Monday, February 7, 2011

Chicken Tuesday--Soup (for MamaBear)

Chicken soup may well be the ultimate comfort food. Its soothing aroma and rich flavor brings back memories of Mom or Grandma lovingly stirring the pot in the kitchen. You may be surprised to learn that the Chinese consume more chicken soup than any other culture. Chicken soup is firmly entrenched as a traditional food in Ashkenazic Jewish culture, spanning the globe as Jews migrated worldwide. (See Matzoh Balls for Passover.)

This savory soup is also considered a peasant food, since it can be frugally whipped up from parts of the fowl which are not necessarily meaty but contain intense flavor, such as the neck, back, wings and the bones. After the meat of a whole
chicken has been used for one prime meal, the carcass can be transformed into an equally sumptuous and satisfying soup.

Is it Jewish penicillin?

The scientific verdict is still out on this question. It certainly seems to help those with colds and congestion, but may not necessarily be the best choice for an upset stomach unless it is fat-free.

Some studies seem to indicate definite healing properties of chicken soup while others indicate any hot soup can produce the same result. Doctors do seem to agree that a hot savory broth helps open nasal passages and soothe the throat for a period of up to half an hour. Sipping soup through a straw does not produce the same beneficial result as consuming the hot soup with a spoon. Clearly the vapor and aroma are important factors.

Clear soups provide necessary substinence and hydration while helping to stimulate the appetite. Certainly there is also a mental factor involved. Memories of home, being pampered by Mom with soup as a child, or just the warm feeling of the hot soup in the stomach strongly come into play. We all know that love is good medicine, and it is a strong component of soup.

from here
Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
What You Will Need<

  • Large soup pot with cover Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4" thick slices
  • 1 (6- to 7-pound) chicken
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 quart cold water, or as needed
  • 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
      Heat the oil in a brothpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. If there are any pads of yellow fat in the tail area, do not remove them. Add the chicken to the pot and pour in the broth. Add enough cold water to cover the ingredients by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Add the parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
      Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is very tender, about 2 hours.
      Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the parsley and thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Let stand 5 minutes and degrease the soup, reserving the fat if you are making matzo balls.
      discard the chicken skin and bones and cut the met into bite-size pieces. Add the noodles and cook until done, about 10 minutes. Stir the meat back into the soup and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
      Yield: 12 to 14 servings.

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