Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tea Party Chicken Soup

"Let them eat chicken soup!" The phrase "let them eat cake" (attributed to a callous Marie Antoinette upon learning the peasants were complaining of not having any bread) is credited with launching the French Revolution. Now The 99 Cent Chef has given this 18th Century rallying cry a 21st Century twist!

Since Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats, and especially the Tea Party, are against ObamaCare, I offer them my freshly coined slogan to use against the complaining uninsured and uninsurable during the next election cycle. Plus, this affordable and easy recipe is perfect for printing on the backside of any campaign posters!

So, "Let them eat Chicken Soup!" And meanwhile, let's throw a Tea Party Chicken Soup soiree!

Fortunately, The 99 Cent Chef's delicious and healthy recipe is affordable to everyone. Now it may not cure breast cancer, or treat your coughing infant, but my Tea Party Chicken Soup will go down easy and tide you over until our National Health Care Act goes into effect in 2014. And just in case the newly elected House Majority manages to dismantle (and make the law as unpalatable as possible with expensive add-ons), or block the bill, or the Supreme Court strikes it down -- no need to fret, my chicken soup freezes fine and can be thawed out for future use!

At present there are millions of American citizens without health care insurance, either because they're deemed ineligible by insurance companies and HMO's, or can no longer afford to buy it. Now that's a lot of 99 Cent Chef home-remedy Chicken Soup to consume.

So if you are still looking for work, or if your COBRA Continuation Health Coverage is about to expire, don't fret. Anyone who cannot afford a doctors visit can make my nourishing cheap dish. And you are not disqualified because of a pre-existing medical condition from partaking in my healthy chicken-in-every-pot meal.

I always find chicken for way less than a dollar a pound; and this is the perfect recipe for using up all those leftover veggies in the fridge. I purchased chicken leg quarters from my local Latin market for 69 cents a pound; and I've bought chicken breast for 99 cents a pound, on sale, at regular chain grocery stores. The main veggies I use are also the cheapest -- onions, carrots and celery.

So until one of the most prosperous democracies in the world decides to join Canada and most of Europe in providing universal heath care, be sure to eat plenty of my Tea Party Chicken Soup -- a sure cure for what ails you!

Go ahead and dig in, and sorry I don't do house calls. Now, while some of my readers will disagree with my heath care stance, you cannot repeal the delicious flavor of my latest entree!

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)
  • 3 chicken leg quarters - okay to use chicken breasts (about 3) or any poultry parts you prefer. I removed the skin from half of the pieces. And I leave the chicken on the bone for a more flavorful broth.
  • 2 ribs of celery - sliced.
  • 2 carrots - chopped.
  • 1 whole onion - chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - from jar or fresh chopped.
  • 1 bay leaf - you can use any favorite herb (dried or fresh) for extra flavor. I grow sage and basil.
  • 8 cups of water - or water plus your favorite stock. Or you can throw in a couple of chicken bouillon cubes for an extra intense chicken flavor.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

*Optional additions when soup is almost done (adding 2 extra cups of water): 1/2 package of pasta (about 7 ounces). I got "Melon Seed", but any small elbow, bowtie or orzo, will do -- or add 1/2 cup of brown or white rice.

In a large soup pot add 1 teaspoon of oil to coat the bottom. Over a medium/ high heat cook chopped onion until soft, about 5 minutes. (Photo shows chicken browning with onions -optional.)

Next add chopped garlic, and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Finally add carrot, celery, herbs, chicken, and eight cups of water and/or stock (make that 10 cups if you are adding pasta or rice later). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken from soup and allow to cool on a plate. Peel off  the cooling meat from the bones. Chop or shred meat into bite sized pieces. Add chicken back to soup and heat through. Ready to serve when hot.

* My Tea Party Chicken Soup is adaptable. You can add potatoes to chopped veggies. Cauliflower or broccoli is a nice addition, during the last 15 minutes of cooking. I am growing nutritious collard greens this winter so I added a chopped handful.

* Add 1/2 package of pasta (about 7 ounces) -- or you can use 1/2 cup of white or brown rice. Add rice or pasta during the last stage during chicken shredding. Cook according to package directions (be sure make soup with 10 cups of liquid instead of 8, because pasta or rice sucks up broth like a sponge).


I am the working poor. said...

I'm one of those uninsured Americans. I live on the other coast and we don't have 99 cent stores. However, your recipes are still fantastic. Thank you for all of these delicious recipes. :)

99 Cent Chef said...

Thanks for your comment "working poor". I am glad to help & happy you visit my food blog.

Fortunately, this recipe is not dependent on dollar stores, and any uninsured Democrat or Republican cook can make it - coast to coast!

Mother Rimmy said...

Simple and any recipe that helps me use up those leftover veggies heading for the compost bin is definitely a money saver!

Alisa said...

Im a big fan of your delicious recipes.I was planning on making soup today and this is what I'll be making today.

99 Cent Chef said...

Hi Alisa, hope the recipe works out for you. My next soup recipe is a Mexican meatball soup called "Albondigas" ;-P

Kim said...

I've been admiring the recipes on your blog for quite some time now and just wanted to say "hello". I too don't have "99 cent" stores where I live but certainly every budget conscious person can be inspired by how you go about planning meals based upon the bargains you find each week. I admire your creativity. Thanks for sharing what you do!

Kaykay said...

Unfortunately, ruining the quality of health care for all Americans isn't the answer to our health care issues, and this is what the current plan will do. No one in this country will have quality health care except for the President and Congress.
It doesn't matter to me whether you post this comment or not, I just wanted to express that although it sounds really great to provide quality health care to all Americans, ObamaCare won't work, because it has been tried by other nations, and there are inherent problems that limit the availability, and if any portion of Americans can't get the health care they need, when they need it, it's really no different than the existing system. Billions of dollars will be wasted on a system that is no better than what we have. That will be a crying shame!

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Kayka, don't you mean Romneycare? Let's do the right thing - it's morally wrong banning citizens from the healthcare system because of pre-existing conditions. It's a flawed bill Obama pushed though, everyone knows that -- it's the first step. As for other nations, German, Swedish, English, Canadians tourists take one look at our limited coverage and shake their heads, and are more than happy to return to their universal (if flawed) medical coverage.

Billions wasted are worth the price for a healthier and more productive workforce. (And don't forget 8 years of trickle-down and deregulation brought us to the brink of depression.) Try to think of the benefits, not the Ayn Randian self-centered dystopian society our latest Presidential millionaire nominees are pushing.

We live in an imperfect world, but let's try to make it better and healthier for everyone. Not just those with government, military and union healthcare coverage.

Cindy Dahlgren said...

Yay Billy!!! You are my hero not just for food but your spot on comments regarding the Affordable Care Act!!!

I am a 99 Cent chef too and love your recipes. I make my chicken soup with canned chicken (cheaper) and use chicken broth and the tiny chipped up angel hair pasta you can buy for 39 cents. best chicken soup EVER!!!!

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Cindy, thanks for the compliments & your version of chicken soup. Hopefully future policies will improve Obamacare so we have the option to be healthier.

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