One Hour Chicken Soup

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Imagine this. You get a terrible cold, you’re sick as a dog, your boyfriend gets you juice, soup (Pho from down the street), the works. Then you get better, fly to Florida for your parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, and while there, your boyfriend breaks the news: he has your cold. You’re not there to help, though, so when you return on Sunday–and he’s at the peak of his illness–you know you have to spring into action. You’ve gotta make up for all the TLC you weren’t there to give him during the first two days of his illness. Upon landing at the airport, you rush to the grocery store and stock up on everything you need to make the ultimate cold cure, Jewish penicillin: chicken soup. Only, you want to make it fast.

My go-to chicken soup recipe takes three hours. My more recent Asian-inspired, cold-killing soup–which is faster–isn’t what Craig was craving at this moment. So I decided to play doctor in more ways than one: I was going to doctor the classic chicken soup with boxed stock.

The results were so terrific, this may be my new go-to technique. You’re basically making a double-strength stock. Here’s how it works.

Buy a bunch of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 8) and put them in your biggest pot or Dutch oven:

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Cover them with boxed chicken stock, the best you can find (I used that Kitchen Essentials one which I like) and to the mix add a whole carrot, a whole piece of celery, a whole onion, a turnip or two, a parsnip and some dill:

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Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for an hour.

That’s it. What you’ve done is infused that boxed stock with classic chicken soup flavors while also cooking the chicken and allowing that raw chicken to enhance the stock even more. After an hour, remove the chicken and vegetables with tongs:

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Adjust the broth for salt and then add chopped carrots, onions and celery:

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Parsley, dill and egg noodles:

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Allow them all to cook–about 8 minutes or so–until the vegetables are tender and the noodles are done. Oh and shred the cooked chicken with your fingers and throw that back in there too. Here you are, homemade chicken soup in one hour:

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Nice, right? Not to brag, but Craig was almost 100% better the next day. He credits the chicken soup. I credit myself. The point is, this is a recipe to lock away in your brain forever. It’s a miracle-worker.

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