Northeast Times

Chicken Soup and Salad

A de­li­cious bowl of chick­en soup is a great way to help fight colds.

Is that Aunt Mar­garet be­hind the pot­ted plant blow­ing her nose again? Was Uncle George clutch­ing a pile of crumpled tis­sues while blot­ting his sore, red nose? Could that sneeze from cute, little, baby Math­ilda (while you were closely in­spect­ing those ad­or­able dimples) pos­sibly be full of germs?

Yikes! And you betcha! ‘Tis the sea­son – and I don’t mean Christ­mas. Colds, flu and sore throats are lurk­ing every­where – it’s sick­en­ing. Be­ware of hand­shakes and hugs. To kiss or to kiss-off – that is the ques­tion. 

As a bona fide germa­phobe, I have a few germ gems to share with you. Did you know that sneezes travel about 100 mph and a single sneeze can put 100,000 germs in­to the air? Also, as many as 5 mil­lion bac­teria are ex­changed dur­ing a kiss. And, let’s face it, even though hand­shak­ing was prac­ticed as far back as the 5th cen­tury BC, where it was re­cog­nized as a ges­ture of peace by show­ing that your hand held no weapon, it might be wiser to give Uncle George a bow, a nod or a fist bump in­stead of shak­ing his tis­sue-clutch­ing, germ-in­fes­ted hand.  

If you hap­pen to get am­bushed and struck with the sniffles, don’t des­pair. This is one fight where it pays to have a chick­en on your side. Chick­en soup will make you feel bet­ter. Be­sides be­ing an amaz­ing com­fort food, chick­en soup does provide health be­ne­fits. It really is good for you. Al­though not a cure for colds, it of­fers some re­lief of the symp­toms by help­ing to break up con­ges­tion, and af­fords a ton­ic for body and soul.

I use root pars­ley in my chick­en soup, and feel something is truly miss­ing if it is omit­ted. Al­though used fre­quently in East­ern European cook­ing, root pars­ley is not as pop­u­lar here. My Gram’s soup just would be in­com­plete without it. Found in the pro­duce sec­tion of your loc­al su­per­mar­ket, root pars­ley looks like a white car­rot with pars­ley top. Use both the root and the leaves.

The fol­low­ing is my re­cipe for chick­en soup, which I made last week for a sniff­ling mem­ber of my fam­ily. No need to wait un­til you’re sneez­ing and sniff­ling, though, to en­joy this soup. It’s got the umm-umm good thing go­ing any­time.

CHICK­EN SOUP

3 quarts wa­ter – (or more to cov­er chick­en) in a large soup pot

1 cut-up chick­en and ad­di­tion­al legs or thighs, skin re­moved (4-5 lbs.)

1 Tb­sp. salt     

4 cloves gar­lic, chopped

2 onions, chopped

3 stalks cel­ery (leaves are great), chopped

3 car­rots, chopped

1 cup fresh curly pars­ley (or 1/2 cup dried)

1 root pars­ley, root split, leaves chopped (Clean and freeze re­mainder for later use)

Salt and pep­per to taste

-Fill large soup pot with wa­ter and bring to boil.  

-Add salt and chick­en pieces.

-After the soup comes to a second boil, turn down heat, con­tin­ue to cook. Skim off and re­move foam as it rises in pot.

-Mean­while, peel and chop ve­get­ables (peel root of pars­ley as you would a car­rot).

-When foam is com­pletely re­moved (10-15 minutes), add chopped ve­get­ables.

-Al­low soup to cook, sim­mer­ing gently, for 1-1½ hours un­til chick­en is cooked thor­oughly. (Cook­ing the bones slowly im­parts fla­vor to the soup)   

-Be­fore serving, re­move chick­en pieces to a sep­ar­ate plate.

-Serve soup with rice and/or noodles.

It’s doubt­ful that you’ll fin­ish all of the soup. No prob­lem. Just let­ting it sit overnight in your re­fri­ger­at­or will im­part more fla­vor to the broth, and will al­low ex­cess fat to con­geal on top of the soup for easy re­mov­al. You can freeze some soup for an­oth­er time or serve it with some of the leftover chick­en that you turn in­to chick­en salad. Soup and sand­wiches make a great combo.

CHICK­EN SALAD

2 cups chick­en, chopped

1 cup cel­ery, chopped

2 Tb­sp. fresh pars­ley, minced (1 tsp. dried)

1/3 cup may­on­naise (vary to taste)

½ tsp. tar­ragon (op­tion­al – de­li­cious, faint an­ise fla­vor)

½ tsp. Old Bay season­ing (op­tion­al)

¼ cup chopped wal­nuts (op­tion­al)

½ cup apple, chopped (op­tion­al)

Salt and pep­per to taste

-Mix chick­en, cel­ery, pars­ley, may­on­naise, salt and pep­per, and you’ve got the fillings for a great sand­wich. Add the re­main­ing in­gredi­ents, and it’s a sen­sa­tion­al one.

-Mak­ing a good chick­en salad is a little like pick­ing a hus­band. Choose wisely and use your own dis­cre­tion. The first four in­gredi­ents are ne­ces­sary to make a good chick­en salad, but after that, you’re on your own. Hope­fully, no re­grets!

Eat well, live long, en­joy! ••

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053)

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