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Fidz’s pain continues and nobody can figure out what’s causing it though the latest diagnosis is that its a nerve pain. When the pain is out of control, he has no appetite and doesn’t even want to think about food. What I’ve found to be a real boon when he can’t eat is chicken soup.
Almost every mother, Jewish or otherwise, advocates chicken soup when you’re sick and for most of us it’s a great comfort food. Fidz being Italian, likes chicken broth with either egg pasta or rice and a generous sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan. Sometimes, he likes an egg stirred in so that it separates and cooks in the hot broth. This is called stracciatella which comes from the word straccia meaning little shred.
Obviously, chicken soup is nutritious but some years ago, an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal ‘Chest’ showed that it reduces inflammation as well as congestion in the respiratory tract, so it really is good for a cold! The bones release calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and trace minerals, all of which are good for your bones. The glucosamine and chondroitin released from the tendons are good for your joints. The gelatin is apparently good for your digestive tract. This together with the fact that you’re getting liquid into your system and preventing dehydration makes chicken broth a super food not only for a sick person but for all of us.
Needless to say, I make a large pot of broth and freeze it in small containers so it’s always available when we need it. I make it with raw chicken carcasses (which are cheaply available from many butchers), onion, a couple of carrots, one or two sticks of celery, bayleaf, peppercorns and parsley. All are put in a large pot, filled with water and simmered for about 3 hours. The foam which gathers on top must be skimmed off as soon as it forms. The same can be done with beef bones. In Italy, stewing beef on the bone or tongue is often used and the meat eaten with olive oil and capers after the broth is done. This is called lesso and is popular in northern Italy. My niece’s mother-in-law who is Jewish says that the best chicken broth comes from using a whole Kosher chicken and of course the chicken can be eaten hot or cold afterwards. She even told me where to get Kosher chicken so this is going to be my next attempt in the broth department.