…And the Chicken Soup

I’m sorry, this took me forever to do! I had planned to give you the promised chicken soup AGES ago when I did the stock, and then my brain went to mush and I forgot to. Anyway, the point is, here’s the soup!

Successfully pulled off a surprise birthday party yesterday for Josh. Among the snacks: beef nachos with fresh salsa and guacamole, delightfully made by the lovely Sarah, baked brie in pastry with mango chutney, on sourdough with apples, and artichoke dip.

And now, for the cake. The cheesecake. It was coffee and chocolate with some Kahlua, and then Kahlua whipped cream. Yeah. It was phenomenal. I decided I wasn’t interested in cutting pieces and washing 15 plates, so I just put the whole cake on the table with a pile of forks, with a bowl of whipped cream next to it. I know; we’re animals.

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This is all that’s left – a haphazard chunk and some whipped cream with chunks of cheesecake in it. Somebody help me, my willpower is failing. For the recipe, click here, and for the love of god, make sure you have people to share it with.

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Enough cake. Let’s make soup! (Please be warned that for some reason every photo I took today turned out blurry. I might have dropped my phone today…)

We’re roasting chicken tonight, since I don’t have a rotisserie handy. I’ve taken two chicken breasts, seasoned them with the same things I plan on using in the soup – salt, pepper and oregano.

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Add a little cube of butter, and wrap it al cartoccio (en papillote in French). My chicken is still slightly frozen, so it’ll have to cook quite a bit longer than usual. I’m roasting at 400 degrees for about 55 minutes, give or take a few, but 40 – 45 would do if your chicken was fully thawed.

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Again, with the mirepoix. There’s a touch of butter in here with my celery, carrots, shallot and garlic, but I’ve also added the roast drippings from my chicken for extra deliciousness. Give it a medium heat saute for 5 minutes. Add your roasted chicken and season with more oregano, salt and pepper. I like to add red pepper flake to give it heat – like I said, sinus-clearing chicken soup is the best.

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We’re finally using the delicious stock we made! YAAAAAY. It’s been a while – it’s almost at the end of its life so we must use plenty! I’ve done about 2 tablespoons to begin with, and boiled water from my kettle to keep everything hot.

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Let that simmer a while – I’d say half an hour is probably sufficient but if you want to leave it on longer, go for it. Just bear in mind that you might need to add some more liquid and stock since the broth will evaporate if boiled long enough. This is never a bad thing.

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I’ve cooked a small amount of rice on the side. You’re definitely welcome to cook your rice in your broth, but I like to have it separate because I don’t like mushy rice. Not that your rice will get mushy if you cook it in there, but if you have leftovers it won’t be the consistency I like the next day. Your call. Your dinner.

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As you can see, I decided my soup needed some green, so I grabbed some leafy kale and chopped it. I let the kale cook about 10 minutes in the soup, but if you like it crunchier you can put it in right at the end if you want. I can also suggest green beans and/or peas if you like that kind of thing in your chicken soup.

We had ours with buttered and toasted sourdough. I’m feeling sleepy now.

Fall time needs as many warm and comfortable things to eat as we can find, and with the first few days of October looking like they do, I’m feeling more like curling up with a big cup of Earl Grey and my friends at Downton Abbey…

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • butter
  • oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 small stalks celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large clove garlic (mine are enormous so two average size)
  • half shallot
  • red pepper flake
  • bouillon
  • boiling water
  • 3/4 c. rice, cooked

Heat oven to 400. Season chicken with oregano, salt and pepper. Wrap in parchment paper with about a tablespoon of butter and roast on a pie plate (or roasting pan) for 45-50 minutes (or longer, depending on your oven – just check when you think it’s done and go in 5 or 10 minute increments afterward). Set aside, reserve roast drippings. Chop chicken when slightly cooled.

Chop mirepoix and add to soup pot with tablespoon butter and reserved roast drippings. Cook 5 minutes, then add chicken and seasonings. Cover all ingredients with boiling water and stir in bouillon. Simmer 30 minutes. Add kale after 20 minutes, if using. If you’re using beans or peas, add them with the chicken.

If you don’t have a rice cooker and don’t know how to cook rice in a pot:

Season rice with salt, pepper, and small amount of butter. Cover, set over high until just boiling, then turn down to a simmer and cook 15 minutes, depending on what kind of rice you like. Wild rice takes a bit longer, I find, but we usually use basmati so it isn’t so difficult.

Delicious with buns and bread!!

If you do have some leftover, and you need to add some liquid, just put what you have in a pot on the stove again, and add what you think is necessary. Add bouillon as required – just keep tasting.

This recipe freezes brilliantly, but only if you haven’t cooked your rice (or noodles, if you prefer) in it. Uber-mush – I don’t recommend it. Otherwise, it thaws easily; requires a little extra broth and seasoning but it’s a lovely meal when you have a long day.

xoxo.

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