Saturday, September 15, 2007

My mothers chicken soup

I am not feeling well.

A cold has been creeping up on me since Monday night when I went to see Tori Amos at Hamer Hall. I then sent it into overdrive by going out last night and drinking a little too much red wine. Today i was meant to play soccer, but all I have done so far is read recipe books and eat some chicken soup which was in the freezer from one of my big batches I made a couple of months ago. mmmmm

I think most people have a chicken soup recipe that they think is the best and make in winter when the dreaded cold has taken hold. But this really is the best chicken soup recipe ever. My mum made it for me as a child, and over the years I have altered it to include ginger and lemongrass, but the basic recipe is the same. Even fiancee Nathan now calls it the best chicken soup, though maybe the fact someone else makes it for him when he feels crook is why he likes it so much...

The best ever chicken soup recipe

Makes enough for about 6 serves, I usually freeze most of it

6-8 chicken drumsticks, excess fat removed

bay leaf

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

lemongrass stalk finely chopped

ginger finely sliced

cinnamon and nutmeg

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsley chopped

celery pieces

handful of basmatti rice

large bunch of parsley (flat leaf)

lemon to serve

Combine chicken, bay leaf, carrots, celery, cinnamon, nutmeg and onion in a large pot and cover with water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for at least one hour

Strain stock through a seive, removing the chicken pieces to a plate and discarding everything else. Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass to the stock and simmer 20 minutes. At this point I usually refrigerate the stock overnight and the next day remove the layer of fat that floats to the top. The next day, remove the chicken from the bones, add to the stock and bring to the boil.

Add the rice after washing it thoroughly and boil 15 minutes. Chop the parsley and add to the soup and allow to cook for at least 5 minutes. Serve with a good squeeze of lemon.

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