Sunday, October 4, 2009
Chicken soup: a two for one
So far, October has been good to us. Despite the non-stop rain, we had an amazing weekend, largely because of my brother Joey, who came to visit. During his stay, we consumed so much food, hitting up five of our favorite restaurants in just three days. We all woke up this morning feeling full and a bit tired of eating. But, as it always happens, the more you eat, the more hungry you get, so as Joey hit the road again, heading for Denver, I got in my car and headed for the grocery store.
It's not only been raining these past few days, its also been cold. I don't mean a little October chill either, I mean frosted fingers and purple lips cold. And when its like this the only thing I want to eat is soup.
I think every culture has a great chicken soup recipe, but of course, I favor the Italian version that I grew up with. Since Italians like to have a first and second course, our chicken was always served separately from the soup, making the dinner last twice as long and feel twice as satisfying. Who wouldn't want to get two dishes out of one easy pot?]
So tonight, its a two for one. Brodo con Pastina and Chicken with Salsa Verde. Enjoy!
Brodo con Pastina
for the Chicken Broth:
4 chicken thighs ( with bone and skin on)
4 stalks of celery ( with leaves), cut into quarters
2 carrots peeled and cut into quarters
1 small potato, peeled
1 small onion, cut into quarters
1 roma tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer on medium heat for 2 hours.
Remove from heat. Strain the chicken and veggies, set aside for later.
( this will yield 3 quarts of chicken stock, which can be stored in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month)
for the pastina:
1/4 cup of acini de pepe, ( or orzo)
3 cups water.
1 teaspoon of salt
Bring salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Strain and add the pasta to your chicken broth.
Top with pecorino romano cheese and enjoy.
1 bunch Italian parsley
8 basil leaves
3 anchovies ( packed in olive oil)
1 teaspoon of capers
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 boiled potato ( from soup)
Blend first seven ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Mash the potato into the sauce with a fork until smooth.
Serve this sauce with the boiled chicken and veggies from the soup.