Wednesday, February 18, 2009

cooking with a cold

So, I've most unfortunately come down with a cold. How naive of me to think I'd be able to get through an entire New York City winter without suffering through at least one. But, walk-in clinic, in, out, z-pack, fingers crossed, let's hope for the best.

Now, when I'm sick, I tend to crave everything but have the appetite for nothing. So last night, instead of picking up a can of chicken noodle soup (I'm sorry, I just can't), I decided to whip up some homemade soup of my own. And fast. Hello? Energy level? Depleted.

I picked up a package of Bell and Evans chicken tenders (less chopping, quicker cooking time) and just covered them in a pot with water and added two smashed garlic cloves, a big pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of chili flakes. Once that came up to a boil, I reduced it to a simmer and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Once the chicken was cooked, I removed it from the pot and placed it on a plate to cool. When cooled, shred the chicken with your fingers or two forks.
Dump the poaching liquid, clean out the pot, and fill it with an entire box of chicken stock (preferably organic and low sodium). Grate in a large clove of garlic and another heavy sprinkle of chili flakes (FYI, garlic and spicy things are supposedly decongestants). Bring to a boil. Once the stock is at a boil, add in a package of fresh or dried tortellini (or egg noodles).

About two minutes before the tortellini is cooked through, add in two cups of fresh spinach, loosely torn. Add in the shredded chicken and stir. (*You could just as easily purchase a rotisserie chicken and shred some of that and add it in.) Add salt and taste for seasoning.

Spoon into a shallow bowl and finish off with a little fresh lemon zest. This is key.

I don't know if it was the z-pack or the fresh lemon zest hitting the warm broth allowing me to actually smell for the first time that day, but I guarantee you, a bowl of this and you'll be feeling better no matter what the ailment.

Enjoy and stay cozy.

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