Flu Season Chicken Soup

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.

Loyce’s Flu Season Emergency Chicken Soup (slightly adapted by Tinky)
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.

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7 Responses to “Flu Season Chicken Soup”

  1. Adelaide says:

    I’m pleased to see that someone else uses bouillon granules or bouillon cubes in chicken soup to “beef up” the flavor, or should I say, “chicken up” the flavor. Many cook book writers speak with distain about bouillon cubes, because of the salt I suppose, but if you add no other salt I see no problem.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Ginny Ray says:

    I put a little bit of cayenne in my chicken soup, and some wild rice/barley, too. Gotta watch the liquid level with that, but the pepper is good for what ails you if you don’t overdue it. It helps clear the nasal passages and etc., along with the warmth of the broth and the goodness and comfort! G.

  3. I’ll bet this is delicious. I put this on Stumbleupon and Digg today. I hope you are doing great.

  4. This sounds delicious, but I still love chicken soup like my Mum used to make ….. chicken stock (our neighbour used to boil a chicken regularly for Sunday dinner and give the stock to my Mum), grated carrot, finely chopped onion and rice. Throw it all in a pot (no sweating of veggies) add salt to taste and simmer until the rice is cooked.

  5. I love a good chicken soup, it can sure almost anything. Thanks!

  6. commonweeder says:

    This looks so good – and really good that a reader sent the recipe. There is nothing like a cook who will share a recipe.

  7. tinkyweisblat says:

    Adelaide, you’re so right; we get a little too hung up on avoiding certain convenience foods! (And I love salt.) Ginny, LOVE the Cayenne. Laurie and EveryDay, thanks for the kind words. And Commonweeder, I know; cooks (and loyal readers) are always a source of inspiration and joy. Happy Thanksgiving, all.