Care Packages for Friends with Swine Flu

Swine flu appears to be making its way through our area, as it has throughout much of the U.S. Fortunately, we’ve managed to avoid it in our household so far, but some friends of ours were not so lucky. We delivered some meals to them, and I thought I would share this recipe with you in case you want to make someone else’s day a little brighter too. It’s quick, easy, frugal, and super good for you! Oh, and it freezes well too. What more could you want?

Recipe for Portuguese Chicken:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 large can diced tomatoes
3 carrots, diced
3 white potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 pound Spanish chorizo
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1 large dried bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
To a large pot, add the olive oil, potatoes, celery, and carrots. Saute for just a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken, chicken broth. Stir well (Emily took the stirring job very seriously), and let simmer for 10 minutes, and then season with the thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaf, and chorizo. Stir well (Thank you, Emily) and let simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove the bay leaf.
A couple of notes regarding this recipe:
  • During flu season, I try to make this using all organic ingredients. I found organic tomatoes and sauce at Big Lots for just $0.99 for a large can of each. Carrots, potatoes and celery are very affordable, with the organic varieties not costing that much more.
  • Did you know the herb thyme is particularly good for sore throat and chest congestion? For those suffering from either of those aliments, I increase the amount of thyme in the recipe.
  • Top a bowl of this Portuguese chicken with crushed tortilla chips — yummy!!
  • For those friends who are extra special, serve with a loaf of freshly baked bread.
  • I wish you could smell our house right now!!
Some other things you might want to include in your care package:
  • Tissues — We love Puff Plus with Lotion
  • Tylenol
  • Cough Drops
  • Herbal Tea with Honey
In other exciting news, I had the honor and privilege of being interviewed by the lovely and talented Imene from A Journey to a Simple Happy Life! If you haven’t seen her blog before, it is definitely worth the visit. Tell her I sent you! I particularly love her Gratitude Sunday posts. Very inspiring, and I look forward to them every week.


  1. Dear Valerie,

    *inhales deeply*

    Something just brought me back from my catnip-induced coma. Thanks for caring!

    Now I'm hungry! :-9


  2. Val in the Rose Garden says

    That sounds amazing. I am making a beef and barley soup tonight… soup and fresh bread is sure to cheer anyone up. 🙂 You are an amazing friend!

    Love Val

  3. @ Val in the Rose Garden — You guys would love this!! The kids love sprinkling crushed tortilla chips on top. I started making it when I was pregnant with Emily because it freezes so well. Since then, it has become a family favorite in the Fall/Winter months. Real comfort food!

  4. @ Mark — I'm hungry too! Let's eat!!

  5. EntertainingMom says

    no h1n1 here yet… can I still make this wonderful deliciousness?!!

  6. Sounds delicious! What a good friend you are.

  7. @ EntertainingMom — Absolutely. H1N1 is NOT a requirement by any means! Be sure to let us know what you think!

  8. Oh yum! I love to make big batches of freezable food! I'll add this to my list.

  9. Sounds delicious! How nice of you to make care packages for sick friends. On another note, I am so paranoid about the swine flu. We are on heavy hand washing duty in our house.

  10. @ Christy — You're not alone in your paranoia. I make Mark change his clothes when he gets home from work, and treat him like a bio-hazard until he is fully detoxed. You can't be too careful!

  11. Sounds really yummy! And very sweet of yall to do that!

  12. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    Sounds good, though I may be too lazy and cheap to include chorizo. Big mistake? Also, I thinking the chicken is already cooked, yes? (I admit it, I'm a huge nerd for recipes and always worrying I'm going to jack up some important detail. Story of my life.)

  13. That sounds wonderful. You are a very nice friend to go to all that trouble. While my kids all got H1N1 some how the grownups didn't really get it (we got the cough but no fever). None the less we would have loved this as a care package.

  14. @ Lenetta — Noooooo… you must have chorizo, or at the very least substitute something very similar, like hard salami or some such thing. I made it without the chorizo once… never again. Besides, it will be put to good use in this dish!

  15. @ Ivy — I'm so glad to hear you didn't get the flu when it made its rounds at your house. With that much exposure, and especially with the kids having it… I would have surrendered to the virus, for sure.

  16. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    OK, OK, OK! :>) I can freeze the extra chorizo, and if we like it, I can triple the recipe next time and freeze it. (I'm presuming it comes by the pound, I guess.)

    Cooked chicken? Really, I will geek out on this . . .

  17. Lenetta, yes, cooked chicken. You'll love this!

  18. Infant Bibliophile says

    "What more could you want?" That it is safe for my allergic-to-everything toddler (ok, just wheat, egg, milk, nuts, and sesame, but it feels like everything). Yup, other than possibly the chorizo (meat can often have hidden gluten, but I can easily substitute sausage from an allergy-friendly company), it is safe for all of his allergies. Thanks! Always can use more recipes around here.

  19. A care package…What a great (and thoughtful) idea! The chicken sounds fantastic. I am always looking for new recipes (and ideas). Great post on Imene's blog….stopping over from there.
    Holly @ 504 Main

  20. Sounds so great! Thanks for the inspiration to look after our sick friends, too!

  21. That's wonderful what you guys are doing. The best thing anyone could do for anyone, I've learned is send them a good meal! Bravo!

  22. Sounds delicious! How about a how to make a loaf of bread tutorial 🙂

  23. How yummy! And what a great way to show your love to your friends! I'm printing this recipe out and will try it this weekend! Thanks for posting!

  24. That sounds good… sorry to hear that folks you know are down and out with the flu. I only personally know one person who has been afflicted with it. That's a wonderful care package.

    I'll have to check out that blog.

  25. gardenmama says

    What a beautiful friend you are!
    I just came over from your interview with Imene! So lovely to meet you! : )

  26. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    Ohhh, you're going to ban me from your blog. I walked up and down the meat aisle area two or three times tonight in a Wal-Mart with aisle signs in Spanish, and I couldn't find it!!! Argh!! What's it next to in your store? And if you say the fixings for menudo, well . . . I'm not sure what I'll do. :>)

  27. That is so sweet of you!

    Your recipe sounds delicious 🙂

  28. @ Lenetta — It varies by store, apparently. At Wegman's, it was sold at the deli counter, but I have also seen it in a Latin Foods section, as well as near the imported cheeses. So your best bet is to ask someone who works at the store. Did you know you can order chorizo from Amazon?

  29. I don't know anyone that has yet to come down with swine flu. I'm feeling rather lucky about that.

  30. Stephanie Griffith says

    What a sweet idea!

  31. shopannies says

    such a good friend

  32. @ Law — You ARE lucky. It has been going around like wild fire here. Stay healthy!

  33. @ Holly & gardenmama — Welcome! So nice to see you here!

  34. Jane (Frugal Fine Living) says

    This is such a wonderful idea! Love your recipe for Portuguese chicken, too.


  35. This sounds good. We have some friends that are sick with the H1N1 and I was thinking it would be nice to take them something of this nature. Thanks for the little motivation.

  36. Lenetta @ Nettacow says

    I HAVE LOCATED THE CHORIZO! But mine isn't cooked, and yours sounded like it was. :>) I'm thinking I'll fry it in patties and dice to throw in – I'm making this for lunch tomorrow since my mom is here. Wish me luck!

    PS – got the thumbs up from my sister-in-law's sister-in-law (whew) on a post card from AK!