Thursday, October 22, 2009

Food as Medicine

"The meat taken should be that of hens or roosters and their broth should also be taken because this sort of fowl has virtue in rectifying corrupted humours." -15th Century

Chicken soup has been used for centuries as a remedy for colds, the flu and other ailments, respiratory illnesses being top on the list. Beware of store-bought chicken soups as most contain large quantities of sodium and other preservatives, which if you are eating the soup for healing will completely defeat the purpose. Making your own chicken soup isn't all that time consuming and your body will be thankful for it while the seasons change.

If you want to go all out, make your own stock! It takes time, so set aside an entire afternoon. You can freeze it up to three months, which basically means you have on demand chicken soup medicine for the majority of the Texas winter. I like this recipe here, and it gives you a great reason to learn how to roast your own chicken, which isn't nearly as complicated as you may think.

If this is all just too much for you, store bought broth is absolutely fine, just read the ingredients and pick as low sodium as possible.

Easy and Healing Chicken Soup ala Erika Jeanne
2 quarts chicken broth
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery
as much garlic as you can handle, 4-5 large cloves is what I use
*garlic is especially important during the winter months
one carton of small white button mushrooms, chopped
1 package of chicken leg quarters, you want the bones and the skin
*get more chicken if you want more protein
Olive oil, amount is up to you
1/4c flat parsley

Seasoning Suggestions:
(side note: I was taught to cook with seasonings by adding them in until I felt uncomfortable about it, it's really never led me astray. Taste and smell your concoction often while adding flavor to the soup, less is always more the longer something sits on the stove)
*rubbed sage
*ground thyme
*lemon juice instead of salt
*ground pepper
*cayenne pepper (GREAT FOR THE FLU AND COLDS)
Start with pinches and gradually increase. This recipe should become your heirloom :o)

Chop your veggies first and set them aside. In a large soup pot throw the onions in by themselves, no need to prep with oil and saute until the are just about translucent. Throw in garlic and saute around for a minute or so, just until you can smell them both combining. Add in the carrots and celery with a quick pour of olive oil. In a separate saucepan brown the chicken quarters in olive oil until the outsides are mostly cooked. You want the chicken to cook the rest of the way through in the soup. Add in the broth to the onions, garlic, carrots and celery, give a quick stir and allow to heat up. As the broth starts to simmer a bit, throw the chicken quarters in and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pot.

Cooking time should be 45 minutes to an hour(or all day if you have the time), you can reduce the heat to almost nothing and simmer for 2 hours if you so desire. The longer it sits the better it tastes, really. Once the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes or so, remove it and shred the meat into thin strips using two forks. Don't remove the skin or bones, keep all that stuff in the soup until you are ready to eat it. You want the fat, you need the fat, the fat will keep your body strong while it defends itself. Do. Not. Be. Afraid. Of. Fat.

Stir the soup every so often, taste it a lot and add seasonings as it cooks. Once it's all done, give to a sick friend, or if you are the ailing one, eat as much of it as you can stomach and then *PASS OUT* for as long as possible. You can freeze the soup for future ammo too.

Please post your own variations on the chicken soup recipe in the comments!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I am making this right now! Smells delicious. :) Thanks for posting the recipe!