Flu Fighter Chicken Stock

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Sicknesses are flowing this year and I have been determined not to get sick. So far so good – sort of – but we’ll come back to that in a minute.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Sarah posted this amazing sounding Thai Chicken Soup. As soon as I saw it, I thought about how many of the ingredients were known flu fighters and how powerful a stock would be if I just infused them into it.

In the spirit of avoiding sickness and keeping my family healthy, I whipped up a batch and planned to make a soup from it (will be posting that recipe Wednesday!) and freeze the rest in case any of us got sick.

Now, I must tell you that my go-to sick soup is my Mom’s Chicken Soup, which is A-Mazing and a variation on a classic Jewish Mom Chicken Soup. I very rarely, if ever, veer from that when it comes to fighting a cold or flu but since I love Asian flavors so much and these ingredients have legit healing properties, I decided it’s time to mix it up.

I am glad I did!

This stock makes a wonderful base for almost any soup – Asian-inspired or not. It is clean and light and has a nice complexity. There is a very slight floral, sweet undertone from the lemongrass and skins of the garlic and shallot.

So the irony is that not even two days after I made this and froze most of it, I start feeling sick. Right? Well, of course I busted it all out and started defrosting in addition to taking the supplements recommended by my Naturopath (gotta love living in WA for this!). Lo and behold, I was a bit under the weather for about 24 hours but felt almost 100% by the next day.

Was it the soup? The supplements? Luck? Who knows but if you think you are getting sick, it certainly can’t hurt to whip up a batch of this Flu Fighting Stock ASAP!

SERVING RECOMMENDATIONS:

A simple way to serve this stock is with a couple slices of fresh ginger, whatever quick cooking greens you have in the fridge and a small handful of the cooked and reserved chicken breast.

If you are up for something more complex, I suggest using the stock as a base for any of these soups. Plus, I will be posting a Thai Inspired Chicken Soup on Wednesday so stay tuned for that…

 Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp

Double Greens + Orzo Soup

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

Spring Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Miso Soup with Kelp Noodles

NOTES:

  • Buy a whole chicken (it’s always cheaper) and ask the Butcher to cut it up for you. You want 9 pieces (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings and the back). Ask them if they have any extra backs to sell you and if so, buy 1 or 2 more for the stock. Get the best quality chicken you can.
  • Lemongrass usually comes in two forms – whole stalks that are sold loose and mostly in Asian grocery stores or in those little plastic herb packages already cut into approximately 4″ stalks. Either way is totally fine. You just want to use about 8 to 10″ of lemongrass so one large stalk cut down or 2 to 3 of those pre-cut stalks.
  • See Recipe for De-Fatting Procedure.

Inspired By: Thai Chicken Soup by Sarah Ashley

4.7 from 6 reviews
Flu Fighter Chicken Stock
 
Prep:
Cook:
Total:
 
1 Point Plus Per Cup -- Yield Will Vary Depending on Size of Chicken
By:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • One 3½ to 5 lb organic chicken (with bones and skin), cut into 9 pieces (see NOTES)
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • water to cover plus about 1"
  • 8 to 10" lemongrass, sliced in half
  • 3 to 4 shallots, cut in half lengthwise (skin on)
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half across the middle (skin on)
  • 3 to 4" ginger root, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 bunch scallions, white and darks separated, whites cut lengthwise (greens reserved for soup)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Kosher Salt
Instructions
PREP:
  1. Begin by placing the cut up chicken parts in a large stock pot with no more than 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Cover with water by about an inch - usually about a gallon plus 2 to 3 cups) and let sit for at least 30 minutes while you prep everything else. The point of this is for the apple cider vinegar to extract minerals and calcium from the bones to make your stock even more of a nutritional powerhouse. Read here for more on that!
  2. Meanwhile, grab lemongrass, shalltos, garlic, ginger and scallions.
  3. Start by separating the scallion greens from the whites. Reserve the greens for a soup or stir fry and slice the whites lengthwise in half.
  4. Grab the shallots and without peeling, trim the ends and slice down the middle lengthwise.
  5. Peel ginger root (I like to use a teaspoon. You just pull it along the peel and it pretty much slides right off.) and slice into long pieces, exposing the inner flesh.
  6. Cut lemongrass into 4" stalks if not already done and cut the stalks in half lengthwise.
  7. Finally, slice the entire head of garlic, leaving skin on, across the middle.
COOK:
  1. Toss all of the cut aromatics into the pot and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of kosher salt. I suggest starting with 2 and tasting later to add more. Bring to a boil and skim foam off the top for 5 to 10 minutes or until it's all gone.
  2. Once foam subsides, lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for a total of 3 hours.
  3. At the beginning of simmering, set a timer for 45 minutes to pull out the 2 breasts and 2 thighs. We want to poach those in the broth and don't want them to get overcooked. Let them cool a bit, pull off the meat and return the bones to the pot. Chop breast and thigh meat up into bite sized pieces and store in a container in the fridge or freezer for future soups (or other dishes).
  4. When cooking is done, taste and adjust salt if necessary. Allow to cool and pull out chicken parts. Set aside to cool so you can pick the meat off remaining bones to use for the soup or tacos or chicken salad (whatever you want - it will be a bit dry though).
  5. Once stock is a bit cooler, strain into another pot, discard aromatics and refrigerate to allow fat to settle to the top.
  6. The next day, pull the pot out of the fridge. You will see a layer of fat settled on the top of the soup.
  7. Grab a small bowl or cup and a large spoon. Gently ladle off the fat and discard (some people like to save this to cook with).
  8. Your stock is ready to be used or frozen for future use. Enjoy and stay healthy!

 

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Comments

  1. Judy says

    Great recipe, it is my go to recipe now for chicken stock/soup! The lemongrass just adds a wonderful flavor. Thanks so much.

  2. Angelique says

    Thank you. Don’t be afraid of using a pressure cooker. They are super safe (now) and easy to use. I have a 4 qt electric pressure cooker and an 8 qt stovetop. After using them both for a while, I wish that I would have purchased a 6qt instead of the other two.

    A couple of nights ago, I used the stock to make a wonton-pho hybrid type of soup. I added wontons, spinach, sliced carrots and pac choy. I also served sliced lemon, diced jalapenos, green onions, Thai basil, persicaria odorata (commonly known as Vietnamese coriander or mint) and sriarchi on the side.

  3. Angelique says

    Yummy. I just made this recipe. I decided to make the stock in the pressure cooker and I have lots organic skinless-boneless chicken breasts so I had to make a few minor modifications to the recipe. I used 3 pounds of whole chicken wings and a very skinny long lemongrass stock with the “grass” intact. I have a huge lemongrass plant in my backyard and I didn’t think that a single wimpy stock would do the stock justice. I also added a couple of tablespoons of organic vegetable oil (to prevent foaming in the pressure cooker) and waited until the stock was done cooking to add in Celtic Sea salt (another pressure cooking trick). I was tempted to throw in a jalapeno or serrano from my garden, but I am so glad that I didn’t. The flavor of the stock is so delicately balanced that the spice of chili would have ruined it. When my husband walked in, he remarked it smells delicious and then he asked me if I was making rice. I plan on freezing some, sipping on a bit tomorrow and saving for a small batch of soup. I may just have enough to try my husband’s rice idea. It sure would be a lovely touch to plain white rice.

  4. Scott says

    Gonna try this as my wife just came down with a cold and requested chicken soup. So where else would I head for a recipe?? FYI your 5 links at the top to the soups all take you to the Miso Soup.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Next time you roast a chicken, set aside the carcass and use it with some vegetables and a bit of kosher salt to make a simple stock. You will save so much $!

  5. says

    Thank you for your kind words. As for garlic, I like that idea of yours, I love it, but my wife’s not exactly a fan of garlic. But I guess she won’t get close to me now :)

    • EverydayMaven says

      Right? Who has the energy to do such a thing when they are sick? It’s either that or have someone else make it for you!

  6. says

    Thank you very much for the recipe. Wish I would have found it earlier. I’ve been lying in bed for a couple of days and besides medication I’ve tried almost everything. I know ginger is enormously healthy, but I don’t like its taste at all. Despite of it, I’ll give it a try.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Sorry to hear you are under the weather and hope you get better quickly! This soup doesn’t have an overwhelming ginger taste but I suggest cutting the ginger back just a touch and adding more garlic to suit your palate.

  7. shea says

    I’m so glad I happened upon your blog and saw this recipe a few days ago.Guess who’s coming down with……something…..? Making it now. The only rating I can give so far is 5 stars for the incredible smell filling the house :), crossing my fingers for the miracle healing. Thanks for sharing!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Thanks Hannah – it seems everywhere I turn someone else is sick. Looks like it’s going to be a long, broth-filled winter 😉

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing the link to the broth and stock page. Do you have any more educational links to share? Health education is the name of the game if your a foodie.

    Thanks again!

    • EverydayMaven says

      I think every family has some version – it would be interesting to see a compilation and note the differences across cultures / generations / regions!

    • Eha says

      I never even thought of pho! Thanks so much for the idea – I agree and it would make a quicker, lighter broth than the usual!

  9. Eha says

    A lovely, almost delicate and very flavourful flu-fighter indeed! I am studying nutrition long distance at three US universities: you have no idea how many professors put chicken stock/soup in the first place as an infection fighter!! I have to admit I use a lot of root vegetables [especailly sweet potato & parsnip] and masses of garlic and some ginger to > my recipe, but, of course, the flavour differs – as long as it works :D!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Absolutely Eha! Growing up my mom’s chicken soup was always #1 when it came to fighting any sickness! She uses parsnip in hers as well :)

  10. says

    Being a backyard hen keeper I am attached to the little gals & their relatives- sentimental, I know, so I’m not much of a poultry gal. But the aromatics get a huge thumbs up from me. An easy way to get a pho base too, without all the faffy searing and toasting as I did on my recent Asian vegan stock. Btw, it was the soup that sorted you. No question. I ascribe my beetroot zinger juice the same medicinal properties. Food heals.
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted..Love Your Greens Soup – fat-free and veganMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      I bet Kellie – that totally makes sense! It would make a good Vegan broth and definitely a base for Pho!

  11. says

    I have been (im)patiently waiting for this recipe to be posted since I saw the pic on Facebook. Spicy Asian-inspired chicken soups are my go-to for when I get a cold, along with homeopathic products. As so as the 30 Day Pantry part of my 100 day cooking challenge is over, I will run to the store for the whole chicken and anything else I don’t have so I can make some of this lusciousness!
    Letty (Aunt Elsie’s Pantry) recently posted..100 Day Cooking Challenge: Week 1 Round-UpMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      I bet – all enclosed environments are. It seems like a good handful of kids in my son’s preschool are sick any given week!

  12. says

    What a great Asian twist on basic chicken stock. I save my onion skins, celery tops, carrot peels and garlic papers in Soup Packs in the freezer–I think I’ll start an Asian Soup Pack for this.
    I’ll be getting some stewing hens (retired laying hens) from the farmer who supplies my eggs, and this would be a great use for that.
    When I finish my stock, after straining, I pour it into my quart sized canning jars (while still hot). The fat layer that accumulates at the top helps to keep air out of the broth and keeps it fresh longer in my fridge. Got that tip from my 1950 Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook.
    Thanks!
    kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts recently posted..Chocolate Cherry Cider Muffins (Monday Muffins)My Profile

  13. says

    I hate to admit it, but I have not made homemade chicken stock…. I’ve been told once you do, you will never go back to buying it again. This looks so good and I’m so anxious to check out the links to the soups you’ve shared!!! It’s SNOWING so hard right now and expected wind chills of -10 to -20! So I’m all about hot soup this week. Thanks for sharing!!!
    Kim | At Home With Kim recently posted..Morning MomentsMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      It is true for the most part Kim although I keep a couple boxes of really good quality stock in my pantry because sometimes you just don’t have any homemade left! That is really cold – we are lucky to have a mild winter here. Stay warm!

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