The Hungover Gourmet

 

Chicken Soup for the Butt

The first order of business is surely to wish all of our dear readers a happy and healthy new year. I surmise that 1999 was rung in safely and sensibly -- yours truly took part in a scrumptious Chinese buffet and then collapsed on the floor in a food coma. I was barely awake when the "big moment" arrived. Granted, this was better than previous years spent vomiting my Chinese dinner on to my shoetops after too much grub from Hunan Garden and too much whiskey from Jack Daniels.

Unfortunately, I was planning on 1999 being the year that I started eating a little healthier (not to mention a little less, having maxed out at 210 lbs. in '98), drinking a lot less (since most, if not all, of my excess eating could be traced back to too much drinking -- what a vicious circle), and working out at least a little bit.

Too bad that all went out the window when I came down with the single worst cold of my life on the afternoon of January 2nd. I would love to blame my sudden sickness that day on the poor performance of the Dallas Cowboys in their loss to the Cardinals, but that loss was in the air for the second-half of the regular season. And, truth be told, the illness wasn't that sudden...I'd been fighting the signs of an impending illness for about three weeks, dosing myself up with TheraFlu, Cold-Eeeze and whatever other ointments and medications could be found around the house, just to get me through the holidays.

Well, it was almost like the cold knew that the holidays were over and it could have its way with me. Saturday night through Wednesday morning were spent in my makeshift Indian Sweat Tent, complete with flannel blankets, thermal t-shirts, socks, and various cough drops, suppressants, nighttime cold medicines, tissues and more. I haven't been this sick from a cold since I was a kid.

It's too bad I didn't have some chicken bones laying around or I could've made my homemade chicken soup, a freeform concoction whose recipe changes a little bit each time depending on what's available. This is best made with the bones and meat from a roasted chicken that has been in the fridge for a day or two.


Chicken Noodle Soup

Rib cage and bones from one roasted chicken
2 medium onions, quartered
Salt and Pepper to taste
Water
Vegetables of your choice (celery, green beans, carrots, corn, lima beans, etc.)
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
8 oz. egg noodles

Remove as much of the meat from the bones as you can and set aside. Place bones and onions in a stock pot, cover with water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours until the remaining meat has fallen off the bones and you have a clear stock. Pour the stock through a cheesecloth to remove the excess small bones, or skim with a strainer. Return the stock to the pot and place over medium heat. Reseason with salt and pepper and add vegetables of your choice. Season with parsley and thyme and simmer for an hour or so, tasting soup and adjusting seasoning as needed. Add more liquid if needed. Add egg noodles and cook until tender. Serve piping hot. Serves about 6-8.



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