So, I started my new year with good intentions… While I’m not one to make resolutions, my intention was to start the new year off by making a delicious cleansing chicken and vegetable soup to eat for a few days.
You see, the husband and I own a dog grooming business, and we were blessed this year with a lot of delicious homemade treats from our clients. We were also given several restaurant gift cards. We always close shop for Christmas through New Year’s, and during that week we ate out every day in order to save money and use up those gift cards. It was so fun to go out as a family to places we don’t normally go, and order things we can’t normally afford!
After all of this food and fun, we were definitely ready to get back into our routine, and I was feeling pretty groggy from all of the junk we’d been eating. I got to work early in the day on New Year’s Eve making my soup. I turned on Pandora, and started chopping all of the vegetables, etc. When it came time to add the whole chicken, I just completely freaked! While I’m fairly new to cooking real food, I’ve made chicken stock before, and even roasted a whole chicken. But for most of my married life we’ve lived on chicken nuggets, and if I was going to make “healthy” chicken I would get a bag of frozen chicken breasts or tenderloins. It was a completely different experience to get a whole chicken, pull the gizzards, etc out of the “cavity” as they call it, and even worse to see the neck still attached to the body!!!!
I finally got over my little episode, put the chicken in the pot, put the lid on, and let it simmer all day long. It ended up being a delicious soup, probably one of the best homemade soups I’ve ever made. Definitely one of the healthiest!
As I reflected on this, I was reminded that chicken doesn’t come in a bag of parts from the freezer section at the grocery store…. A chicken is a live animal. A person raised that chicken, then processed it and sold it to my family to eat. I have dreams of homesteading, but as an animal lover, I would probably have to stick with keeping chickens for eggs as opposed to their meat!
A positive thing that resulted from my chicken soup incident was that it reinforced the importance of knowing where our food comes from. Completely random thought, but while we were watching “Napolean Dynamite” as a family, we came upon the scene of Napolean and Pedro working at the chicken farm. It brought up an opportunity to show the boys the difference between a large commercial farm vs. the small free range method. My sister helps out at a small farm, so we have the chance to take the boys there occasionally to see the chickens, turkeys, horses, etc.
Here’s the recipe if you want to try it at home!
Cleansing Chicken Soup (The Maker’s Diet for Weight Loss by Jordan Rubin)
- 1 whole or cut free range, pastured or organic chicken
- 3-4 quarts filtered water
- 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 med onions, coarsely chopped
- 8 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2-4 zucchinis chopped
- 1 pound green beans
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 4 inches grated ginger
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 bunch parsley
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2-4 Tbsp sea salt
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Remove fat glands and gizzards if you’re using a whole chicken. Place chicken in a large stainless steel pot with the water, vinegar,garlic, ginger, salt, cayenne pepper, extra-virgin coconut oil, and all veggies except parsley. Let stand for 10 minutes before heating. Bring to a boil, removing the scum that rises to the top. Cover and cook 8-12 hours. The longer it cooks, the more cleansing it will be. About 15 minutes before finishing, add parsley.
Remove from heat and take out the chicken. After it cools, remove the meat from the carcass, discarding the bones. Drop the meat back into the soup. You may puree for even easier digestion.
So, do you ever get grossed out when cooking meat?!