stay there for a good 15 – 30 minutes, then add salt & pepper to taste and serve.

Drink all the broth.

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