Wednesday, June 11, 2008

chikken!

Oh yeah, lots going on around here... but food's always cool, yes?

Today, my friends, you're getting my killer chicken soup recipe that my homeslice, Laurel, featured on her way more successful and smashing blog, Laurel on Health Food. Let me tell you, I just can't go back to bay leaves and celery, 'cause this shit's divine. The stock's also handy for freezing and versatile as hell - made some yesterday to cook my newest favorite food, escarole, in. Delicioso.


Rose's Pho Chicken Soup

If you're just making stock to have on hand for other recipes, you can use other parts of the chicken, like wings, backs, and necks, and strain the whole thing before cooling and freezing (I use my leftover plastic Chinese takeout containers).

2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs with skin and bones
water to fill a pot
2 carrots, unpeeled, cut in big chunks
one big yellow onion, quartered
one 2" cinnamon stick
4 star anise pods
4 green cardamom pods
1 1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste

6 green onions, sliced big
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smooshed and chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup fabulous olive oil
s&p to taste

1 cup orzo or other small pasta

In a big pot over med-hi heat, sauté the chicken in the olive oil for a minute or two to sear the skins. Add the water, leaving space in the pot for some boiling action. Add the rest of the stock ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover, keeping lid ajar to release steam. Let simmer for about 40 minutes, skimming the gunk off the top of the broth from time to time.

While the stock's cooking, prepare the toppings. Slice up the green onion tops and bottoms into big pieces and set aside. Chop the tomatoes and garlic, and mix in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

When chicken's cooked and falling apart a bit, scoop it and the veggies out of the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Return the stock to a boil and add the orzo. Cook about 9 minutes and check the seasonings, adding salt if necessary.

Remove the chicken from the bones and add back to the pot. You can discard the spices and eat what's left of the veggies.

Add the green onions just before serving - they should stay fresh. Ladle into bowls and top with tomato mixture.

Serves about 4.
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