Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Chicken soup for the soul
I've always muttered away to myself when Americans rave about chicken soup. I've seen more than a few self-help books with 'chicken soup' in the title too, it all seemed to take the idea of a healing soup a bit too far.
But having been under the weather for about 2 weeks now, with the slow coughs and colds, headaches and general tiredness I have been craving chicken soup. In whatever format was available, and wishing there was a Vietnamese place for Pho a little close by. The thing is with chicken soup, when you're feeling sick it's a little bit too involved to be making yourself, especially if you make the stock from scratch too. If only my mum lived around the corner.
As the clouds of sickness were lifting at the weekend, I decided it was time to itch that craving. Not only was it my first batch of chicken noodle soup, but also, quite embarrassingly, my first chicken stock. The smell of stock through the house was wonderful, rich but soothing, I'll definitely be making it again.
I used a recipe from an old Sunday Life magazine, one of my many recipe clippings. Unfortunately there is no author.
Chicken stock - makes about 2 litres
1 chicken carcass (use after the meal)
2 carrots, chopped
1 stick celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp mixed herbs
Place the chicken carcass, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns and herbs in a large pot. Cover with 2 litres of cold water, then bring to a simmer over a low heat for 30 mins. Then strain.
Chicken noodle soup
50ml olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
3 sprigs thyme
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1 carrot, chopped
1.5L chicken stock (see above)
1/2 long-grain white rice
200g fine egg noodles (I used soba this time)
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, diced
In a large pan over a medium heat, add the oil, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for 3 minutes, then reduce to low and add the celery, carrot and butter and cook for 20 minutes, and caramelised.
Then add the stock and rice, increasing the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the noodles and cook for 10 minutes, finally adding the chicken meat to warm though. Season to taste with salt & pepper.