My pantry

Tragic Love and Farmhouse Chicken Soup Remedy

June 17, 2012

I’ve dated some truly prized dicks in my time.

I’m not referring to appendages, but to appalling character. I never purposely intended to date penises, but it would appear that I have shown some rather poor judgment of character in my past. I wish someone had have told 18 year old me that bad boys were a fool’s pastime. Being a know-all, I doubt I would have listened, but that’s by the by.
I reckon the contenders for the Top 3 All Time Most Shithouse Boyfriend would have to be as follows :

Mr Double Jeopardy

Oh, my Lordy, this guy was a great player. He had a whole double life goin’ on.

It must have been fairly exhausting for the poor chap, in retrospect, as I know that maintaining one relationship is hard enough work, so cultivating two high maintenance ladies for a year, one of whom (me) he co-habited with, probably entitles him to some kind of award.
He was also incredibly industrious with a secret career as a drug dealer. I would have loved the opportunity to agree to be the Bonnie to his Clyde, but alas, I was ‘that woman’ who has no idea what’s going on right under her nose.

I dare say that if he did receive an award it should definitely consist of a monstrous pair of brass balls mounted on a plaque, because that’s what he needed to pull off such a feat of duplicity. Anyway, it ended spectacularly with a suicide attempt (his, not mine), and a stint in therapy (mine, not his).

The truth of the matter is, he was probably so exhausted from his ruse that he just wanted to sleep the eternal sleep. His family whisked him away and I never saw him again.

The Greek Hitler
I thought this dude was so cool. He had a 1960’s Dodge, and a ’50’s BMW motorbike. He wore cowboy boots and vintage leather jackets, and worked in a nightclub.

I moved into his pad within two weeks and strapped in for a fairly fast and furious roller coaster ride of mind bending. Some people just love power play, and this cat could have powered the grid to the whole Eastern Suburbs. He was so damned controlling. If he played guitar like he played me, he would have been a cross between Hendrix and Slash but without the ‘fro.

My mum came to stay and saw the whole embarrassing lot and very subtly left him a note when she departed. It read ‘Do not try to clip the little bird’s wings, as she’s just learning to fly’. Then, she not-so-subtly told me she thought he was a dick.
God bless that woman.

I bought a one way ticket to the UK.

Mr Anger Management Fail

Holy guacamole, this dude had a temper!

Once he flipped his shit he couldn’t control himself and I stupidly stayed with him for a year and a half. WTF was I thinking?

I was young, he was sexy, and he told me I was nothing without him…and I believed him for a minute. The dichotomy about this charming fellow was that he made a cracking farmhouse style chicken soup. Ironic, huh?

Chicken soup is hailed as the most nurturing of all liquid meals and this thunderous lad was about as nurturing as Hurricane Katrina. He made this soup by boiling chicken wings and adding some veges and there was something so wholesome about it that even though we broke up with a very loud bang, I still thought about his soup.

It was so long ago but over the years I tweaked the formula and now I have a winning recipe. So much so, that recently a girlfriend of mine said she could eat this soup every day for the rest of her life.

I’d actually like to dedicate today’s post to her. Not only has she known me throughout all of these tumultuous dalliances of my twenties, before I hit the jackpot with my Mister Right, but she has just bought home twin baby miracle girls. Her husband has been away for two weeks, and she has coped magnificently, even coming to visit me in the ‘burbs, two 15-week-olds in tow, and freshly washed and blow dried hair. Ah-may-zing!

Now you have the recipe, my dear friends, go forth and eat this soup every day of your life.

Read the recipe through first as I kind of do the stocky bit first so as to not get soggy vegetables.

Yield : a big pot full

You will need :

  • 1 kilo chicken legs, skin on
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped, but with the tops and leaves left whole
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped, the green top part left whole
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a small handful of fresh thyme (2 teaspoons-ish dried if it’s all you have)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1 potato, skin on and chopped
  • a handful of beans, cut into 1/3

Throw your onion, celery tops and leek top into a big heavy based pot with a little oil. When they’re all fragrant, add your chicken legs and just start to get them a little browned. You don’t need to brown all of them all over, we’re just starting a little caramelisation process to release the sweetness of the veg and the yumminess of the chicken. Add your stock and your barley, throw in your thyme and bay leaves and pop on a lid for about an hour or until the chicken is coming away from the bone.
Using a slotted spoon, pull out the celery tops and leek and disgard. Put the chicken into a separate bowl and allow to cool.
Pop your potato into the soup and allow to cook for 5 minutes before adding the rest of your vegetables excluding the beans. The beans go in in the final three minutes so they keep a little al dente. Pick your chicken meat and add to pot.
If you want to skim the fat off, you can either refrigerate it until the next day so it;s all on the top, or you can lay a piece of kitchen roll on the top of the soup and it absorbs into the paper……I just eat it. Fat equals flavour…..sorry, Michelle Bridges.
Season to taste. Serve with crusty bread.

I like to add lemon juice and Tabasco to mine.


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  • Reply Bunny Eats Design June 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Boy, I could do with a chicken soup right about now.

    It sounds like you had some mistakes to learn from. I like the sound of bad boys on paper, but unless he also has a heart of gold, it is never worth it. The Koala can be naughty, but his heart is shinier than mine at times. I think selfishness has no place in a long term relationship. If you can both trust each other not to be selfish, then you will both look out for each other for ever.

    I love reading recipes that come with a story, but chicken wings in soup? He could have probably learned a thing or two from you. Legs are much better.

    I don’t mean to sound smug, but I never had a shithouse boyfriend. I guess the bad boy thing was too much for this Chinese girl with semi-conservative Chinese parents. Though in my parents eyes, I guess even The Koala will be a bit of a bad boy.

    Do you ever wonder what happened to shithouse boyfriends of yours?

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Bad boys are bad news full stop!! Cheeky Koalas are a much better plan, my friend.

      Yeah, it’s easy to keep a vague track on people these days. My bad boys aren’t very bright when it comes to FB privacy 😉

      Sent from my iPhone

  • Reply Lyn July 11, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I still often make your Mums dreamy Thai Chicken, vege, creamed corn and rice noodle “comfort food” soup. It cure’s all ailments…and if not, who cares? It’s INCREDIBLE 😉

  • Reply Zanni Arnot September 2, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I love a good chicken soup.
    I had a London boyfriend, who was these three things in one. He completely sucked. My previous boyfriends were more like drivel. Harmless drivel.

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