Thursday, September 6, 2012

Chicken Soup for my Soul

Everyone has a chicken soup recipe - one that is associated with particular memories, events or people. I have one too.

My mom used to make this soup which was a full meal in itself and was so ridiculously easy to make, she made it often. The good thing s that it is really delicious and you can make it in a million different ways depending on what you have in your fridge and in your pantry cupboard.

This no fuss chicken soup is one that I associate with my childhood, my growing up years and mostly, with comfort. It's not something that appeared when any of us was ill but more often was made when mom was too tired to cook or we were just in the mood to have it.

Here's how I make Chicken Soup for my soul -

1 chicken, cut into pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into large cylinders
2 large onions, cut into thick slices or 6 large sections
2-3 stalks of celery, thoroughly washed and cut into 3" batons
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
20 leaves of fresh sage, if you have some

Take a large pressure cooker. Dump all the ingredients into it. Add enough water to cover. Shut the cooker and once it whistles, simmer under pressure for 5 mins. Let the cooker cool on its own.

This is the basic version. You can play with the ingredient combinations as you like. The flavour comes from using the chicken on the bone. It doesn't work half as well with boneless chicken. You can simply boil the whole lot in a large pot if you like. I like using a pressure cooker as the meat is cooked to an extreme softness so eating takes no effort at all. Use a soup cube for extra pep or add some crumbled bacon bits. Pimp it up as you like and enjoy a new version every time you make it.

Chicken cooked this way is excellent in sandwiches. Debone and store in your fridge and make sandwiches with the chicken, mayo and whatever vegetables you like. Add a slice of cheese and you have a great sandwich :)

Once the cooker is open, decant into a soup plate and enjoy it with a crusty brun pav, toast or a baguette. Slather with butter for sure!


Kalyan Karmakar said...

this seems to be a very bengali mom mom calls it a stew

Rhea Mitra Dalal said...

@ The Knife
The stew I remember used to be thickened with flour and therefore had an opaque white thin gravy. I do agree that this one can easily be called a stew too.