CILANTRO CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP

Image by young_amyc from Pixabay

Stomach Flu Inspiration

One day I wasn’t very hungry and decided to take some leftover egg salad mix that I had made and added some extra eggs, mayo, mustard, and paprika. Then I ate it without bread. It was rich, but tasted really good.

Later that night I started to get stomach cramps. I could taste the acid in my stomach welling up into my esophagus and thought I made a big mistake. Twelve hours later, I still had the same symptoms and now I had a dizzy feeling added to the mix. I tried taking an antacid pill, but that didn’t help and I felt worse.

I thought a rich meal couldn’t cause all that trouble and I finally did some research in the matter. After inserting my symptoms into a question like format online, the best I could figure is that I had some type of Stomach Flu. Nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, dizziness, and loss of appetite fitted the prognosis. That ordeal knocked me out for one full day.

Chicken Soup To The Rescue

The following day, I felt like my brain was fried, but the symptoms were gone. My appetite was so-so, and since my wife was out of town, her mom made me some chicken noodle soup. Being that my esophagus was still sore, it was one of the few things that I could handle.

To make a short story shorter, I am not a big fan of pasta like noodles and such, so I wondered what else I could do for a Chicken and Soup combination recipe that qualifies it as comfort food when you are not feeling well. I looked up different recipes and thought I would try the variety that included vegetables, but no noodles. I experimented with the variables and came up with the recipe that I have described here.

After I fiddled with the ingredients and completed the first batch, I thought to myself ‘Man, this tastes good’! It had celery, onions, potatoes and carrots with lots of spices thrown in for good measure. When my wife suggested I include some fresh Cilantro for an added touch, it really kicked up the flavor quite a bit. It was filling, easy to eat, and really helped my digestive system which still felt out of whack after the illness was gone.

A Favorite Soup Companion Gets Bumped

Whenever I have something like soup or stew for a meal, I like to have name brand crackers as a side item. However, since I have moved away from processed foods for the most part, I pursued the option of making a substitute at home.

In that regards, one of the choices I like when having a meal at a restaurant is corn bread and I found a recipe called Southern Corn Bread and tried it out. It requires white corn meal which has a lighter texture than regular yellow corn meal. Instead of using the classic wrought iron skillet the recipe called for, I chose muffin tins.

I coated each cup with cooking spray and filled them 2/3 full. The muffins do not rise like bread, and each portion was an excellent size to compliment the soup. Perfect!

The Recipes

CHICKEN VEGETABLE SOUP

Inspired By: All Recipes/ Chicken Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 roasting chicken (about 5 pounds), cut up or 6 legs and 6 thighs (Chicken cut right off the bone is best)
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 6 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley
  • 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh Cilantro to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano and tarragon
  • Add salt if necessary
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups frozen peas, optional

Directions

  • Place chicken in pressure cooker with all 3 cups of Chicken Broth
  • Cook for 22minutes (25 minutes if frozen)
  • When chicken is done, remove pieces into large bowl
  • Place the celery, onion, carrots, potatoes, seasonings (Add peas if desired) into the existing broth (which now contains some liquified fat from the chicken skin) and cook in pressure cooker for 8 minutes.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, remove fat and bones from the chicken and set the pure meat aside.
  • When the vegetables are done, add the cut up chicken meat to the pot and stir.
  • Serve with cornbread made from Cornbread Recipe below.
  • Enjoy!

Makes 8 servings

If you know how to make a Roux, a concoction made by carefully stirring flower into melted butter until you achieve the color and consistency you want (which should be anywhere from tan to dark brown) than add about a 1/2 cup of it to your soup when done and really make the flavor pop.

SOUTHERN CORNBREAD

Inspired By: Simply Recipes/Southern Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings or butter
  • 2 cups white cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg (optional)
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  • Preheat pan with bacon drippings: Put the bacon drippings in a 9 or 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet and put the skillet into the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F with the skillet inside. (If you don’t have an iron skillet, you can use an uncovered Dutch oven or a metal cake pan.)
  • Make the batter: Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, baking soda, salt) in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg (if using) and buttermilk until combined, then mix that into the bowl of dry ingredients.
  • Stir in the melted butter.

Muffin Pan Method

  • Coat 3-6 cup muffin tins with cooking spray
  • Spoon batter into muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake at 400°F for 15 minutes.
  • Pop baked cornbread muffins out with a butter knife when done.

Traditional Baking Method

  • Pour batter into hot skillet and bake: When the oven is hot, take out the skillet (carefully, as the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread batter and make sure it is evenly distributed in the skillet.
  • Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
  • Rest bread in skillet, then serve: Let the bread rest for 1minutes in the skillet before cutting it into wedges and serving.

NOTES:

To store, let the cornbread cool, then remove from pan and wrap in plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container. Store at room temp for 2 to 3 days

To avoid burning your hand because you’ve forgotten the pan is hot, I recommend placing a pot holder on the pan’s handle while the cornbread is resting, or cooling the handle down a bit with an ice cube.

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