Oh! Do you have a slow cooker?
I highly recommend them. They are inexpensive and the appliance will pay for itself quickly, as you can get less expensive cuts of meat to taste better. It's also a joy to come home, when the day is done and you're exhausted, and food is ready and hot.
I don't really follow recipes but chicken soup
is simple. First, use a slow cooker liner. Trust me: they are a little pricey but it's a lot nicer than cleaning the bowl afterwards.
It's just about a standard package (so, maybe 4 pounds?) of boneless chicken
, cut small (cubes, rough chop, sliced, whatever you like. Go for maybe nothing bigger than the last two joints of a finger. Use fresh; make sure frozen chicken has thawed); carrots
(you can just dump in a smaller bag of baby carrots if you're pressed for time. If not, then same size and amount, more or less, will do). About the same amount and sizes for celery and onion
(any kind; I like Vidalias but it doesn't matter a lot). Add a can or smaller container of low-sodium chicken broth
. Then add water
to fill up the remainder of the cooker but leave maybe a half an inch at the top).
Cover and turn on high for 4 hours.
Leave; don't open the lid as you can scald yourself and also can increase the amount of time it takes to cook everything.
Serve over a starch - rice, noodles, potatoes, quinoa, whatever you've got on hand is fine. You might want to add salt. I recommend low-salt broth and then adding salt later as you have a lot more control over the amounts.
Add a salad and some bread or even a sandwich and you've got dinner. This will actually serve 4 or more, so put the remainder into tupperware containers, label them and include the date, and freeze them. If you're watching your fat intake, trim visible fat from the chicken before cooking and, afterwards, skim the bowl with some clean cheese cloth and you'll be able to get rid of most of the fat. It will also rise up and be pretty easy to skim and discard after it's frozen.
PS I recommend extra and freezing not only because it's a time saver to have around, it's also less expensive. Cooking for one can be rather costly, unit-wise.