Pediatric Alliance pediatrician, Dr. Brian Donnelly, informed readers of The Cranberry Eagle earlier this year about the potential benefits of eating chicken soup to relieve symptoms of the common cold:
Donnelly said when you have a fever, you may not feel like eating or drinking anything. So you want to try to eat and drink more to stay hydrated, therefore “feeding” the fever. But you shouldn’t starve a cold.
Eating chicken soup can actually help you feel better when you’re sick, Donnelly said. The sodium from the broth helps you retain fluids, and the chicken provides much-needed protein and other nutrients.
“Then if it’s made by someone who loves you, there’s that aspect as well,” he said. “I wouldn’t write that off.”
Every great chicken soup begins with a great roasted chicken*. Today we begin the process of making chicken soup by first creating a great meal all its own. I’m sure my grandmother wouldn’t mind me sharing her amazing (and simple) recipe.
Grandma Lola’s Roasted Chicken
One whole chicken (4-8 pounds, depending on who is coming to dinner)
Baby carrots (8 oz) — Buy a 16 oz bag — you’ll need the rest for the soup.
Celery (6 stalks cut in one inch long segments)
Onion (1 large white, Spanish, or Vidalia, cut into chunks)
Oranges (2 – halved, then quartered into chunks)
Garlic (Lots! After peeling off skin, keep cloves whole)
Orange juice — 2 cups
Water — 1 cup
Olive oil — 1 tablespoon
Salt (not too much!), pepper, herb rub (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme)
Directions: After removing the neck and giblets (save the neck for tomorrow’s soup, toss the giblets) and rinsing the chicken, pat dry the skin and place the chicken in a roasting pan. Rub the chicken with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt, pepper, and herb rub. Cover bottom of roasting pan with vegetables, orange chunks, and garlic (put a few of each inside the bird). Pour orange juice and water over the vegetables. Roast chicken without basting according to the directions on the package, using either the inserted pop-up thermometer or a meat thermometer to determine doneness (an inner thigh temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is done). Take the chicken out of the oven and rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Serving: The juice and vegetables at the bottom of the pan make an amazing gravy over stuffing or mashed potatoes. Save whatever meat, vegetables, and gravy you have left. And save the carcass! You are going to need them for tomorrow’s soup!
* The recipe for a roasted turkey and turkey soup is the same. Simply replace the oranges and orange juice with apples and apple cider.