Thursday, October 18, 2018

Flu Fighter

...not Foo Fighters, though they were in town the other night.

Last week, I had a case of the sniffles. Just a tiny bit of congestion, nothing to worry about.

Then, I shared a long aluminum tube with a bunch of people of varying states of health, followed by three days of thin, extremely dry mountain air and another stint in an aluminum tube. Yeah, not feeling so hot right now.

I do, however, have all the fixings for a soup that works well to clear out sinuses and make you feel a bit better. This morning I picked up some lovely brioche rolls at Panera (I'm still upright and mobile, but am anticipating a crash tonight - been through this before). Sickroom food is about to be prepared.

Flu Fighter Chicken Soup

Six servings

  1              pound  boneless skinless chicken breast
  2              tablespoons  olive oil
  1              teaspoon  garlic powder
  1              teaspoon  onion powder
     1/2        teaspoon  chili powder
     1/2        teaspoon  cayenne pepper
     1/2        teaspoon  dried oregano
     1/2        teaspoon  dried basil
  24            ounces  low-sodium chicken broth
  8              cloves  garlic -- minced
  3              stalks  celery -- diced
  2              each carrot -- diced
  1              teaspoon  dried rosemary
  1              each  onion -- chopped
  1              each  bay leaf
  1              each  lemon -- juiced
     1/4        teaspoon  red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375.

Season chicken breast generously with salt and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cayenne, oregano and basil, rubbing spices on both sides of chicken. Put on a large baking pan, and roast 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and cut or shred into small pieces.

For the soup, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat and saute onion, carrot and celery until softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes.

Add garlic and bay leaf and cook for one minute, or until fragrant. Pour in chicken stock and add pasta, if using.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until pasta is al dente. Add chicken, lemon juice and rosemary to the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Heat until chicken is warm.

NOTES: Add about half a cup of small pasta, if desired, at the indicated time.

This really is a lovely soup, warm and bright. Don't skip the lemon juice at the end, as that is what gives the soup a lift. I have a couple of pounds of chicken breast - I'm tempted to double the spices and put half the cooked chicken in the freezer, to save time the next time I need to make this. What I'm not sure of is whether all the herbs rubbed on the chicken will maintain their flavor if I freeze it.

Please, don't skimp on the garlic, either - yes, that does indeed read EIGHT cloves. Garlic is a cure-all. As an added bonus, you won't have to worry about spreading your cold to your loved ones (or being attacked by vampires) while you recover.

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