I just got my second COVID-19 shot and am expecting the worst. Several friends have told me that the final dose knocked them out for several days. That’s about the last thing I need, with deadlines to meet, and dishes to prepare in my kitchen (if you are going to write about it, you have to cook it, right?). Who can afford to take a few days off just because they are achy and sore? Not me.
But I am not intimidated, I have a secret weapon. Did that get your attention? My secret weapon when it comes to getting sick is nothing more than chicken soup, the Jewish grandmother’s remedy for all that ails you. “Nothing more” makes it seem like a trifling, but a properly made chicken soup is loaded with the things that an ailing body needs, lots of healthy fat and protein. It’s a super boost of good things that your body craves. I have forestalled many a bad cold with a piping hot chicken soup.
I’ll give you my recipe in a moment, but I have to tell you that this soup won’t help you at all if you just dive into a big bowl. The trick is a small cup of mostly broth every hour or two. And make sure it is steaming hot. Tepid just won’t do. The hot soup is soothing, and the nutrients are reviving and healthful. Be dutiful about it and I think that you will be feeling better soon.
Season the best quality whole chicken inside and out with Tony’s (Winn Dixie has the best). Bake it for 45 minutes at 375 f. Remove and allow to cool. Sauté diced onions (and or shallots), celery, carrots, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers in butter and olive oil, seasoned with red pepper flakes, more Tony’s, and a pinch of black pepper for 20 minutes. Debone the chicken. Add a quart of chicken stock and a few cups of water to the veggies, add a glass of nice dry wine if you like, and then add the chicken bones and skin. Simmer for an hour. Remove the bones and skin. Add the chicken meat, taste, and re-season as needed. Simmer for 10 minutes.
This soup can be served as it is, or with rice, noodles, or dumplings. Just remember if you are feeling poorly, 1 small cup, once an hour.