The cold virus is going around. I know because I caught it. In calling my doctor’s nurse, she said that it would take about 7-8 days to recuperate; that I should rest; drink a lot of fluids, and make chicken soup. That’s exactly what I did and I also looked up on-line to see why that “old fashioned chicken soup remedy” was so good for you. This is what I found out:
For starters, chicken has been shown to inhibit the production of neutrophils, white blood cells that eat bacteria and cause inflammation and mucus production (i.e. stuffy nose, sore throat, phlegm, etc.). This is important because while neutrophils kill pathogens, their antimicrobial products damage host tissues. Chicken contains cysteine, an amino acid that is thought to help thin mucus in the lungs, making it easier to expel. It sure seemed to help me. Herewith is a recipe that I used. I like it because it has a nice combination of rice, orzo, lentils; the spices seem to meld together beautifully; and it’s a dish that you can taste even when your taste buds are at their worst.
Whole Chicken Thigh Soup a la Margot
Actual Cooking time 1 hour
3 or 4 Whole Well Rinsed Chicken Thighs (With Skin Preferably)
3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme or ½ Tsp. Dried Thyme
2 Sprigs of Fresh Oregano or ½ Tsp. Dried Oregano
2 Tblsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley or 1 Tblsp. Dried Parsley
3-4 Bay Leaves
½ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (or more if you like)
1 Tsp. Panch Phoron( a Bengali combo of cumin, fennel, mustard, nigella & fenugreek)
Sea Salt & Ground Pepper to taste
2 Tblsp. Butter (I used salt free)
1 Tblsp. Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Sliced Thin
4 Cloves of Garlic Coarsely Chopped
2 Tblsp. Fresh Cilantro- Coarsely Chopped or 1 Tblsp.Dried Cilantro
3/4 C Rinsed Lentils
¼ C Brown Rice
¼ C Long Grain White Rice
½ C Orzo
4 C. Chicken Stock
6 C. Hot Water
- Heat butter and olive oil on medium high. Stir in garlic, onion, and Panch Phoron until garlic and onion are soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add hot chicken stock and water. Bring to a slow boil and turn heat to medium.
- Add chicken thighs and remainder of spices & cilantro.
- After 10 minutes add brown rice.
- After 30 minutes add lentils and white rice.
- After 50 minutes add orzo.
- Total cooking time is 60 minutes.
- Before serving, remove bay leaves and sprigs of oregano and thyme if you used fresh ones.
If desired, add chopped fresh spinach or kale to soup about 5 minutes before serving.
You also can add some chopped carrots about ½ way through cooking.
When serving/eating, you can squirt a bit of lemon juice on top or serve with lemon slices for guests to spritz themselves; and/or also serve or add a bit of freshly grated parmesan as an additional topping.