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Monday, November 22, 2010

ALBAHACA WITH NOLA'S RECIPE CHICKEN BROTH WITH BASIL

FAVA BEAN SALAD WITH BASIL VINAIGRETTE AND CRUMBLED EGG
Photo by: onehungrymama.com

OCast alhabaca, Hisp Ar. habáqa, Cat. alfábrega, L. Ocimum ocimum, Ar. alhabéga, al-habac, Fr. basilic, alhabega, Eng. basil. This is an aromatic shrub with white or purple flowers in the summer. Being a Mediterranean herb, common in tropical and subtropical regions, it was not introduced to northern Europe until the 16 C. In Spain, basil was cultivated by the 12th C at least and it was commonly called the ‘herb of fables’. The word “basil” is derived from Greek meaning “kingly,” “royal,” as it was thought to have been royal medicine used as an unguent or in baths. Due to confusion in Latin, at one time it was thought to be an antidote for the poison of the legendary Basilisk (from Gr. meaning little king), the king of all serpents and dragons, who killed with his breath or stare and by hissing, he drove away all the other creatures. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that if a sprig of basil was put in a jar it would produce a scorpion. In Al-Andalus and all along the Mediterranean coast, it was a very important herb grown in the gardens. The fresh, large tender leaves were added to mint syrups, sweet dishes, pasta, and garlic sauces for their gentle clove-like aroma. It was thought wonderful with cheese, olive oil and pine kernels. It was an ingredient for sausages and egg dishes. Sent Soví uses it to flavor a dish of favas with almond milk. It is not a stewing herb as the leaves whither in a short time. It was thought good to have basil around in the summer as it detracts mosquitoes. Medicinally, it was thought to be a good stimulant for the nervous system and to calm stomach problems. For a good night’s sleep, a sprig was placed on the pillow. The smell was thought to cause headaches for people with this tendency. If a woman in labor held the root in her hand with a swallow’s feather, it was thought to ease labor pains enormously. [Anón/Grewe. 1982:CXV:140-141:CXVI:141:Apè III:237; Anón/Huici.1966:69:50:83:59-60:282:162 etc; Bremness. 1990:101; Chirino/Herrera. 1973:xxxiv; Gitlitz. 1999:111; ES: “Hierbas.” Jun 28, 98; Nola. 1989:xviii-4:xxxii-4:xxxiii-2; and Nola/Pérez. 1992:186-187]

CHICKEN BROTH WITH BASIL FOR THE SICK ADAPTED FROM NOLA’S xxxiii-2
PARA ENFERMOS CALDO DESTILLADO, Y PARA DEBILITADOS MUY SINGULAR


Chicken soup
Photo by: ericman967
Ingredients

1 3–4 lb whole chicken 
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
5 fresh basil leaves
about 6 c water
3 tbsp rosewater

Preparation

Wash chicken, remove wings and legs and cut into fourths.
Put the chicken and bay leaves in a pot and add salt and pepper.
Make a sachet with the cloves, cinnamon stick and 3 whole basil leaves, tie it and put it into the pot.
Add just enough water to cover. Cover the pot and simmer about 1
hour for a chicken and 2 for a hen. Skim off fat from top half way through cooking.  
Remove chicken and put one piece into each bowl. (It is easier for the eater if it is cut in cubes at this point.) Keep it warm.
Remove the spice bag and discard it. Bring the broth to a gentle boil. Chop the 2 remaining basil leaves and add them to the pot, add rosewater and simmer 5 minutes. Pour the broth over the chicken pieces and serve.

50 PIECES OF GOLD:

Nola says that bruised basil leaves make the broth a little bitter which is marvelous for this broth and a very nutritious and for those wanting something more nourishing to resurect the bodies of the half dead and about to die but 50 pieces of gold on the fire and when they are red hot remove them with pinchers and put them in the broth and do this two or three times. This will make the more powerful and the more times this is repeated the more the powers will multiply and this broth is so excellent that there is no way to estimate its worth.

5 comments:

  1. Intentaré comprobar la eficacia contra los mosquitos, porque me tienen mártir! Pero no es fácil encontrar plantas de albahaca enteras en los mercados de Madrid (al contrario que en Italia, donde la usan muchísimo para el pesto y otras cosas)

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  2. Mila is going to try basil as a mosquito repellent!- Let us know how it works.

    Yes it is difficult to find bay leave plants in some areas. In Madrid I would try a nursery. In Chile fruit stands sell them but not in winter. . .

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  3. I found the plant in a flowershop (Monceau Fleurs, there are several at Madrid). But I'm sorry to say that it only worked to attract more mosquitoes! I'll let the basil grow a little and then I'll take my revenge by making a good pesto alla genovese!

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  4. I did find done report stating that basil does not repel white mosquitoes. Sounds like a racial problem here? What color are your mosquitoes?

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  5. White mosquitoes? Never heard before! They are kind of B-52 when they approach by night once you have turn the lights out (the optimal conditions to discern their colour). In the morning they make their digestion on the walls, the long legs and wings ready to go if they feel you approaching with a conventional or chemical weapon in your hands... Basil surely adds taste to your blood, making a favourite sort of morcilla for them.

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