Cooking with Herbs

 A book I’ve been trying to locate is Cooking and Curing with Mexican Herbs, a book that incorporates “healing” herbs into delicious recipes. My foray into herbalism has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, I’ve come to look at two very important websites for research on which herbs to incorporate into my meals. Now, it’s important to understand that I’m not saying these herbs cure COVID-19.

In fact, there would have to be widespread testing to ensure that kind of statement. The most important thing about culinary uses of herbs is that herbs are delicious! So then, how does one choose which herbs to use for viral health? I think it’s easy to pull up a Healthline.com article and use all the herbs in a dish. That might work scientifically, but it might not quite work for flavor.

Plus, some of these nutrients in food are either water soluble or fat soluble. So there has to be a medium way to extract the best nutrients in the most delicious way possible! Cue the path for chicken thighs. Now, I’m a tofu kid. I like the environmental impact of tofu and its price point. But chicken thighs are the most underrated cut of chicken on the planet. Move aside chicken wings, legs, and breasts.

The peculiar thing about chicken thighs is the bioavailability of both fat and water content in the cut. My grocery store gives me around nine chicken thighs per $8. I have grown to like them baked slowly for a couple of hours. But, an alternative is to cook on the stovetop for a couple of hours in a stew of sorts. Which is the method I employed recently.

First, you gather the flavor agents. Salt, pepper, your mirepoix of celery, carrots, and onion. On its own, this miraculous flavor combination will yield you the base of all bases for any chicken dish. Then it’s time to add the herbs. I used a combination of rosemary, thyme, and garlic. A plausible bonus of using rosemary and thyme is that they are both antibacterial and antiviral herbs according to my limited nonscientific perspective. A bigger bonus is that they add richness to the dish transforming the chicken dish from basic to extravagant. Of course, if you wanted to add a little butter for extra richness, you could. But, chicken thighs already have a good fat base.

Add the flavor agents and healing agents into a pot with the addition of potatoes for a well rounded meal and you have dinner. Cook on low until the chicken is cooked and easily shred-able. And possibly leftovers for a whole week depending on how many chicken thighs you started out with.

But, the whole point of this post is faith. I have faith that there are healing properties in herbs and spices. So I cook with them. You don’t have to have the same kind of faith. But long story short: Wear a mask in solidarity, wash your hands.

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