Monday, May 23, 2011

Thank you, Anthony Bourdain (Recipe: Chicken Barley Soup)

I really, really hate taking the Baking Toddler to the doctor.  First let me say that Baking Toddler is a great toddler.  He is happy, listens, minds well, bubbly and very hyper...that is until we walk into the doctor's office.  Then he turns into the devil.  The screams.  The sobs.  Ridiculously non-cooperative and what I can only imagine as the worst patient at NB Pediatrics.  I dread taking him.  DREAD IT.

Enters mysterious fever.  Mysterious fever would not go away for days and I threw in the towel and made an appointment.  Reluctantly I told him we were going to see the doctor in which he eagerly replied, "Doctors help ears, Toodee saw Doctor."

This probably does not make any sense, so let me explain.  He had months of ear infections and ear related issues and therefore we went to the doctor every 2 weeks for almost 5 months.  So he had visited his fair share of doctors.  Toodee, however, is a character on Baking Toddler's favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba.  And guess what, the "Doctor" episode was awaiting patiently in the DVR.

PUSH PLAY.  He was entranced.  He wanted to watch it again...and I let him hoping to send love doctor vibes to his little body.  Dr. Tony was cool and nice, and yes, I'm talking about Anthony Bourdain!  So thank you, Tony Bourdain, you profane, racy, insult throwing, sarcastic culinarian, because of you my child was an angel at the doctor's office for the first time in a year and a half.

When Baking Toddler is out of commission it seems like I'm out of commission too.  No time.  No time to clean, to cook, to work, to catch up on emails, blogs or FB (because that is the important stuff, right? *snark-snark*)  That is why I rely on my ridiculously easy, shortcut, cheating, but super scrumptious Chicken Soup.

I use a grocer's rotisserie chicken, fresh vegetables that I have on hand and whatever frozen vegetables need to be used up at the moment.  Sometimes I'll add barley or wild rice, it just depends what is in stock in the pantry or in the fridge.  It is a time saver for a parent and so, so good.  Cranky Toddler Approved!!!

Ridiculously Easy, Shortcut, Cheating, Super-Scrumptious Chicken Soup
serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 leek, white part only, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (in a pinch I use my grocer's (HEB) original rotisserie chicken)
1 parmesan rind
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup barley (optional, mine was a leftover, already cooked)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
  1. Over medium heat saute onions, carrots, celery and leek in olive oil until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook one minute more.
  2. Add thyme, chicken and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer.  Add parmesan rind and let soup simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add frozen peas and simmer for 10 more minutes or until peas are cooked.  Add barley and heat through.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.

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