Chicken necks have many uses - most importantly for making GREAT chicken soup!
Chicken soup can slow down several of the inflammatory processes that make colds worse. Chicken soup exerts a direct effect on the immune system, making neutrophils (white blood cells released in great numbers to attack viral infections) less likely to congregate in the bronchial tubes, where they trigger swelling and excessive mucus production.
It turns out that chicken soup also contains drug-like compounds similar to those in modern cold medicines. One of these compounds, cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking, chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, which doctors prescribe for respiratory ills.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken (about 1.75 kg), cut into eighths, 4 extra necks
6 large carrots, cut into slices
6 parsnips (about 875 g), cut into bite-size chunks
4 medium onions, cut into bite-size chunks
4 sticks celery, cut into bite-size chunks
1 turnip (about 500 g), peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
10 cups water
3 whole peppercorns
1/4 cup loosely packed coriander leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
2 tablespoons curry powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen peas
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the chicken, neck and giblets and cook for about 15 minutes, or until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining drippings. Add half of the carrots, parsnips, onions, celery and turnip. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, water, peppercorns and half of the coriander and parsley. Cover and bring mixture to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, or until chicken is cooked through.
3. Cool the chicken in the stock. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Tear the chicken meat from the bones and discard the bones. Shred the chicken meat and set aside.
4. Strain the stock through a colander and discard the solids. Rinse the stock pot and return the strained stock to the pot. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight.
5. In a large frying pan or saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining carrots, parsnips, onions, celery, turnip, curry powder, garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
6. Meanwhile, skim off any congealed fat from the stock. Cover and bring the stock to the boil. Add cooked vegetables, chicken pieces and peas. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining coriander, green onions and lime juice. Remove from the heat and serve.
Enjoy and stay healthy!