Dear god, I feel like I have been to hell and back without even getting out of bed. I am sorry for my long absence but the inevitable happened. After days of soothing Alex's coughs, aches and pains I fell victim to Sydney's strain of the flu. I haven't had the flu for 5 plus years and really have no memory of how bloody awful you feel when it grabs you and sucks you down into flu hell. To make my suffering even worse I had Alex right there with me, coughing and spluttering.
Seriously, the last thing you want to do when you are in the throws of flu hell is get up in the middle of the night and sooth your poor sick child.....aren't I someones poor sick child? Every mum on the planet knows what I am talking about and every mum has to do what I did- suck it up and make sure they are comfortable THEN throw yourself back in bed and pretend you are the only person that exists.
1.5 kg whole chicken
2 brown onions, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
10-12 sprigs of lemon thyme
5 parsley stalks
2 button mushrooms, sliced
3 teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups carrot, peeled and diced small
1 cup celery, diced small
200g spaghetti noodles, broken in half
Wash chicken with cold water to remove excess fat and juices.
Place into a large saucepan and add onions, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon thyme, parsley and mushrooms.
Fill with cold water until it is 1-2 cm above chicken and bring to the boil.
Once boiling turn heat down to a simmer place a lid on to keep cooking temperature even and cook for 30 minutes.
Chicken should now be cooked- remove chicken with tongs being careful as the legs will be loose, allow to cool then proceed to pull off all the meat.
Add one teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and steep for 5 minutes (just let is sit).
Place a strainer over a large plastic bowl and pour in stock.
Wash out saucepan then refill with your stock and bring to the boil.
Add 2 more teaspoons of salt, noodles, carrot and celery.
Bring to the boil and cook until pasta is el dente.
Add shredded chicken meat, check seasoning and serve.
Steeping the stock before adding the noodles and extra vegetables allows all the flavours to combine and develop before adding more ingredients.
I like to cook the pasta in the stock to incorporate the starch.
If you feel like an extra flavour lift, some freshly ground chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice tastes really yummy.