Saturday, March 3, 2007

Chicken Soup

I started making my own chicken soup years ago in Spain as part of an installation called Un Lugar Donde Comer Sopa. We lived down the street from Valencia's historic Mercat Central, so we had ready access to the best ingredients in town. Back then I probably invented and forgot more dishes in a week than I do now in a year. My current chicken soup recipe is a direct descendant of those feet up top.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • enough water to cover
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried mushrooms (these should be a mild flavored mushroom, like field mushrooms, dried shitake would be way too strong)
  • 1/4 cup dried tangerine peels
  • 1 or 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a large stock pot
  • tongs
1. Clean and rinse the chicken well, and place it in the pot. Fill pot with enough to cover the chicken with an inch of water.
2. Bring water to a rolling boil.
3. Add the chopped onions, parsely, dried mushrooms, and oregano.
4. Tie the tangerine peels and cinnamon in a scrap of clean muslin and drop it in the pot.
5. Cover and let boil until the chicken's flesh begins to fall off the bones.
6. Fish out the spice packet and the chicken.
7. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and remove the bones and skin. Shred the meat with by hand and return it to the pot.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Options: This soup is great with homemade noodles or dumplings. You might try adding a couple of carrots or some celery. Peas might be good, too.

I recently made this soup with just a chicken, two onions, a handful of parsley and some thyme from the garden, and four or five cloves of garlic, smashed, skinned and roughly chopped. It went very well with dumplings.

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