They say that chicken soup is a cure for all ills, the “Jewish penicillin” that magically works to make you feel better. And studies have shown that hot soup actually can help you get over a cold quickly.
But some health issues are not so easily remedied. Like cancer and the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, which, unfortunately, a colleague of mine in the food writing world is facing now.
He is Gil Marks, renowned authority on Jewish cooking and food history, author of 5 cookbooks, founding editor of Kosher Gourmet Magazine and award-winner many times over, including a James Beard Foundation award for his book Olive Trees and Honey.
I have — and use — all his books.
I don’t know Gil personally but he is a giant in the world of Jewish and kosher cooking and I wish him well.
While I realize that no food is magic, I know that sometimes it can be a comfort, if not a cure.
So what kinds of foods are comforting? What helps when you’re feeling ill, needy, upset, insecure, frightened?
Well, I suppose we all have our own list. For me, it’s chicken wings.
Chicken wings because when I am in need of comfort I want my mother and father, but I don’t have them anymore. So I remember that in the days before chicken parts were so readily available, my mother always gave me the wings from the whole chicken because she thought the wings were the tastiest, most tender part and that the children should have them. And I remember that my Dad, who would have loved to eat the wings, sacrificed them for his kids.
Chicken wings are like a gift of love and generosity from my parents. Treasured memories that I take comfort in when I need comfort.
Chicken wings, my favorite blanket, a good book and my specs. These help.
Wishing you well, Gil.
Grilled Ginger-Lemon Chicken Wings
- 18 chicken wings
- 1/2 cup ginger preserves or marmalade, chopped if the pieces are large
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 medium scallions, chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- pinch or two cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven broiler. Wipe the chicken wings dry and set them aside on a broiler pan, top side down. In a bowl, mix together the ginger preserves, lemon juice, scallions, garlic, lemon peel, coriander, cayenne pepper and salt. Brush the surface of each wing with some of the ginger mixture. Broil for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the wings over. Brush with the remaining ginger mixture. Broil for another 10 minutes or until browned and crispy. Makes 18
NOTE: you can prepare these on an outdoor grill