It like chicken soup...but BIGGER!
When I was a kid, we used to go to the Pickle Barrel restaurant on Leslie St. every Sunday. In the summer, my mom would order some sort of honkin' salad. And in the winter, she'd order chicken in a pot. It was literally chicken...in a pot. Along with a whole bunch of other stuff.
I had repressed that memory until yesterday after 30cm of snow, a two-hour drive to work (which is 4km away), and putting my feet up for the night was not happening anytime soon. I hadn't had time for my weekly grocery shop and, staring at the remnants of last week's shop in the fridge, I was at a loss. In no way could I envision making dinner.
But yet, it had to be done.
A lightbulb went on above my head in the shape of chicken-in-a-pot. I had no idea how to make it, what went in it, or what it would even taste like. But at this point, I had no choice but to try.
Chicken soup has been called the Jewish Penicillian for years. Turns out, its not just a saying. It is a powerhouse of healthy eating. Even if you've got picky eaters like mine who, "don't like the texture of cooked carrots," the broth itself can do wonders. Researchers have found that that liquid golden-ticket is chock-full-of anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting neutrophils. Neutrophils are extremely active during a cold or flu, which in turn, produce the mucous that irritates the nasal passages, the sinuses, and the throat. That's on top of the other health benefits of chicken soup, such as the collagen in chicken legs that lowers blood pressure, the mega-vitamins in the carrots and leafy greens, and the fuller-longer feeling you get from eating soup which contributes to weight loss.
What a delicious (dare I say genius) lightbulb it turned out to be. And easy, too! Thomas Edison would've been jealous.
Crock-pot Chicken in a Pot
3 chicken leg quarters
Any other leftover pieces of chicken. I used a pretty picked-over rotisserie chicken I'd bought a couple days earlier.
Three whole carrots peeled & cut into rough chunks (I no longer eat baby carrots but I'll save that conversation for another day)
Three stalks of celery, cut into rough chunks
One whole onion, peeled but not chopped
2 bay leaves
A handful each of fresh dill & parsley tied in a little bundle with string. (That way you can remove them later but still get the flavour of the herbs)
2 cups of any other veggies you think would be great in this dish. I used cauliflower, bok choy, and mushrooms.
Salt & Pepper
1. Remove all of the skin and as much of the visible fat as possible from the chicken, both raw and cooked (if using). Rinse well and toss in the crock pot along with the carrots, celery, onion, & bay leaves.
2. Fill with enough water so that its all just barely submerged.
3. Turn it on high for two hours & walk away. Go sledding or something or something.
1. Remove the chicken from the pot & set aside to cool.
2. Skim off all the foam and fat and anything else that doesn't look like it belongs in your pot.
3. Add in the herbs and veggies, along with a tsp each of s & p.
4. Turn it on high for another 30 min & shovel the driveway.
1. Separate the chicken meat from the bones, rinse it off, and put the meat back in the pot.
2. Warm it all up-this will take as long as it takes to cook your large-sized egg noodles.
3. Remove the herbs & onions & serve with the noodles. I let each person ladle their own so that they get exactly what they want.
4. Discourage seconds so you'll have leftovers for lunch the next day.