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Hello and welcome to March 2010.
I'm not sure where February went since I was occupied with being sick, getting some Social Security paperwork completed and watching the Winter Olympics in my spare time. I think I spent the last three weeks doing only six things: blowing my nose, coughing, sleeping, resting, watching TV or dictating the answers to disability questions.
I made my deadline for the paperwork thanks to copious amounts of help from my hubby. Unfortunately, this cold virus followed me into March; I am still sick.
Since I have been sick, most of my out-of-the-house trips have been canceled or rescheduled over the last three weeks. This also includes the upcoming week. So poor Robert needed to go the store to get supplies for me. He called home several times to ask for clarification on my shopping list, but he did a great job and got me enough supplies to make several batches of crockpot chicken soup.
I admit that my usual sick day routine is to call Jerry's Famous Deli and order the chicken in a pot: a huge pot of chicken soup with a huge matzo ball, noodles or rice, carrots, half a chicken and kreplach. It lasts for several days, but is also quite expensive. So this go around, with groceries procured by my hubby, I decided to try my hand at making some crockpot chicken soup. Of course, this meant figuring out how to make this process fibro-friendly, since having a cold on top of chronic illness makes me feel ten-times worse.
Well, I did it and here are my secrets:
- split the prep work into 5-10 minute sessions with copious amounts of rest in-between
- use kitchen utensils, like the Clever Cutter and Vidalia Chop Wizard, to make the prep much easier (see all my time savers in the carousel widget below)
- use packaged veggies to cut down on washing and slicing
- let the crockpot do the cooking overnight
Selena's Crockpot Chicken Soup
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. frozen chicken tenders
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- seasoned salt to taste
- 6 15 oz. cans chicken broth
- 2 cups baby carrots sliced (or packaged frozen or fresh sliced carrots)
- 4 stalks celery with leaves
- 1 cup finely chopped onion (frozen or fresh)
- 1 clove elephant garlic, finely chopped
- 1 6 oz. bag fresh spinach or coleslaw mix
- 2 medium zucchinis (or other similar squash) chopped
- 1 to 2 cups of noodles or rice, cooked following package directions
2. Mix chopped carrots, celery, onions, garlic and zucchini in a 6 quart crockpot liner. (I chop the carrots and celery directly into the liner using the Clever Cutter. I chop the onions, garlic and zucchini using the Vidalia Chop Wizard, which I can place in the floor and lightly step down on to avoid aggravating my hand/arm symtoms.) Add the spinach or coleslaw mix.
3. Place the liner inside the crockpot before adding the 5 1/2 remaining cans of chicken broth. Add the chicken and cooking liquid. Stir to combine. Place lid on crockpot and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
4. Reduce heat to the KEEP WARM setting. The soup can stay in the crock for many hours on KEEP WARM, which deepens the flavor over time.
5. Prior to serving, prepare rice or pasta following package directions. (Try using speedy pre-cooked, packaged 90 second white or brown rice. I have also used soba noodles from the refrigerated cases, cooking them in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup of the soup broth for 3 minutes.) TIP: It is best to add the rice or pasta to your serving bowl rather than in the crockpot, as starches disintegrate over time if left in the crock. Ladle soup over rice or pasta and enjoy.