World Chef: My grandmother was right, food is medicine food

Hippocrates has good advice for getting through a cold, wet Midwestern winter. In 400 BC, this father of modern medicine is reported to have said, “Let food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” It took us more than 2,000 years to begin to follow his advice.

says Neil Barnard, MD, co-chair of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of Food for Life.

“Most people don’t think of food as medicine, but in fact it is the biggest medicine we are exposed to.”

Whenever you feel depressed or sniffling and sneezing, follow Grandma’s advice and make a pot of chicken soup. Dr. Stephen Renard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, using his grandmother’s chicken soup recipe, discovered that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties. (Although he couldn’t identify the cold-fighting ingredients, he thought it was likely the vegetable.) Without interfering with the healing properties of infection-fighting white blood cells, the soup kept them from causing too much inflammation, the source of the cold. and flu symptoms.

The key to great chicken soup is great chicken, vegetables, fresh herbs, and slow cooking. Look for plump white skin (not yellow), bouncy pink meat, and runny chicken. The best hens get hormone- and antibiotic-free feed, and live in clean, light, and uncrowded cages. For the best soup flavor, look for older chickens that have been kosher-cured; They are killed by hand and bled quickly, immersed in a cold water bath to remove the feathers and quickly cooled, buried in salt for an hour and rinsed in cold water. The salt acts as a brine that draws out impurities, enriches the flavor, and fills the bird. Real Amish brands follow this process.

Winter provides valuable time to prepare whole chicken broth or make bone broth from leftover turkey or chicken bones. Vegetarians may use onions, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, thyme, and parsley stalks for a great broth. Freeze the broth in quart containers for ease of use. Depending on your imagination, your homemade stock or broth can turn into various soups all winter long. Chicken soup is comfort food. It will undoubtedly lift your spirits and lead to vibrant health.

To boost soup’s immunity-boosting properties, try adding these superfoods:

  • Brazil Nuts: Packed with selenium, just two or three times a day support the immune system to fight off bacterial and viral infections, cancer cells, the herpes virus, cold sores, and shingles. Finely chop or grind and stir into soup.
  • Cayenne pepper: This cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which increases blood circulation and relieves congestion. Sprinkle on it before serving.
  • Garlic: Fresh, whole garlic cloves contain a powerful antibiotic and antiviral called allicin. Simmer several whole, peeled cloves into soup for a subtle flavor or mince garlic for a powerful kick.
  • Gingerroot: Fresh, raw, dried, or cooked ginger root contains cold-fighting antivirals, which relieve cold symptoms such as nausea, fever, and cough. Peeled, sliced, or minced ginger can be stewed in soups, or added to ground ginger powder.
  • Ginseng: This tonic and adaptogenic energy booster increases resistance to stress and stimulates the immune system. The dried root is simmered in soup.
  • Onion family: Red and yellow onions and leeks are highest in quercetin, a powerful flavonoid and antioxidant, and in other antibiotic compounds. Quercetin prevents the reproduction of some viruses. Raw onions can open up the sinuses and relieve mucus from bronchitis and asthma.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: The extremely tasty shiitake mushrooms contain antiviral and immune-stimulating properties that boost the production of interferon, which fights cold and flu viruses. Chop it and simmer until it softens in the broth.
  • Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, escarole or bok choy: Leafy greens are major regulators of inflammation. Cut it into strips or chop it up and stir it into the broth. Cook until tender, 5 to 7 minutes, and serve.

Classic chicken broth (aka soup)

Vegetable, seafood, meat, or poultry broth is usually clear and boiled for a shorter time than stock. When the broth comes to a simmer, you will notice that a greasy foam will float to the surface. Blend it to get a more pure broth.

4 to 6 servings

3-1/2 lbs. Chicken washed in cold water

1 pound chicken legs

6 med. Carrots well washed and divided

4 med. Celery stalks, divided

1 large onion

1 small bunch of Italian parsley, washed

1 small shallot, halved lengthwise and rinsing between layers

Place the chicken in a large, narrow, tall saucepan. (Can be cut into pieces.) Add cold water to cover, about 3 quarts. (Add more as necessary to cover.) Bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce heat, and for a very clear broth, simmer, with a slight bubbling, for 1 hour. If the broth is boiled very hard, it will become cloudy. Skimmed foam rise to the top and discard.

Cut half the carrots, half the celery stalks, and the whole onion into 1-inch cubes. Add the vegetables to the pot, along with the parsley stalks. Continue to simmer until chicken is very cooked through, 2 to 3 more hours.

Drain the chicken and put it in a bowl. Strain the broth into a clean bowl. Discard cooked vegetables. Put the broth in the fridge overnight. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones. Discard skin, bones and hair. Save the meat and keep it in the refrigerator.

The next day, skim off and discard the fat that forms on the surface of the broth. Bring the broth to a boil over medium heat over medium heat. Cut the remaining carrots and celery into thin slices. Cut off the tough green part of the leek and discard it. We cut off the soft white and green part. Add vegetables to the broth. simmer until tender, 10 minutes.

Cut corned beef into large pieces and add to hot soup. Finely chop the parsley leaves and add. Taste the soup and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Ladle soup into individual bowls and serve hot.

Greek egg and lemon soup

4 servings

4 ounces of homemade chicken broth

1/3 C. arborio rice or medium-grain white rice, rinsed and drained

2 large eggs

Juice of a large lemon, to taste

Chopped Italian parsley

Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to boil. stir in rice. Simmer the soup until the rice is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Take the pot off the fire.

To serve: Heat soup until hot and turn off heat. Whisk the eggs, half the lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Put ½ cup of the hot broth into the bowl while whisking gently. While whisking the hot soup, pour the egg-lemon broth mixture into it. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice. Garnish with parsley. Serve hot. Reheat the soup over very low heat, not boiling. If the soup boils, the eggs will curdle.

Poultry bone stock (aka bone broth)

This broth is made from the collagen bones, neck, back, and wings. Poultry stock/bone broth cooks in 8 to 12 hours while beef can take 24 hours or longer so that the gelatin and trace minerals are released from the bones. Up to half of a chicken or turkey can be necks, backs, wings, legs, or thighs. The more bones you use, the thicker the stock will be when refrigerated. Reserve and freeze all roasted poultry bones. When you get enough to fill the pot, cover it with cold water and carry on.

Yields 2-1/2 to 3 quarts

4 pounds of chicken bones and pieces: roast chicken bones, chicken back bones and chicken wings

1 ounce of apple juice or white vinegar

3 to 4 qt. Filtered water

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 large carrot cut into cubes

2 stalks celery, diced

Stems of 1 bunch Italian parsley or curly parsley

Pour the bones, vinegar, and water into the stock pot. Good tasting well water or filtered tap water will produce the best flavor. Bring the saucepan to a boil over medium heat over medium heat.

Skim stock for the first hour. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting.

Check the bowl occasionally, and skim off the foam/fat that collects on the surface; Add more cold water as needed during cooking to keep the bones covered. Keep the broth on low heat for 4 hours.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, and parsley stalks. Simmer over 2 to 3 hours.

When the stock is cooked, cool for 15 minutes and strain. Place a mesh strainer over a large saucepan. Pour broth into it. Get rid of bones and vegetables. Prepare an ice bath by filling a sink or tub with cold water and ice. Place a bowl of broth into an ice bath. Stir regularly until gravy has cooled to about 50°F, 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the cooled stock in a bowl to the refrigerator, or pour the broth into smaller pots; Chill overnight. Remove the fat that has hardened from above. Transfer stock to airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate the broth for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 6 months. To save freezer space, simmer gravy on the stove until reduced by half. Mark on the freezer container that the broth is concentrated and needs to be diluted.

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