Chicken Soup for the soul

Chicken soup – a simple and yet powerful dish that can kick your body into remission by boosting the immune system. Let me rephrase that. It has healing powers and can kick most viruses ass – if it is made the right way and using fresh ingredients.

You can, of course, buy chicken soup on a can or as an already-made dish from the local supermarket. However, I seriously doubt that those creations will have the same benefits and strength as a homemade chicken soup.

Nothing can fight cold or flu so well as home-made chicken soup. Mother always make, or at least in most case, the best version. However, I must admit that my version is pretty darn good.

Chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for your nasal cells, giving your nose the relief it needs.

Particularly, the onions in the soup contain protein, calcium, and especially sulfur, decreasing swelling and aids in reducing nasal congestion.

Another significant ingredient in chicken soup is carrots. Carrots enable our bodies to produce vitamin A, which strengthens our white blood cells and, in turn, allows us to better fight off infection.

Dr. Stephen Rennard, MD, a researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

Chicken soup has played an important role throughout history and is actively used in many cultures. They all have different variations and added secret ingredients. The common thing with all versions is that used as a remedy for common colds across many Mediterranean areas and a prominent feature in the Jewish kitchen.

Chicken soup served in a hospital during the Spanish Flu.

According to old scriptures and books, an Egyptian/Jewish physician, Rabbi Moshe, prescribed chicken soup for various other illnesses such as constipation, leprosy, and even hemorrhoids. Perhaps leprosy and hemorrhoids might be a stretch!

Over the years, I have attempted to make chicken soup for the family, especially around flu season. Mostly with mixed success. They were either too watery or too mushy. At times, I completely overdid the spices. I could never really strike a good balance. Nevertheless, the family always ate the soup with a smile.

My latest attempt, this recipe, seems to hit all the marks – at least for me.

Just a word of “warning” – it takes time to make a nice hearty and immune-boosting chicken soup. It just doesn’t happen in 30 minutes. The more love and attention you give this dish, the more effective it will be.

The required ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (smoked)
  • 1 can of Fat Tire beer
  • 1/2 cup of jasmine rice, rinsed (not boiled)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 3″ (inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 sweet potatoes, small and cut into thick slices
  • The juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons of Coco Aminos (excellent substitute for soy sauce)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 quarter gallon of chicken bone broth (storebought or homemade)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 3 celery stalks

I spent two days making my hearty chicken soup. As I said earlier, it takes time to prepare a hearty chicken soup, especially if you smoke the chicken and use the carcass to make a powerful broth.

You make full use of the entire chicken, and there’s a sense of achievement when you taste the results of your labor.

Let’s get cooking

Day 1

Smoke or grill your chicken to your liking. just make sure the internal temperature is 165 – 175F

You decide how and what spices to use. You can spatchcock the sucker, use a rotisserie, attempt to grill it lying down, or riding a beer can. Plenty of options, and you are the boss of your kitchen!

Personally, I smoked the chicken using the chicken throne, with a can of Fat Tire beer. I flavored the outside with the awesome rubs from Meat Church – in this case, I used the ‘Gospel BBQ Rub,’ a universal rub.

Riding the throne with a Fat Tire beer

The chicken throne method takes about 60-70 minutes.

When done, let the chicken cool off for at least 30 minutes. No particular reason other than picking the meat off when just off the grill is rather painful if you have office fingers like me.

Pick the bones clean and place the bones + skin, wings, etc., in the pot. The pot has to be big enough to hold all the bones, as well as water.

Put the meat in a Tupperware box or a regular bowl, and place it in the fridge.

The Broth of Power
  1. Cover the bones with water, and heat the water.
  2. When it boils, turn it down to a gentle simmer.
  3. Let it simmer for at least 5-6 hours – DO NOT let it boil.
  4. After the time has passed, add the carrots, onion, celery, and simmer for another 3-4 hours.
  5. Use a cheesecloth to strain the broth. Be careful as it is hot.
  6. Strain it 2-3 times until you have a nice colorful and yet see-through broth.
  7. Set aside for day 2.

Cooking note – Do not discard the cooked vegetables. You need them for your chicken soup.

Day 2

This step takes about 30-40 minutes

  1. Place the picked chicken, rice, garlic, ginger, and 4 cups of water in a large pot
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn it down to a gentle simmer
  3. Simmer the mixture for about 12-13 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked
  4. Add the sweet potatoes
  5. Cook (simmer) for about 18 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  6. Add the lemon juice and the Coco Aminos.
  7. Chop the vegetables from day 1, and add them to the soup
  8. When the dish is almost ready, add the homemade chicken bone broth.
  9. Heat the soup and serve

The mix of ingredients. The power of ginger and garlic. The energy from the bone broth. This is a perfect chicken soup that will heal most common illnesses.

Of course, I can not guarantee that it will heal you, but it has ancient magic that will boost your immune system and help you get stronger.

Time to kick some serious winter blues ass. Fight back a common cold, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and reclaim your life.

Have a wonderful day and week!

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