At the first sign of sniffles, I think many of us become nostalgic for Mom to provide the first dose of medicine: hot soup. You can feel the love and care as you sip the tasty broth. It actually relaxes the body so all energy can focus on healing. A comforting bowl of soup can soothe the soul and restore our well being.
For this part of our Chicken Soup Series, we are looking at how getting back into the kitchen and cooking our own food is a cure for the ills of the current food system. Dr. Robert Graham speaks to this in his TEDxManhattan talk, “Fare wellness: back to our roots.”
Dr. Graham reminds us that food is medicine and medicine is food and eighty percent of chronic diseases are preventable by lifestyle changes. Connecting food to health requires unconventional prescriptions of real foods, 365 days, three times per day. As Dr. Graham says, we have to “get in the kitchen and cook to prevent disease.” Prevention is a powerful tool. Take your health into your own hands, eat your medicine and make this Chicken Noodle Soup from Chef Michel Nischan.
A soup is only as good as it’s broth. The technique in this recipe comes from cook Edna Lewis, called by Chef Nischan as one of America’s greatest cooks. Lewis, “learned to cook with the bounty of the local harvest and she never compromised her strong convictions to use only the freshest and purest ingredients available.” You can taste the quality and care put into each spoonful of this comforting soup. Just like mom used to make.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP by Chef Michel Nischan, 2015
1 (3-31/2-pound ) chicken
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 fresh thyme sprigs
4 cups water
2 1/2 ounces egg noodles
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the chicken into 10 to 12 pieces using a sharp knife or poultry shears. Salt them lightly.
Heat a 4- or 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. When hot, put the chicken pieces and onion in the pot and stir constantly for about 5 minutes to sear the chicken on both sides. Add the thyme, cover the pan tightly, and reduce the heat to low. Let the chicken cook undisturbed for about 20 minutes. At this point, the chicken will have released enough liquid to nearly cover the chicken pieces. If not, cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the water to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Drain the chicken broth into another pot or a bowl and set it and the chicken aside to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin. Tear or cut the meat into bite-size pieces.
Skim the fat off the surface of the broth. Return the defatted broth to the pan and add more water if you don’t have 5 to 5 1/2 cups. Add the egg noodles, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until the noodles are tender. Remove the thyme sprigs, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Brittany Barton is the creative behind SparkleKitchen.com. She offers real food recipes, sustainable living guidance and inspiration for others to become more sparkly versions of themselves.