cooking Ultimate Chicken Soup
February 05, 2013
Whenever I’m near Selfridges, I seem to end up getting a ‘boiler’ which is essentially an old chicken, one that’s lived a happy life and has died of natural causes (so I’m told by the butcher). You can’t seem to get hold of them in many places. They sell them predominantly to make stocks from, but I use the whole goddam thing, in a manor of a good Jewish grandmother.
Chicken soup is normally served up when one’s afflicted, and making it you can see why. It requires time, patience, love and attention, just like the invalid at the receiving end. The fact I use an old bird for my soup, makes it all the more wholesome, hey, that bird didn’t die for nothing…
To make it you’ll need:
- 1 large boiling chicken
- 5 large carrots
- 1 small bunch of celery
- 1 spanish onion
- 2 leeks
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 button mushrooms
- 200g white bread (crusts removed)
- 100ml single cream
- 1 large chicken breast
- 1 egg/1 yolk
- small bunch of parsley
First up, get the biggest pan you have and chop the chicken in to quarters. Put the carrots, celery, onion and bay in with the chicken, and cover with cold water until it’s all submerged. Bring this to the boil, and simmer for 3 hours (that’s the patience aspect) skimming the surface if necessary.
Leave the liquid to cool, and remove the chicken, which should be nice and soft. drain the stock, and discard the vegetables, which will have been stripped of their flavour.
Now remove all of the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones, and put the meat aside for later.
In a food processor, blitz the chicken breast, egg, cream bread and mix until you have a smooth paste. Season generously.
Re-heat your stock and add some fresh vegetables, this time chopped nicely, cook until al dente and form quenelles with your chicken paste and drop them in to the boiling stock for 4 minutes until they have risen to the surface.
Add your chicken meat back to the pan, with some thinly sliced mushrooms. Season to taste and serve with some chopped parsley.
Serve in a large bowl to someone who needs some lovin’ x