I got married over Labor Day weekend! That's why there has been a noticeable lapse in my cooking and blogging about said cooking--not that anyone actually notices. Regardless, I like to make my excuses well known.
Anyway. I've heard it said that many U.S. presidents age quickly while in office and tend to die soon after relinquishing their seat. The idea is that the stress was so much that it sped up the aging process and lead to a speedy heart attack (or whatever). Knowing this, it was no surprise to me that I came down with a killer cold just a few days after my wedding ended. My immune system was stretched to its limits and just completely gave up after Saturday. That's okay, good buddy--you kept me healthy through the wedding, and that's the important part.
All of yesterday, I was just miserable at work. The kind of miserable where coworkers give you a tilted head, a sympathetic grimace, and say, "Oh...you don't look good." And you're like, "I'mb fibe." *schlorrrkkk*
I fantasized about going home, getting into my pajamas, sticking my face into a cup of tea, and watching endless episodes of Project Runway. With the husband (ee!) gone this weekend, I realized I would have to fend for myself where food was concerned. I had a brief pity party (because who wants to cook when they don't feel well?), but then found a recipe for chicken & rice soup. Not only did this recipe satisfy one of my 50 countries, NOT ONLY was it chicken soup (so healing!), but it was filled with sinus-clearing goodies like lemon juice and cinnamon! Win!
I whipped up a delicious (and easy) loaf of crusty sandwich bread to go with my comforting soup. Then I invited my friend Gus over. While I hope Gus doesn't get the plague, I do think he enjoyed the bread and soup. I, for one, thought the whole deal was as good as it gets when you're sick. Hell, it would be amazing even if I were functioning at 100%.
Lebanese Chicken and Rice Soup (Shourbet Djaaj Bruz) - from Wuzzle.com
-3 Pounds Chicken -- Cubed (**I used thigh meat**)
-4 Stalks Celery -- Chopped
-2 Large Leeks -- Chopped
-3 Cloves Garlic -- Chopped
-9 Cups Chicken Stock
-Salt And Pepper -- To Taste (**I used 1 generous teaspoon salt and about 3/4 teaspoon black pepper**)
-1 Stick Cinnamon
-2 Lemons Lemon Juice
-3/4 Cup Rice
-1/2 Cup Parsley -- Chopped
-Optional: Carrots, chopped
1. Bring chicken, celery, leeks, garlic and stock to a boil.
2. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and lemon juice. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add rice and simmer for 20 minutes (**NOTE: Because I was paranoid about the rice not cooking, I brought the soup to a boil, added the rice, put a lid on it, and then took it down to a simmer again**). Add parsley and simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve.
-Serves 4 (VERY GENEROUSLY...probably more like at least 6, if not 8 normal-sized servings)
Verdict: People, I am SO happy that there is enough of this left for tomorrow. I might have it for lunch and dinner. It is so good. There is something uber-comforting about the addition of lemon juice and cinnamon to an otherwise ordinary chicken soup. This is the exact soup you want to feed a sick person. AND it's pretty much the easiest and quickest possible homemade chicken soup I've ever encountered. I am giving a big, fat A++ to Lebanon.