Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Chicken Soup

It might seem odd, but while Barack Obama was being sworn in, I was making chicken soup. Too excited to sit still, I did what I always do when I am in a heightened state—I went into the kitchen. When I’m happy, I cook. When I’m depressed I cook. And when I’m proud of our country, I make chicken soup, with the new president speaking in the background.

Like most mothers, I am a multi-tasker; the soup was inspired by my son Sebastien’s sickness, but also by my sense that it wasn’t enough to watch, to view. Obama is calling on all of us to do service. Well, the kind of service closest to my heart is cooking and caring for family and friends, so even though I had work to do and am fighting my own cold, I got my butt in the kitchen and did a little cooking. In honor of Obama.

I bought a pound of organic chicken thighs earlier in the day (I removed the skin but kept the bones) and tossed them in a big soup pot, with an onion, sliced in half, 4 cloves of garlic and a bouquet garni made up of 2 bay leaves, a handful of parsley, a handful of fresh thyme and a tablespoon of herbs de Province (the ingredients are tied up in a cheese cloth in a bouquet garni). I simmered the mixture for 1 hour. When the chicken was cooked through, drained the soup through a cheese cloth and mesh colander into a large bowl. I tossed the bouquet garni, the onion, and garlic and set the chicken aside to cool. I then put the broth back into the soup pot and separated the chicken from the bone, and put the into the pot as well. Added to this were two sliced carrots and a handful of egg noodles. I reheated the whole thing, bringing into a simmer for 10 minutes.

We ate it tonight for dinner, along with a whole wheat baguette from Blue Ribbon Bakery, which Steve picked up on his way home from bringing Sydney back from his school, PS3.

After dinner, we replayed Obama’s speech and I could finally relax—my family was safe and fed.

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