Tag Archives: chicken broth

DRAGON SOUP (Asian style chicken and egg noodle soup – serves 6)

 Since being confined to my house, because of this….

my back steps

my back steps

I have been cooking big pots of soup, which are made from things that I have, not from things that I planned on having for soup-making. I have been too lazy to dig my car out from under the big white powdery blanket it is now wrapped in,  (and the blanket has gotten thicker by the day!) and so have been making soup from what my kitchen has to offer up – and for the moment, quite good stuff actually!

Dragon Soup

Dragon Soup

My soups tend to veer towards the brothy/Asian side, which are chock full of everything to round out an entire meal;  protein, veggies and carbs. I do like a blended, creamy style soup occasionally, but it doesn’t satisfy me if it’s going to be my dinner. This Dragon Soup has EVERYTHING that is great about soup and it was slurped up while we watched the snow slowly bury our house.

Blue Dragon Noodle Nests

Blue Dragon Noodle Nests (these noodles are very sturdy and hold up well in hot broth)

A bag or two of these egg noodles is always a good thing to keep in stock. They came in handy for this dish. Of course this soup works equally well with a cup of rice added to each bowlful, but there was something so gratifying about winding the long strands around my chopsticks before inhaling them.

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*This is a good Blood Type A Diet recipe – omit the black pepper and chili flakes and we are good to go!*

You will need:

1 lb chicken breast fillet – thinly sliced (If you stick the chicken in the freezer for a 1/2 hour or more, it will be easier to slice)

1 medium onion – diced

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1/3 lb shiitake mushrooms – thinly sliced

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional, but I like the subtle heat)

1 tsp salt (use less if salt is very fine – you can always add more later if you need to)

1 bunch chard  – about 5 big leaves, center rib removed and leave roughly chopped

12 cups chicken broth (or 2 good quality bouillon cubes and water)

4 scallions (green onions) – very thinly sliced, including some of  green parts

1 cup julienned or thinly sliced carrots ( about 1 medium/large carrot)

2 tbs finely chopped cilantro leaves (if you have them, but works great without)

juice of 1/2 a lime

salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning

6 oz egg noodles (If you can find egg noodle nests, use 1 per person. Figure on about 1 oz per serving)

Method:

1 – Put soup pot on medium heat and add 1 1/2 tbs olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another couple of minutes. Turn the heat up a bit and add the thinly sliced chicken and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns white all over (about 3 minutes). Add the broth, cilantro,  carrot, salt, pepper and pepper flakes (if using) to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down pot to a simmer and cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Add base ingredients, saute, add broth

Add base ingredients, saute, add broth

2 – Add the chard and continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minute. Taste for additional seasoning and adjust if necessary. Add the lime juice and let the soup sit for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Add chopped chard

Add chopped chard

3 – While the soup is sitting, cook your egg noodles according to instructions. Drain and add a serving to each soup bowl.

Ladle soup over noodles and garnish with some chopped scallion and serve!

Add noodles to bowl and ladle soup into bowl

Add noodles to bowl and ladle soup into bowl

Simple Lemon Chicken with Zero Talent Required! (serves 6 – 8)

 It will take more time to read this recipe than it will take you to prepare this dinner – I’m dead serious! It is dinners like this that have saved me from ordering take-out many an evening and I suggest that you add this to your repertoire.

Fast Lemon Chicken

Fast Lemon Chicken

I made this last night because right when I should have been making dinner I had to pick my kids up from their grandmother’s house. How was I going to make dinner and have it ready when they got home if I was the one picking them up?

Easy: I put this together in 5 minutes, popped it into the oven and it was ready when we got home. It was so lovely to walk into the house and smell the wonderful aroma of roasting chicken.

The lemon and herbs in this dish made the flavor happen magically and it tasted like a dish that I had labored over  – I’ll never tell!

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*This is a Great Blood Type A Diet recipe, just omit the black pepper and pepper flakes if you are strict*

You will need:

1 1/2 lbs chicken thigh cutlets (that means, no skin and de-boned. They are sometimes called thigh oysters)

2 chicken breast fillets, cut in half lengthways

sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper flakes for seasoning

2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 large sweet onion, halved, then sliced thinly

1 cup baby carrots (if very small leave them whole, if larger quarter them lengthways giving you “skinny sticks”)

1 sprig rosemary (about 3 inches)

4 sprigs thyme

1 lemon, quartered

3 cups chicken broth

Method:

Preheat oven 425*

1 – Prep veggies and season meat with salt and  pepper.

2 – Scatter onions, carrots, rosemary, thyme, and lemon in bottom of pan, roasting dish or baking tray. Add the broth. Place chicken breast on top in 4 completely separate spots. Lay one of the chicken things on top of each of the breast pieces and the rest of the things in-between.

3 – Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper flakes over the chicken (if using) and drizzle the entire dish with the oil.

4 – Place in your preheated oven for 40 minutes.

DONE!

DONE!

Remove from oven and remove the lemons and herbs. Serve with anything you like: pasta, rice, bread, boiled potatoes or a salad.

Roast Chicken with Poblano Peppers & Tons of Fresh Herbs (serves 4)

Roast Chicken with Poblano Peppers & Tons of Fresh Herbs (serves 4)

Yesterday was one of those lazy summer days that I will think about when it is miserably cold outside, and I’m feeling lonely for the company of people I love. I had planned a different kind of day, a day of school with my kids in the morning, and in the afternoon planting my herb garden and maybe stick in a few tomato plants while I was at it.

Flowering Cactus by the railway tracks near my house

My friend called and requested an impromptu visit, and my very weak-self, or the part of my that would prefer to sit and chat with her rather than do any of the things I had planned, was delighted to accommodate her whim. The morning was thus spent drinking coffee while enjoying her immensely interesting thoughts on all manner of things. I have to admit I allowed this happy meeting to take place because I knew L. Fay was not one of those women who talked about the things that bore me to no end, like: other people, how she felt she wasn’t pretty enough, or her next sun vacation: yes, she is a women of substance.

The morning dragged into early afternoon and I figured it was high time for a walk. We set out (with my to lovely kids of course) on a walk around town, via a river path, ending at the university’s impressive fountain. It was hot, and the thought of cooling my feet in the water was strong enough to make us all get in!

cooling our feet in a fountain in town

When we got back to the house I made an elaborate lunch that involved tofu, spinach, turkey and pasta (this satisfied all palates). When L.Fay eventually went on her merry way, it was time for me to contemplate dinner. I decided that dinner would be whatever I had in the fridge or was growing in the garden.

Turned out to be the perfect ending to a perfect day.

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You will need: 4lb cut-up chicken,

2 large sweet onions, very large dice or chunked,

3 ribs celery, including leaves, sliced,

4 poblano peppers, left whole(for Blood Type A diet, omit the peppers),

big bunch of fresh oregano & thyme (about 4 sprigs oregano and 6 sprigs thyme, but use more of each if you like),

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil,

3 1/2 cups chicken broth (or, 3 1/2 cups water and good quality vegetarian or chicken bouillon cube. I use Rapunzel brand),

sea-salt (I use Maldon salt),

freshly ground black pepper (omit black pepper for Blood Tye A Diet).

Preheat oven 450*

1 – Scatter veggies (except for peppers) into bottom of roasting pan or everyday stainless pan (I use my All-Clad pan for the oven all the time). top with the herbs. If using a bouillon cube, break it up and add to veggies. Add the liquid.

lay veggies in bottom of pan

2 – Place the chicken in an even layer over vegetables, and squeeze in the poblanos loosely between the chicken pieces. Drizzle with the oil and add about 1 tsp salt and several grinds of pepper. (if you are using a broth or bouillon cube that you know has plenty of salt in it, add salt sparingly until you taste the cooked broth at the end).

Add chicken and peppers

3 – Place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let everything rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve with whatever you have on hand

To serve: divide chicken and peppers between plates, topping with lots of brothy onions and celery. You can serve this with rice, a salad, potatoes, green veggies or bread.

A lovely day

The Best Bouillon Cube Ever!

I cannot believe I have neglected to talk about this until now.

I am a devotee of all things fresh, and as locally grown as possible (just read my blog!). But, there are times, lots of times actually, when I need to use the best bouillon cube ever!

Yes, in the ideal world I would have bags of homemade chicken and vegetable stock in my freezer. As energetic as I am, I still don’t seem to be able to muster up the enthusiasm to boil chicken carcasses or beef stewing bones to make lovely stocks and broths to add to my dishes.

Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon Cube

I know that broths can be bought in cans or cartons, and they are good alternatives to the real deal. However, they take up lots of room and I would constantly be running out of them. I never really liked bouillon cubes. They were either too salty, had too many artificial ingredients, or both.

It was very frustrating to make some really fabulous dish only to be ruined be a crappy stock cube! This all changed when I discovered the bouillon cubes made by the Rapunzel brand. The cubes are nice and big (frequently, I only need half a cube), and the ingredients, straightforward and fresh (sea salt, organic non-hydrogenated palm oil, organic herbs & spices). I buy the one with sea-salt because I am a saltaholic, (the salt comes from the French Atlantic coast and is sun-dried – yum), but you can also buy it without salt, and even without herbs.

I used them anytime I need a broth, and just add water. I store them in the fridge and that makes them easier to crumble into dishes.

They can be found in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty shops. I hope you can find them and give them a try.