In case you haven’t already noticed, I’m pretty darn perfect. And if you need additional proof of this, I will indulge you: NO WISDOM TEETH. That’s right friends, feast your eyes upon a member of the highly-evolved 35% of specimens of the human form (wikiFACT!) Now, to some people this might not seem amazing. But anyone who has been laid on their back below halogen lights, with their mouth pried open, forcefully poked and prodded with sharp metal tools, while classical music played in the background à la Clockwork Orange and, in a moment of lucidity, heard the muffled mention of “impaction,” “eruption,” or “extraction” followed by THE PAINNNNNN, understands the significance of my privileged state.
Rest assured, I do not take this blessing lightly. So when I learned that one of my best friends was rushed to the oral surgeon for an emergency wisdom tooth removal, I was ready to take up my duties. After the drugs started to wear off and headaches subsided, Operation Feel Better was in full effect. The day’s activities included: PJs, comfy couches, smoothies, Arrested Development and a falsely-advertised “romantic-comedy” that was low on the funnies and high in existential crises (not ideal on Vicodin).
We were well on our way to a full recovery, when my little chipmunk let it slip that she’s been on a liquid smoothie diet for 3 days. Gurrlfriend needed NUTRIENTS. Veggies and chicken are the perfect fix to ensure a fast recovery from any ailment. This soup has never let me down and it’s all thanks to the cream of wheat (high in iron!) It’s one of those things that my family always did and I assumed everyone else’s did too, but the puzzled expression on my friends’ faces indicate that is not the case. But do not doubt me, I have natural selection on my side.
Cure-All Chicken Soup
1 Rotisserie chicken
2 celery stocks
3 garlic cloves
2 dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons of dried herbs (oregano, thyme, etc.)
2 tablespoons of salt, or more to taste
1/4 c. cream of wheat (as pictured)
Method for broth:
- Put in a large pot, the cut up veggies in large pieces (I quartered everything), crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves, herbs, and salt.
- Separate the meat from the chicken carcass and put aside. Everything that is not meat (i.e. bones, including legs and wings; fat; skin) goes in the pot with the veggies.
- Fill the pot with water, until the carcass is completely covered
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour
- Strain the broth with a mesh strainer
Method for soup:
- Put 3 cups in a smaller pot to continue making the soup. The rest can be put in tupperware and refrigerated for later.
- Over medium heat, add 1/4 c. of the cream of wheat, whisking to avoid clumps for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
- If you’re dealing with a mouth wound, I suggest using the veggies that were cooked in the broth because they will be very mushy and go down easy. Otherwise, for a more al dente bite, roughly chop new carrots, celery, and onion; quick sautée then boil in the broth until desired doneness (5-10 mins).
- Roughly chop or shred the reserved chicken meat and add to the soup
- Give’r a good stir and ladle into bowls.