I’m back from a 2 week break, although I can’t say I rested much – I was pretty much on the go the entire time, living out of a suitcase. I can’t complain though, I got to spend 4 incredible days in New York City supporting one of my oldest friends do what doctors said was “impossible” – completing the New York Marathon and in under 4 hours (3 hours 58 minutes 24 seconds to be precise)! She ran on behalf of Meningitis Research Foundation having suffered from the disease twice in the past (the second as a result of contracting Lyme’s Disease). Having know her since I was 12 years old, there was no way I wasn’t going to be there to cheer her on and keep her motivated! So off I went to the Big Apple where I also made friends with an awesome group of people, all in the same place for the same reason – shoutout to Team Purple for being awesome but the biggest shoutout goes to Devkee – an inspiration and all-round kickass superwoman!
Either side of this trip, I got to spend a few days in London catching up with people where I could, but essentially it was all systems go, and I felt horrendous upon my return to Italy which called for the mother of all Italian medicines – BRODO. Every Italian knows the wonders this dish does – no need for paracetamol, just consume a few litres of this and you’ll feel right as rain.
What’s important here is to try to get hold of boiling chicken rather than standard chicken – you can usually only get these at a butchers rather than in supermarkets. Boiling chicken gives the broth a lot more flavour than everyday chicken, which means you don’t have to spend time collecting bones from your roast dinners every week. The meat itself is a lot tougher than standard chicken and does take longer to cook – I would recommend keeping the meat and using it in a dish with lots of sauce if you don’t want it to go to waste (stay tuned).
This broth obviously goes amazingly with ravioli or tortellini, but, if you want to keep it light and easy, then any pastina will work great – I used farfalline which you can get in most Italian shops, or you can simply break up spaghetti into small pieces. I also like to add some parmesan onto mine when it’s ready and if I fancy some extra protein, I whisk up an egg and throw it in at the last second to make “Brodo alla stracciatella” (one for the blog maybe?).
However you consume this broth, rest assured it will make you feel 1 million times better and you will certainly be whipping this up to avoid any kind of cold or flu this winter! How do you like your brodo? Comment below!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours + pasta cooking time
Total time: 2 hours 5 minutes + pasta cooking time
475g Boiling chicken (roughly 2 medium chunks), with bones
1 Red onion, quartered
2 Large Carrots, peeled & halved
3 Celery sticks + Leaves, halved
1 Large Garlic cloves, lightly crushed
3 Tomatoes, halved
Handful of Parsley
1 Chicken stock cube + half if needed
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
Add everything into a large stock pot and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for around 2 hours with the lid half on.
Half way through, squeeze the tomatoes against the side of the pan to get out the juices. Give the broth a taste, and if it seems a little bland, add in the extra stock cube.
Stir occasionally and you will need to skim off the impurities that collect on the top – this will keep the broth as clear as possible.
After 2 hours, the chicken will be cooked and the veggies will be super soft – drain through a thin strainer to remove all the small bits and leave you with a clear and clean broth.
At this point, you can either leave it to cool completely and freeze it in smaller containers for another day. Or, if you want to eat it straight away, I would recommend boiling some small pasta in a separate pan for half of the designated cooking time, before adding into the broth to boil for the remainder of the time. This stops the pasta soaking up too much of the broth during the cooking process.