INT. MR. R.’S KITCHEN–DAY
The contents of the kitchen seem to be emptied onto the counters. Caryn is sorting through cookware and utensils, trying to decide what to bring with her on the upcoming trip.
Mr. R. enters, wearing sweats and a t-shirt. His hair is rumpled and there are dark circles under his eyes.
What happened to you?
I don’t feel well. I think I’m getting the flu.
The flu? In May?
My head feels like a balloon filled with cement.
He rubs his eyes with the palms of his hands.
But you’re shooting next week. You can’t be sick!
He stumbles back towards the door.
Yeah, well, I am. Call Lauren and tell her.
INT. MR. R.’S BEDROOM–LATER
Mr. R. is curled up in a ball on his bed, sleeping peacefully. Caryn enters with a tray, steam rising from a bowl in the center. He rolls over at the sound of her.
I made some soup.
(face in pillow)
I’m not hungry.
Yeah, well, eat it anyway.
He groans and sits up. Caryn places the tray on his lap. He picks up the spoon and stirs the rice and tender chicken into the broth. Reluctantly, he takes a sip. The tart lemon cuts through the deadened taste buds. Caryn waits. He takes another sip.
Okay, okay. I’ll eat. Go away now.
She leaves the room, a bit of smugness in her gait.
The tang of lemon juice adds a new dimension to classic chicken soup. Adjust the amount of juice according to taste. The soup will thicken slightly the next day and the rice will soften, but it still tastes great. Really, I love this soup.
1 onion, whole and peeled
3 celery stalks, whole
3 carrots, sliced
1 3-4 lb. chicken
10-12 cups of water
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 cup rice, raw
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1. Place chicken in large stock pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, water and 1 tsp. of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken falls off bone, 45 minutes to an hour.
2. Remove chicken and cool in a colander. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and set aside. Discard celery and onion. Strain carrots and set aside.
3. To defat broth: pour broth into a large ziploc bag. Hold upright for a couple minutes to let fat rise to the top. Snip off one end of bag and pour broth into a bowl, stopping just before fat level is poured out. Repeat with fresh bag and remaining broth.
4. Return broth to stock pot. Bring to simmer. Add rice and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Return chicken and carrots to pot. Add lemon juice and remaining salt. Simmer for 5 minutes to blend flavors. Garnish with fresh lemon and serve.
Serves: I don’t know…a lot.