Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Sure-fire cure chicken soup

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Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them, and cook up a feast.

Balmy weather aside, it's still flu season, and there are plenty of people suffering symptoms, including Pete, who, not surprisingly, cures what ails him with chicken soup -- a recipe, he claims, that "has cured hundreds of people." It's cheap to make, too, promises Pete, who says he spent $12 for a whole Petalma chicken. And if you don't want to cut up the bird yourself, the butcher at Marczyk's is happy to do the dirty work for you. It's an easy, straightforward recipe, but you will need a pressure cooker. One word of advice from Pete: Don't skimp on the salt. "That's integral to the flavor," he says.

For the broth

1 whole chicken, minus the breasts, cut up (set the breasts aside for another use) 1 head garlic, peeled and diced 1 cup yellow onion, peeled and diced 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup celery, sliced About 10 parsley stems 4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 1 tablespoon salt, or more


Place all ingredients inside a pressure cooker, adding just enough water to cover the chicken. Lock the top and pressure cook the chicken for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, place an additional

1 cup diced yellow onion 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup celery, sliced

in a saucepan with a small amount of water.

Salt and pepper to taste, cover, and cook on medium heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but still have some structure, around 15 minutes or so.

When the chicken is done, strain the liquids and solids into a large pot, add the vegetables, and turn the heat on low. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. When the strained solids are cool enough to handle, pick the chicken off the bones and add to the large pot. If you want to add optional greens, like spinach or kale, add those now. Simmer to blend the flavors, and serve.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog.

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