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Author Notes: I've been a flight attendant for 25 years, and early on in my career I flew ONE time with a crazy Captain on the 727 aircraft who was not only a pilot but a cook who had a love of simple, good food. Through a strange combination of people I ended up buying his cookbook: "Granny Karate's Kitchen" for about $20. This publication is devoted entirely to helping a man cook an impressive array of good-tasting food for the woman he wants to impress. Every recipe is very detailed, with a list of the ingredients, tools/pots/pans needed, and most of them advise the single gentleman to include in his shopping list a dozen red roses. The whole cookbook is a hoot, but for 25 years I have been pretty much only been making the chicken soup. Over the years I have tweaked the recipe to make it more flavorful, but no matter what the prelude to the soup in the notes at the beginning of the book are the best. Captain Carlson and Chef Kral address how to cook for a bachelor's sick lady friend:
'Maybe there is a woman in your life that is not really a woman in YOUR life. She considers you her best friend and confidant. (Don't you just hate that?) She's probably romantically involved with some other guy and has never had those feelings for you.
Your 'big brother' status is getting you down but what can you do? If you make a pass at her you might ruin your friendship, something you are not willing to risk. Try this:
One day you find that the love of your life has called in sick from work. She has a bad cold. What does every mother make for her kid with a cold? Chicken soup. Go home, whip up 'Granny's Chicken Remedy Soup', then take it over to her house. When she invites you in, DO NOT GO IN. I REPEAT, DO NOT GO IN! This is your chance.
Tell her you did not come over to chat. You couldn't concentrate at work because you worried about her. Tell her if anything ever happened to her, you would just die.
Tell her you could not imagine your life without her. Tell her your true feelings, masked by the caring about her illness. Then leave.
After you are gone, she will still have your words ringing in her ears. You can bet her present boyfriend didn't take the time to make her soup. He should have, for soon, he will be history.'
I've added some additional flavor, replaced water with broth, upped the amount of chicken and then threw in some chopped fresh kimchee for extra health benefits. After all, I gotta kick this cold. Enjoy! —CookOnTheFly
Serves 4-6 generous bowls
- 2 whole chicken breasts - about 1 lb.
- 3 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped
- 2 carrots, cleaned, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 yellow onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 6 tablespoons pearl barley, rinsed
- 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley, leaves removed. Keep the stems.
- 1 -3 dashes coconut aminos, soy sauce or tamari
- 10 cups chicken broth (I use Imagine brand, plus a combination of 1-2 cups of frozen leftover homemade chicken stock if I have it on hand)
- 2 small bay leaves
- 1/3 cup kimchee per serving, as garnish
- Prepare all the ingredients and have them in place.
- Pour the chicken broth into a large saucepot and bring to a boil.
- Place the chicken breasts, spices, chopped vegetables and parsley stems into the boiling broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, simmer for 30 minutes
- Remove chicken from the broth; slice or shred, and place chicken back in broth.
- Drain the rinsed barley and place in the soup.
- Boil gently for 1 hour and remove from heat.
- Ladle desired amount of soup into individual serving bowls. I put a ladle of soup into a strainer over the bowl and fish out the peppercorns and allspice. Then I throw the chicken and vegetables into the bowl. Top with 1/3 cup of chopped up kimchee, a dash or two of coconut aminos and some chopped parsley leaves.