Mother in law's chicken broth

nutritious chicken broth for poorly people

This could also have been called grandpa’s chicken broth (after my mother in law’s father) but it’s something I always associate with my husband’s mum so that’s what I’m calling it.

My son has been really sick. He went off to foreign climes on a school trip a month ago and ate something dodgy. The result was severe food poisoning that actually turned into something else and meant he was poorly for a couple of weeks on his return; long after the poisoning had left his body. He couldn’t keep any food down whatsoever and had lost a lot of weight.

The mother in law arrived last week for a few days. ‘Don’t worry,’ she said to my small boy (he’s six foot three and plays in the front row in rugby but obviously he’s still my little toddler), ‘grandma’s here’. A few hours later she had made him this broth and it was the tastiest thing he’d had in weeks. And it smelled delicious. Warm on his tummy yet gentle and because it was just liquid it meant, because he could keep water down, there was no chance of it returning some time later.

It also had so many nutrients in it. Something he had been severely lacking for too long and meant he wasn’t getting any goodness inside him to fight off the beasties. It fed his body but it also made him feel cosy, looked after and warm.

This recipe makes enough for about four cups of broth. What we also did once he’d drunk the broth and could stomach actual food, was to take the chicken off the bone and to blend it with some boiled water with the vegetables for a nutritious, thick soup.

Recipe for mother-in-law’s chicken broth


3 chicken thighs, skin and bone on

1 large carrot

1 leek

half an onion

1 stick celery

one third of a chicken stock cube

boiling water to just cover the chicken

salt and pepper


Place all the ingredients in a small casserole dish or a saucepan. Add a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour. Serve the liquid in a mug.

You could also add a little rice to the broth.

how to make simple chicken broth
how to make chicken broth