Saturday, 6 June 2015

Cold Comfort - Chicken Soup

Woe is me, the dreaded Winter headcold has struck. Best to take a little time out, nurse the cat, catch up on my knitting and consume comfort food like chicken soup.

It seems that just about every culture has a version and it has long been considered a panacea for such ailments.

When I make this type of soup I like to simmer the chicken for as long as possible, often I will cook the broth over two or three days, refrigerating overnight and continuing the simmering process for as long as I can. The broth is really well flavoured and the chicken really tender and easily broken up for the soup.

This chicken and leek soup  is a version of Cock a Leekie which traditionally has barley and sometimes potato as well. I use this a base and will include any combination of carrots, celery, leek and parsnip will produce a delicious pot of soup. Mostly I grate the vegetables, however, if chopping them, cut into small dice.

Sometimes I make it into cream of chicken soup. It is simple to make a quantity of white sauce as the base and then mix in the broth / chicken and leek soup until the correct consistency.

Try this trick if you have difficulty with the stockpot boiling over.

Break a toothpick in half and masking tape it to the edge of the pot.

The toothpick creates a small gap that allow steam to escape and  pressure will not build up inside the pot causing it to boil over. 

Chicken Broth
2 kg chicken drumsticks
1 bay leaf
Place drumsticks and bay leaf in a large stock pot and cover with water.
Put on high heat and bring to the boil.
Skim and reduce heat to simmer.
Cook chicken broth for as long as possible. I like to cook for at least 16 hours and usually do so over two days. The broth can be cooled and refrigerated and then reheated and the simmering process continued
When cooked allow the broth to cool, remove the drumsticks from the broth and strain the broth into a clean bowl.
Remove the skin and bones from the drumsticks and retain the chicken flesh for the soup.

Chicken and Leek Soup
2 litres chicken broth
2 leeks, trimmed, split, washed and finely shredded.
1 teaspoon salt
Chicken meat retained from broth

Place leeks in large pot, pour over the chicken broth. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 3o minutes, add chicken and continue to cook a further 10 minutes. Check seasoning and add a little extra salt if necessary.
Serve with lots of freshly ground pepper, some chopped parsley.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you are feeling better soon Kerrie, lots of sniffles and sneezes around with the drastic changes in weather. I love your stripy knitting, what will it be??