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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Chicken Broth for the Soul

by
Nicky Wells

Chicken Broth. What’s not to love? It’s tasty and nourishing, easy to make and delicious. It fills you up and warms you through, yet it’s not too heavy and it’s definitely not fattening. It’s versatile, too. Add some sweetcorn (whole or mushed) or Chinese cabbage, chillies or mushrooms for a different heat level and a different taste sensation. Carb it up with noodles or croutons, or enjoy it clear. The taste universe is yours to play with, but you’ll always walk away from a good bowl of chicken broth feeling cheered and satisfied and all-round happy. (And smug, too, because you’re extremely unlikely to overindulge on the calorie front).

Chick lit is just the same. Chick lit is chicken broth for the soul. It’s fun, and it warms you through, but it doesn’t require any seriously heavy lifting. The skill of the chick lit author lies in bringing you emotion in a light-hearted way, in making you laugh through the tears and cheer through the despair. Contemporary chick lit tackles all manner of hefty issues in addition to romance. I’ve read about bereavement and illness, loss, despair and heartbreak, but it’s done in a positive way that makes you feel better about life. And, of course, there’s always the happy ending that allows you to put down the book smiley and smug.

But there’s more, isn’t there? Everyone has a bit of a chick lit heroine in her. Well, okay, that’s a sweeping overstatement, I agree. At the end of the day, I can’t speak for everyone. Really, I can only speak for myself. But I know that I certainly have a bit of a chick lit heroine in me. I’m ditzy, seductive, funny, sexy, clumsy, supportive, warm, caring—and occasionally, I’m all of those things at the same time. Chick lit heroines help me discover myself and encourage me to try new things. You know, you read a scene and you think, wow, I wish I could have done that… I wish I could have said that, or reacted like that. And a short while later, you find occasion to do just that. Weekend mini-break with unscheduled dip in the pond, anyone?

Of course, we’re not all turning into imitation Bridget Joneses or Becky Bloomwoods. But don’t you think that reading a cracking chick lit novel has the power, even just occasionally, to change how you feel about things in your life? Doesn’t it give you hope? And happiness? Isn’t that simply amazing? And isn’t it even more amazing that all of that happens in a really fun, bubbly, cheerful way? The world is plenty gloomy, so we can all do with some chicken broth for the soul. Chick lit rules, I say! And now I have to go and make some chicken broth. I think today I fancy the hot and spicy version with chillies and noodles. How about you?


Nicky’s Favourite Chicken Broth Recipe


The stock
Throw any combination of the following vegetables, roughly chopped, into a large pot and cover generously with water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for two hours:

~Onion
~Leek
~Stick celery
~Brussels sprouts (uh-huh! Gives a delicious taste and you get all the goodness without having to actually eat ‘a’ sprout!)
~Garlic (lots of it!)
~Chilli
~Carrot

If you’re really adventurous, you could add a chicken carcass for the authentic taste. Me, frankly, I’m too lazy!

The Soup

Drain the stock through a sieve into a new pot and squeeze out every last drop of goodness. Place on the hob on a medium heat.

In a separate frying pan, fry up as much or little chicken meat as you’d like to put in your soup. I usually use three chicken breasts to feed four people, or four thighs (boned and skinned) for ditto.

 "It's really hard to photograph a soup and make
 it look good, but I assure you, it's yummy. Even the
kids ate the lot, Pak Choi and all."
Meanwhile, finely chop one small Pak Choi cabbage and throw into your now gently simmering soup. Add two or three handfuls of noodles. I usually use two or three nests of dried Vermicelli, which I crush roughly in my hand before adding to the pot.

Feel free to add a small handful of peas or sweetcorn (although probably not both, because you don’t want turn your chicken broth into a veg soup), or a few sliced mushrooms.

Now add the fried chicken and keep simmering away. For extra taste, add one or two chicken stock cubes (depending on the amount of liquid you got going there, check the stock cube instructions). When the pasta is nearly done, crack an egg into the soup. Break the yolk with a fork and stir round.

To finish, add soy sauce and pepper to taste. Serve with prawn crackers or crusty white bread.

Enjoy!

About Nicky Wells: Romance that Rocks Your World!

Nicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door.

Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!

Born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 and currently lives in Lincoln. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C. Like her leading lady, Sophie, Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!

Introducing the newest release in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy...
Sophie’s Encore

Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?

It’s all change for Sophie Jones—only this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.

Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.

Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…

Click to grab an excerpt


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