- Canola oil spray
1 of each: turnip, parsnip, carrot cut into chunks
1 med. onion, peeled and cut in half
2 skinless chicken breasts (with bones) rinsed and dried
4 - 6 whole peppercorns
4 - 6 whole cloves
2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed with the flat side of a knife
1 tsp. fresh (or 1/2 tsp. dried) thyme , marjoram, or tarragon
1 lg. bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 c. (about) fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
Coat the bottom of a large pot with canola oil spray. Heat over high heat. Add turnip, parsnip, carrot and onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, being careful to avoid burnt spots. Transfer them to a bowl or dish and set aside.
Respray the pot and heat on medium-high. Add chicken and saute, turning often, until lightly browned. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and cook about 10 minutes.
Return vegetables to the pot. Add peppercorns, cloves, herbs, garlic, a generous pinch of salt and enough broth to cover contents about two inches. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Do not allow soup to boil, which produces a muddy flavor and an off-putting, cloudy liquid. While the soup is simmering, occasionally skim off the foam that accumulates on top of the broth.
Cook soup, adjusting heat so broth continues to simmer gently. Add more broth if the liquid no longer covers the chicken and vegetables. Simmer until chicken is tender and almost falling off the bone, about 2 hours.
Transfer cooked chicken to a large dish. Strain broth into a large pot. Transfer any pieces of chicken in the strainer to the pot. Discard vegetables, garlic, spices and herbs. (All their flavor is now in the broth. Fresh vegetables can be added later if desired.) When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from the bones, cut into bite-sized pieces and add, along with any juices, to soup. Discard bones.
Heat soup until hot. And now serve to that person hiding under the covers!
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