The Lexingtonienne



Sick Day

Posted in: Recipes


As I mentioned yesterday, I haven’t been feeling so hot this week.



It’s just a cold. I’ve used two entire boxes of Kleenex, have “irrigated” my nasal passages with the neti pot several times, and propped myself up with about 16 pillows so I could sleep sitting up in order to breathe. You know how it goes.


I also had the interesting experience of having to define “sick day” for myself. I decided it means no working out, not going to Bar Method, no housework, and lots of rest in the hopes of expediting recovery.




Let’s be honest — having a cold is not a big deal. It just makes you feel so blahhhh. But I have had the good fortune to have a cold on the rare occasion of rainy weather in L.A. Do I have perfect timing or what?



So with my cold and with the rainy weather, nothing sounded better than chicken soup…



… which is so easy to make, you can even manage it when you have a cold and don’t want to do anything except sit around doing your Darth Vader impression.


And while I am not opposed to popping open a can of Campbell’s Double Noodle, homemade chicken soup is just on a totally different level, and it is unbelievably easy to throw together. I make mine with tarragon, which infuses it with a lovely, rich flavor that is at once comforting and a little sophisticated.


It’s just what the doctor (who, in this case, is also the patient) ordered. 🙂


1 lb chicken*
5-6 carrots, washed and peeled
5-6 celery stalks
1 medium onion
3-4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 bunch tarragon
1 bay leaf
3 32-oz boxes Swanson chicken broth
2 C (approx) egg noodles
Salt & pepper to taste

*You can use bone-in, skin-on or boneless, skinless. You can use dark or white meat or both. I made mine with chicken tenders this time because I didn’t want a gargantuan-size batch of soup, and the chicken tenders came in the smallest package — 1 pound.

Place chicken in a heavy stockpot. Salt & pepper it. Add:
– 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks, left whole or cut small enough to fit into your pot
– 1/2 the onion, cut into large chunks
– garlic
– 1/2 the tarragon, in large sprigs (no need to chop)
– bay leaf
– 1 box chicken broth, or enough to cover the chicken by about 1 inch

Bring to a simmer over high heat, then turn down the heat so that the liquid barely bubbles. Cook partially covered until your chicken is cooked through — the juices should run clear when pierced with a fork. This will take about 8-12 minutes for boneless, skinless chicken breasts (my chicken tenders took 8 minutes), or 25-30 minutes for chicken parts.

Meanwhile, chop and set aside:
– remaining carrots
– remaining celery stalks
– remaining 1/2 onion
– remaining tarragon (leaves only, no stems)

When finished poaching, remove the chicken to a plate or bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Set aside. Strain vegetables, garlic, herbs, and bay leaf from the pot so that only the chicken broth remains. (Discard everything but the broth.)

Add another box of chicken broth to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add chopped carrots, celery, and onion, and cook for about 15 minutes. Add several turns of black pepper. Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size chunks or use two forks to shred it. Reduce heat, add chicken and chopped tarragon to the broth, and cook over low heat, partially covered, for about 20 minutes.

Turn heat to high so that the broth boils, add egg noodles, and cook until egg noodles are done, about 10 minutes. Add more chicken broth as needed.

You can eat it right away, but of course, it’s even delicious-er the next day.

I think peanut butter crackers or grilled cheese is the perfect accompaniment. I mean, duh.


P.S. Happy Birthday, Jenny Lind!


  • Comment by HaleyD — October 6, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

    Feel better soon, Sis!

  • Comment by Maggie — October 6, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    hope that you feel better soon. The clue about curing a cold is…..if you treat it , it will go away in 7 days. If you do nothing it will go away in a week.!!!….but as we all know, chicken soup makes everything better. Be well

  • Comment by Coll — October 7, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    I hope that you are feeling better! Sending tons of hugs and kisses from the three of us 🙂

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