This recipe comes from Loyce Cofer of Tyler, Texas, a loyal reader of this blog.
Loyce is 70 and lives in East Texas with Don, her husband of 51 years. I asked her about her life, and she replied that the pair had sometimes had to struggle to make ends meet. “We’ve managed with a lot of perseverance,” she added.
Loyce can’t cook or get out as much as she used to since she suffers from diabetes and neuropathy in her feet. She is also a seven-year survivor of breast cancer. Despite her aliments she is grateful for every drop of rain in her dry area and for the gifts of life, friends, faith, and family.
“My life as a stay-at-home mom was rewarding in a way as I loved our sons so much and strived to make it warm and welcoming,” she wrote. Obviously, this chicken soup—perfect for the cooler weather and the season of colds and flu –would contribute to the literal and figurative warmth of that home.
“I’m a recipe hound as you know and do love to cook with herbs and spices, even wine occasionally but not a gourmet,” Loyce told me. She sounds like a woman after my own heart. “I make this for my husband and myself since our sons live out of state but I would make it for friends that are feeling poorly.”
Loyce makes her soup with a tablespoon of Wyler’s chicken bouillon granules. I had the bones and leftover meat from a small chicken leftover in the house so I added them to the soup instead of the granules. If you don’t have leftover chicken, do try her method. (Of course, this coming week most of us will have leftover turkey.)
The recipe may be increased or decreased as needed.
Here’s a tiny photo of Loyce with her husband Don taken during the spring flower display in Tyler, a town famous for its azalea trails.
1 chicken carcass with some leftover meat (or 1 tablespoon bouillon granules)
enough water to cover the chicken (plus a little to spare)
garlic to taste; Loyce used minced dried garlic, but I used 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic
1 onion, diced
2 medium diced carrots, diced
1 stalk celery, peeled of fiber and diced
parsley to taste and other herbs like thyme and rosemary (fresh or dry; I used fresh parsley but dried thyme and rosemary)
salt to taste
pepper corns to taste
Place all the ingredients in a stock pot and slowly bring them to a boil over medium heat with the pan covered. Watch the pot so it won’t boil over.
When the water comes to a boil reduce the heat and cook the soup, ALMOST covered, for 3 hours, adding water if needed.
Loyce skims the fat from the soup as she cooks. I’m not very good at this so I waited until it was done (see below).
Remove the ingredients from the pan and strain the stock away from the sold ingredients. Save the pieces of chicken (without skin), carrots, and (if you like) the onion and celery bits; mine had given their all so I discarded them.
If you haven’t skimmed the fat off, refrigerate the stock and other ingredients until the fat solidifies at the top of the stock pan. Remove the fat, add the saved bits of chicken and vegetable, and bring the soup to a boil again. Let it cool slightly before pouring it into bowls.
Serves 4 to 6, depending on the size of your chicken pieces and the amount of water you added. Loyce likes to serve this with cornbread.