Perfect chicken soup is good for what ails you this winter!
Since I started eating meat and poultry again after being diagnosed with migraine attacks, I’m always looking to revisit old classic recipes with a migraine-friendly twist. I visited my friend Carole Murko in May and she made an incredible pot of chicken soup. I tried following her method at home, putting everything in the pot and cooking it for a few hours… my chicken and vegetables came out terribly overcooked. Her soup was incredible; maybe it was the quality of the chicken, local vegetables, and the spring water from outside her kitchen door in addition to her years of experience.
At any rate, I’ve been playing with various recipes ever since that visit, and am finally happy with a method that produces perfect chicken soup every time in my kitchen. The hands-on time is about 15 minutes; I make this on the weekend when I can multi-task. It freezes beautifully.
You start with easy homemade stock made in the slow cooker:
Of course you can also use store-bought organic low-sodium chicken stock. I make mine to avoid any potential migraine triggers like onions.
I cooked the chicken breast by itself using the poaching method, then turned up the heat and added the vegetables. The cooked chicken cools while the veggies are getting perfectly fork-tender without being cooked into mush. Just dice up the cooled chicken and return to the pot to warm it back up. Stirring in the chopped fresh parsley just before serving the chicken soup ensures that the herbs are still vibrantly green and add the brightest flavor. If you make this on a weekend, you can eat it all week.
fish sauce, tamari or coconut aminos, lime juice, chopped nuts for Thai style chicken soup
minced fresh oregano and basil and a squeeze of lemon juice for Mediterranean style chicken soup
paleo,low-sodium, migraine, dairy-free, gluten-free, celiac diets
Not recommended for:
vegan, vegetarian diets
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Perfect chicken soup
- 8 cups chicken stock (low-sodium) homemade or store-bought
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs thyme (fresh)
- 3 sprigs fennel optional (it grows in my garden)
- 1 chicken breast skin-on, bone-in preferred
- 1 chicken back optional, for flavor
- 3 carrots thickly sliced
- 3 potatoes organic gold, medium-sized, large dice
- 5 stalks celery thickly sliced
- 1 bundle Italian flat-leaf parsley (fresh) finely chopped
- Bring the chicken stock just to barely a boil in a large heavy soup pot.
- Tie the herbs together with kitchen string and add to the pot with the chicken breast and chicken back if using.
- Make sure the stock doesn't boil, if you have an instant-read thermometer you are looking for the temperature of the liquid to be 180F/82C.
- Prep the vegetables while the chicken is cooking.
- Poach the chicken for up to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. It should be 165F/75C inside. Use tongs to remove chicken and herb bundle, setting chicken to cool on a cutting board and composting the herb bundle.
- Turn up the heat to just barely boiling, add the vegetables and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin, bones, and cartilage (saving in the freezer for a future pot of stock), and dice.
- Add chicken to soup. Ladle soup into bowls and stir about 2 tbsp chopped parsley into each serving.
- You can add the remaining parsley to the soup and store in the fridge, or leave it separate and add just before serving hot soup.