1 tablespoon olive oil
3 stems of celery
half a bulb (about 8 cloves) garlic
hunk of ginger (at least 2 cms)
10 black peppercorns
1 whole chocken (preferably organic)
1 cup white wine
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1.5 L water
*These are approximate measurements. I made this recipe up and cook according to what looks right on the day. Please just use the above as guides but know for me its slightly different every time I make it.
Coarsely chop the onion, carrots and celery. Separate the cloves of garlic but leave the skins on. Chop the ginger into thin slices.
Heat the olive oil and add the chopped vegetables and herbs. Stir until the vegetables are starting to brown and fragrant.
Add the chicken (whole) and brown it (top and bottom) for about five minutes on each side. Make sure the rest of the vegetables don’t stick and burn.
Add the wine and leave it to reduce for a couple of minutes. Add the water (it should be enough to almost cover the chicken).
Bring to the boil and then cover and let simmer for about an hour and a half (or until the chicken falls off the bone when you pick ip up with tongs).
Remove the chicken from the broth and pick the meat off the chicken making sure to remove all skin, bones and guts. You can use this chicken in the soup if you like. It’s also great in sandwiches, pasta, cold rolls, whatever.
Now back to the stock – taste it and see how you like the flavour. Make sure you stir it well first to get all the flavours to the top. Be prepared for it to a little oily (we’ll deal with that later).
If you’re happy with the flavour, it’s pretty much done. Strain it off (remember to put a bowl under the colander – nothing will make you feel worse than dumping the stock down the sink or all over the kitchen).
You can dispose of the cooked veg unless you particularly want to eat them but do make sure you save the garlic. The skins should have kept it pretty much intact. Squeeze the garlic into the broth and mix well to blend through.
If the soup tastes a bit bland, remove the lid and turn up the heat a bit to reduce the stock a little further. Once it’s to your taste, strain the veg off.
Because the skin was on the chicken for this recipe, the broth is likely to be quite oily. I find the best way to remove this is to either place a paper towel over the top of it (on the surface) once it has cooled a little bit (the paper towel will suck up the oil but the broth remains untouched). Alternatively if you plan to use the broth later, just put it in the fridge and as it cools the fat will settle (and harden) on the top of the broth so it will be easy to spoon off.
I usually have this broth just by itself when I’m sick but it also tastes great with pasta (home made ravioli). Alternatively to can you can use it as a base for other soups (such as chicken noodle or chicken and sweetcorn).
Enjoy and hope you get well soon!