If you have been reading the newspapers or watching television, you are well aware that flu season is upon us. From looking at the latest map from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), it is rapidy approaching epedemic proportions. There is really nothing you can do to prevent getting the flu but you can minimize the symptoms and get well quicker and the best way to do that is through proper food and nutrition.
Everyone has heard the stories about chicken soup regarding the flu and colds. There is some truth to these stories. The fact is, there are nutritional elements in the chicken (the more natural the better) which can fight the virus. The other important aspect is what you put into the chicken soup with the bird. A few years ago at Casa de Cuisine, we were studying chicken stock and its relation with the flue and colds. So we did a food experiment. We made a batch of chicken stock a little different than usual. When we began to feel the symptoms, we began drinking it. Our recovery time from the flu was half than what is usually was and, the chicken stock was simply delicious!
The approach to this stock is very simple. Make your homemade chicken stock and you usually would. You do want to remember to brown your chicken pieces and scraps, as browning them will release the bone marrow easier and it will also give your stock a richer color and flavor. Next came putting in the fresh produce and here is where the real magic takes place.
When you add your onions and garlic to the stock, do not peel them. The skins of both the onion and garlic have not only tremdous flavor but they are also loaded with nutrients. To the stock you also want to add tomatoes and parsley, both of which have known virus fighters. Here is the big change, however, if you want to fight the flu. To the stock add a good dose of fresh ginger and fresh jalapeno peppers (or hotter peppers if you desire). Both ginger and peppers have been proven to fight both viruses and bacteria.
Here at Casa de Cuisine, our quick stock is very simple. There is no real recipes but here is how we make it. We place everything (see above) is a stockpot and add 8 cups of water. We bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook it one hour. We then remove and discard all the solids. We let the stock cool and then skim off any fat. It can't really get anymore simple.
If you would like to see a how-to slideshow of us making the stock, go to the Facebook page for ChefLarryEdwards (yes, all one word).
The chances are you will get the flu this season but you can also defeat it quicker than usual!