Thar she Blows!!!
Most of you that follow me know how I feel about prepping for the week ahead. Hey, we are ALL busy people! And yeah, I too like to sit and binge watch shows. I don't always get to the dusting and the laundry or, for that matter, a menu for the week. However, I feel a bit better knowing ahead of time what I'm going to cook. It's just one thing off my mind! Even better? If I've got some of the basics already chopped and ready to import into one of my famous lazy-chef-one-pan-meal! Top that with a meal that is already prepped! You heard me right! A meal I've already prepped and have ready to go in the chill chest.
Let's face it. Tis the season of colds. The air is getting dryer (in California it's called the Santa Ana's), the seasons are swinging wildly from hot to cold (Also CA) and things are suddenly coming out of the woodwork that have been dormant all this time (Oh, a quick dash of cold and damp followed by dry winds...thanks California!) It's not surprising that our bodies get a little wonky and we start doing the honky nose blow! So when you are around all of that and cannot avoid events unfolding, get prepared so you DON'T have to worry about cooking while you are feeling miserable!
Cue the best thing for a cold: Chicken Soup
My language of LOVE is food. I love having healthy meals prepared for my family. It's really all about me. I am so busy I just don't have time to stop and think about what to cook for dinner. If it is already prepped I can deal. This week I decided to have a big pot of chicken soup ready to go in the fridge. Here's what I did:
Saturday evening I baked up 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs. I seasoned them simply with salt, pepper and some garlic powder. In my oven it was 30 minutes at 350 degrees for full cooked chicken thighs. I let those cool down on the sheet pan and then stored them in the fridge for Sunday. While they were baking up I chopped up 4-6 celery stalks and peeled carrots into nice bite size chunks. I also pre chopped one more onion to add to the one I had already prepped that week. I put all of these into a glass container sealed tightly and popped them into the fridge.
Sunday afternoon I prepped a couple of meals: veggies to bake up for that evening and the chicken soup to have during the week. I already had my soup veggies chopped. I just needed to warm up some olive oil in a big pot and add my veggies to the heated oil. I sprinkled the veggies with salt and pepper and stirred them occasionally, minding the level of the heat so they didn't burn. While they were cooking down I was breaking the chicken meat up into bite sized pieces and setting them aside. Once the veggies were soft and the onions were translucent I added 5 crushed cloves of garlic, thyme, oregano and chili pepper flakes to taste. I stirred all of this up until the garlic was fragrant (not burned!) and added 4 cups of low sodium chicken stock and three cups of water. I then added in my chicken and brought all if up to a boil. I reduced the heat to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes. I tasted the broth and decided to add my secret ingredient for a little acid: Dijon Mustard! About 1 to 2 tablespoons. You can continue to season as you like. Let all of this cool down and ladle the goodness into ball jars that seal up well. Store them in the fridge and enjoy when you need it during the week!
Stay healthy my friends! Cooking is NOT hard and boy does it save you time and money!