June 2, 2009

Roasting a Chicken and Brothmaking 101

In my posting The Goods on Fat I wrote about the importance of including healthy fats in a well-balanced diet. One of the first nutritional suggestions I make to all my patients is to roast a chicken once a week. A roasted chicken is soul food – it is ridiculously simple to prepare yet yields a succulent main dish that is full of protein, minerals and healthy fat that is so exceedingly satisfying that you feel you’re getting away with something.

After the roasted chicken is consumed I make broth. My parents who tend toward the sarcastic used to joke about “consecrated chicken soup.” In my childhood naivete I didn’t understand why that was so funny, but later as I learned about the truly nutritive and healing qualities of chicken broth, and became aware of how it has been revered over time as a cure-all in cultures all over the world, the joke made sense. The old wives’ tales made claims of healing the sick and aiding digestion. Modern science confirms that chicken broth high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, does serve as an excellent mineral source and electrolyte replacer, and it contains enzymes that contribute to the immune process and aid digestion. Chicken broth also contains gelatin which is healing to the digestive tract as it aids in digestion and ultimately decreases inflammation.

A roasted chicken is an incredibly economical meal choice as you get at least two meals out of the chicken. Please see my very simplified versions of how to roast a chicken and make chicken broth.

And yes, you are getting away with something – an epicurian pleasure without guilt. Now how often does that happen? Enjoy.

No comments: