How to Make Medicinal Chicken Soup

How to Make Medicinal Chicken Soup

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  1. No one ever made the bold claim that any specific food—at least one you’d enjoy eating—would cure gout, or saddle soars, or even hemorrhoids; yet everyone has known for time out of hand that chicken soup, while it may not be a cure, certainly lessens the discomfort of the common cold, and may encourage a speedy recovery. Of course, this remedy is far more effective when taken internally, preferably orally, for it would doubtlessly clog even the widest bore intravenous catheter and applying it as a topical balm would just be a ridiculous mess. Besides, you’d have every cat and dog in your neighborhood clawing at your door, and God help you if they get in!

    Fresh ingredients are essential to the effectiveness of this brew. I have included powdered substitutes in the recipe, but I strongly suggest you make the extra effort to buy and use the fresh alternatives, unless you’re making the soup for someone you don’t particularly like, in which case who cares.

     

     Feel free to add whatever vegetables you like in soup (carrots, celery, snow pea pods, etc.) that you happen to have on hand. However, the soup will be delicious and nutritious as is without them.

     

     You can get away with omitting the Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, but I don’t suggest it. Campbell’s makes a fine chicken noodle soup, and it helps to bulk up the recipe. If you do leave it out, you will have to add more chicken stock.

     

     Other than peeling and grating the ginger and garlic (which I admit is a major pain in the gluteus, but worth the effort unless you suspect that your patient may be a serial killer, in which case it might be unwise to piss him off), the recipe is quick and easy and will make enough soup to last your invalid several days, at least.

     

     When it comes to the chilies, it is always best to use fresh if you are going with Mexican peppers such as jalapeno or serrano. These will add a moderate amount of heat, but be careful because it is what I call a "creeping heat," meaning that the more you eat, the hotter it gets. You can make it easy by using dried chili flakes, but I prefer using dried Japanese chilies (chili Japanos) or a tablespoon or two of my Homemade Chili Oil. Japanese chilies produce an "instant heat," meaning they are very hot right away, so use caution when adding the chilies or the oil. But try not to omit it: the spiciness helps to clear your patient’s sinuses.

    For this, you will need:

    • 1 large can (16 oz.; or two 10 oz. cans) Campbell’s’ Chicken Noodle Soup plus half a can of water
    • 2 cups homemade Chicken Broth (or 2 cans Campbell’s Chicken Broth Concentrate plus one can water, or 2 cups water and 2 tsp chicken bouillon)
    • ½ chicken breast, cooked and diced into ¼ inch cubes (*optional*)
    • 1 pack Top Ramen (any flavor; or virtually any noodle can be substituted)
    • 2 tsp each of Lemon Juice, Sake (or cooking wine/sherry) and Soy Sauce
    • 1 heaping Tbs. finely grated fresh Ginger (or 1 tsp ground dry Ginger)
    • 1 heaping Tbs. finely grated fresh Garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
    • Minced peppers of your choice or chili oil, to taste
    • 10-15 whole fresh basil leaves (*optional*)

     

    The procedure:

    1. In a large pot with a lid, add the Campbell’s soup with the water and chicken broth (or Campbell’s Chicken Broth, or more water with bouillon), cover and simmerover medium heat; add the noodles and continue simmering until the noodles are soft. NOTE: Do Not Add the Flavor Packet if using ramen noodles.
    2. Add soy, lemon juice and cooking wine; cover and bring back to simmer.
    3. Cook for five to ten minutes, then turn off the burner and let the pot sit, covered, for at least 20 minutes to allow the noodles to absorb as much fluid as possible.
    4. Restart the burner to medium heat and bring the soup to simmer.
    5. Add the remaining ingredients (ginger, garlic, peppers). Cover and simmer for 10 minutes more.
    6. Add basil leaves, cover and continue simmering for 2-3 minutes, until they are tender.
    7. Place the diced chicken in the bowls and spoon the soup directly over them (by doing this, the breast meat will not be overcooked).

     

    As an afterthought, you may scramble one or two eggs in a bowl and drizzle them into the pot of boiling soup at the end of cooking for an egg-drop effect if you wish.

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