"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Chicken and Rice Soup

When the stomach flu strikes, there's just one thing to do. Make Chicken and Rice Soup.

It couldn't be easier. Well, it could--if you were to buy boneless, skinless chicken meat and cook that instead of a whole chicken you wouldn't have to pick the cooked chicken after it cools. But there is some magical medicinal property to whole chicken when it's cooked, and I'm not making that up--some scientists did a study testing the effects of fresh vs. canned chicken soup on bacteria in petri dishes and found that fresh chicken soup had an inhibiting effect. Apparently the magic resides in that gelatinous stuff you find at the bottom of your roasting pan the next morning in the fridge, and I think that has something to do with the bones and cartilage.

A nice discovery moment cooking this soup: brown rice. Ordinarily I hate brown rice. It's too dense, and there's something about the mouth-feel when it's just steamed that makes me push it around the plate instead of eating it. But in soup that all works to its advantage--instead of turning to mush like white rice it explodes but hangs together so it's fluffy yet cohesive.

And I feel better now, too!

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