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Jewish Penicillin

Chances are that everyone of you has had “Jewish Penicillin” (Chicken Soup) when not feeling well. Recently while Annabelle has been under the weather and mommy and daddy have been equally run down from her not feeling well I knew it was time for home made chicken noodle soup. I’m a firm believer that canned chicken noodle soup is no substitute for the real thing. I like to make it in large batches and freeze some because the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re not feeling well is worry about making soup.

There’s a good reason chicken soup is know by some as Jewish Penicillin, it’s all in the broth. When made correctly bone broth has been found to help prevent and mitigate infectious diseases,so really you should drink broth consistently to help prevent getting sick. Nowadays most people buy chicken stock in a box or can and buy de-boned chicken breast for dinner. All those great health effects are in the bone, cartilage and bone marrow so home-made is best.

I started by seasoning and cutting up two whole chickens (pastured,organic, antibiotic and hormone free). I let them sit in the fridge overnight with the seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika,thyme, rosemary, sage and bay leaves). The next day they went into the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. Once the chicken is cooked remove the meat, set it aside and throw all the bones and cartilage pieces back into the slow cooker. Cover the bones with COLD water and about 2 tbsp of vinegar (I’ve used both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar for this and I like prefer the end result that’s made with the apple cider vinegar). The cold water and the vinegar helps draw out minerals from the bones, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Let your bones sit in their cold vinegar bath for at least an hour. I usually end up forgetting about it and letting it sit for about 2 hours. Then set your slow cooker for 18-24 hrs and forget about it. I usually set it to high when I’m home and when I leave I just switch it to low. There’s no particular reason that I do that, I just do. You can leave it on high or low the entire time.

This is what the chicken broth looks like when it’s done. Now comes the fun part. You need a big bowl and a degreaser with a strainer on top. Strain the broth into the degreaser and then pour the broth into your big bowl. I poured all the grease into ice-cube trays to freeze. Don’t throw the grease down the drain or down your garbage disposal unless you want a large plumbing bill.

You can either freeze them and throw them out in neat little cubes or you can save it in case you ever need a cube of chicken fat (more on the benefits of chicken fat later). The quickest way to get your soup done is to cut up all the ingredients while your broth is cooking, after all you have 24 hours to get it done. I like to make my chicken soup with a little lemon in it, I think it gives it a great fresh taste. My mother in law made a lemon chicken soup for us when I first gave birth to Annabelle and I knew I would never go back to chicken soup without lemon. She used a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis  so I used that as my base recipe and made some changes. Some people don’t like the lemon so you can leave it out all together or just squeeze some lemon juice on the side and let those who want it add it to their bowl.

My recipe for Lemon Chicken Soup

7 cups home made chicken stock

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 dried bay leaf

2 cups chopped carrots

1 1/2 cups whole wheat spaghetti broken into pieces

2 cups shredded chicken

5 large handfuls of organic spinach

2 stalks organic celery

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

Bring the chicken stock, carrots, onion and celery to a boil. Turn down the heat and let them simmer until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spaghetti and let it simmer another few minutes until it is cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked toss in your chicken and stir in your spinach and your done. We sprinkled some freshly grated parmesan cheese to our bowls. Delicious and nutritious! And now you know why I like to double or triple the recipe so I can freeze it. Just make sure if you double or triple the recipe that you make enough bone broth to start with.


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