I wish I took better food photos because this soup represents a huge ‘Aha!’ moment for me. Celia posted the recipe for this soup a little while ago on her blog. I have to confess I was sceptical, part of me knew it was wrong to be sceptical as it clearly worked but… even so…
Put a whole chicken (I used a 1.6 kilo bird) in a stock pot, cover it completely with cold water, throw in some slices of ginger and spring onion, a tablespoon of salt. Bring it to the boil, this takes about ten minutes. Let it simmer for five minutes, throw your pinny on – it’s a splashy bit coming up next – turn the chicken over, let it simmer another five minutes, then put the lid on the pot and TURN IT OFF. That’s it for cooking the chicken. ? Yes, I thought so too. But it works. Leave it for forty minutes and come back to it after a quick glass of sherry, test for doneness by poking a sharp object into its thickest part, usually the thigh and if there is no sign of pink juice running out then remove the chicken from the stock to a plate.
Strain the bits and bobs out of the stock. Slice some onions, I used a white onion and some spring onions and some of those dinky little Chantenay carrots that look like they belong on a carrot cake made out of icing. Take the icky skin off the chicken and dismember the bird, then slice or shred the chicken into the size pieces you want for your soup. We used about a third of a chicken for two of us last night and that was more than enough.
Pop the chopped vegetables back into the stock, bring to the boil, add a sheet of egg noodles per person to the stock once it has boiled and some of the shredded chicken, simmer until the noodles are cooked. Chop some coriander or parsley with gay abandon and ladle into a big bowl and slurp away.
Anyway it is absolutely delicious. Oh so delicious. I think I might have to make it every week now. This soup is my new best friend. At the risk of being completely disloyal, I used to dread my Grandma’s chicken soup with its matzo balls and half inch of golden chicken fat on the top.
It isn’t particularly quick, (apart from the assembly part) and the bit where you do battle with the hot chicken removing the skin and the layer of surface fat isn’t the easiest, but I defy any cold or flu germs to get through the aromatic pleasures of a huge bowl of this translucent broth steaming away on your supper table.
There’s a bowl of clear quivering set stock sitting in the fridge right now. I think we’ll have it again tonight.
For the definitive version of this recipe please visit Celia’s blog. She’s made a lovely .pdf file for it too. I’ve got another wonderful soup recipe to try from Heidi : Fennel and Celeriac with toasted almonds… I’m going to make that one next. I learn so much from my blogging friends. Thank you all!
PS. There is no spot the ball in this little post, but I suspect quite a few foodie clichés so along with the bad photos I apologise for the ‘quivering stock’ as well.
I just had a thought, having had my second meal from this, this time with some finely sliced chestnut mushrooms added and a little fresh lemon grass. Would cooking your chicken this way count towards reducing your carbon footprint? It must use considerably less energy than having the electric oven on for an hour or more. Maybe I should call this post 10:10 chicken?