I’m a big fan of long, drawn out cooking, yet not a huge fan of crock pots because I’m difficult. I used a roast chicken (recipe here) for this, but you can use a rotisserie chicken if you want to skip the heavy lifting yourself.
You need the following:
- A pot
- A strainer (or colander if you don’t have one, but they’re cheap and useful, so I recommend getting one)
- A chicken (I used half a chicken as I’d eaten the other half already, but a full chicken is fine)
- 1 baby bok choy
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1/4 cup onion
- At least 1 full bulb of garlic
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Many much water
Make sure the chicken is at least cool enough to touch, refrigerated is better still. Pull all the meat of the carcass and store it in the fridge. You’ll have a sad-looking little pile of bones, skin and cartilage. Put it in the pot. Cut off the ugly ends of the carrot and celery and add them. If you have a new onion, cut off the top and bottom and skin it, and add those to the pot also. Add the whole garlic bulb, only removing the excess “paper” from the outside. Add the vinegar, pepper, thyme, sage, rosemary (fresh if you can, but don’t be a snob, the stuff from a jar does just as well) and a bit of salt (not too much, maybe a teaspoon). If you’re like me and hold on to the pan drippings of your meats, add that to the pot, too. Anything that comes off the chicken will add flavor.
Fill the pot until the ingredients are just covered in water, then put it on the stove on high. Once it reaches a boil, set it to medium high and simmer (or “simmer” if that’s you stove setting. Appropriate name, right?) Go do other things for several hours, checking on it now and then. I usually let it reduce 1/3 then add more water. The longer it cooks, the more flavor you get out of the skin and bones. Don’t taste it at this point, it’s diluted and tastes like wet chicken, which is about as awful as it sounds. As it cooks, occasionally mush the vegetables with a potato mashed or large spoon to get as much flavor out as you can.
Reduce it by almost half. Now set the strainer over another pot or large bowl and pour the broth through. Give it some gentle mashings, rinse the pot, then pour the strained broth back in. Set to medium heat and add the chicken. Chop the celery and carrots into whatever size you like and add them. Add the onion, cut thin and then down the middle so they make long strings. I’m diabetic, so this is what qualifies for noodles for me.
Simmer until the vegetables are nice and tender. Chop the firmer parts off the bottom of the bok choy and add them. In about 15 minutes, they’ll be soft, and you can remove the heat and add the chopped leaves. Add salt to taste (I used truffle salt because I am snooty). Let it set for 5-10 minutes. The heat of the soup will cook the bok choy without overcooking it so it will be bright green, not drab like canned spinach.
Ladle it into a mug or a bowl and enjoy.
“Enjoy” is an order. I will hunt you down if you do not.
Note: If the soup starts to cool and form “skin” on the top, stir it back in! That’s collagen (same stuff they use to make Jell-O and inject in faces) and it’s not only pretty decent for you, it adds flavor and gives the broth a nice thick texture.