So, the time of year has come again…when everyone is totally disgusting and ill. Given that basically everyone I know has been struck down with what my dad has always inexplicably called ‘stomach on the chest’ (?!), I felt the time was nigh for some comforting chicken dumpling soup.
Now my initial approach would usually be, chicken soup, drop in some Matzo balls, done. But, I remembered a while ago seeing Rachel Khoo (of The Little Paris Kitchen fame) making chicken quenelles in a broth and so I thought why not give that a go.
Chicken carcass, bashed up a bit (hence this is perfect for a day-after-roast-chicken dinner), alternatively you could use some wings and drumsticks, and remove them and pick the meat off to whizz up for the quenelles.
2 celery sticks
Couple of Bay Leaves, bit of Rosemary & Thyme.
Fry off the veg in a big pot with a glug of oil until they’re just softened. Season liberally with salt and peppercorns. Add the chicken and herbs, and fill pot with cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming the gunk off the top as you go. After 1.5-2 hours, sieve the mixture, leaving a tasty, almost clear chicken broth.
You can use as much of this as needed for the soup, and freeze the rest.
Or…buy some chicken stock and tell no one.
Chicken Quenelle Soup (Based on Rachel Khoo’s recipe):
2 Carrots (peeled and sliced in rounds)
5 Slices white bread (no crusts)
200g Chicken Breast
1 Egg & 1 Egg Yolk
100ml Double or Single Cream, depending on how heavy you want them
Handful chopped mushrooms
Heat a large pan full of chicken stock and add the chopped carrots. Bring this to the boil while you blitz together the bread, chicken, eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper. If you’re feeling really decadent you can also add 50g butter to the mix. Make quenelles from this chicken paste by passing it between two spoons, and drop them into the simmering soup base. They should float, and take only about 5 minutes to cook. A couple of minutes before they’re done, add your sliced mushrooms. I like Chestnut or even Shitaake. Serve with an absolute tonne of chopped parsley on top.
This soup is really comforting on a cold winter’s day, and the quenelles are surprisingly rich and filling. This will serve 4, but I don’t think it keeps very well so best to use it on the day. Apologies for the filters on the pics. I’m not really sure what I was thinking there. Also, they make red wine look like coke. Interesting.