Jonathan has a few recipes that are his specialty. One of them is actually his mother’s chicken soup. The recipe itself isn’t that different from most chicken soup recipes, but its more the way they eat the soup that is non-traditional.
The first time Jon made me this soup, I was really sick. It was three winters ago and I was completely immobilized and camped out on the couch with the flu. The day he made me this soup, the entire house was filled with the warming, fragrant smell of chicken soup. It was the most calming, soothing smell and I almost felt wrapped in it like a blanket. Eating that soup was like taking medicine but better. I felt the immediate effects of the soup on my body and it was the main thing that nursed me back to health.
Flu or illness aside, this soup is a wonderful, hearty meal on any cold night. After Jon makes the soup, he also cooks up a pot of orzo. We eat the soup in a bowl with the leeks, onions and orzo, and separate the carrots, potatoes and chicken onto a plate. Then we mash the carrots and potatoes with butter and eat it like a plated dish. Eating the soup this way makes it a full, hearty meal. Jonathan’s chicken soup is one of my favorite, most special meals that we make and eat together.
(Makes a pot of chicken soup for 6)
3 large carrots
3 large yellow onions
2 leeks, white and light green portions only
½ bunch celery
2 sweet potatoes
2 large red (waxy) potatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart water
12 best quality chicken drumsticks
Salt and pepper
Bunch of parsley
½ bunch thyme
4 bay leaves
1. Peel and slice carrots. Roughly chop onions, leeks and celery. Put all ingredients except potatoes in a pot.
2. Bring soup up to a boil, then simmer until chicken is very tender.
3. About an hour before you want to eat, add potatoes to soup. Continue to simmer until soup has thickened and potatoes are soft but not mealy.
4. Serve with noodles or orzo if desired.
For the Bite:
1. Confit chicken drumsticks according to previous confit technique.
2. Thinly slice carrots and sweet potatoes. I used the oil from the confit to fry the vegetables, but you can also use fresh canola or corn oil. Fry in 4 inches of hot oil until lightly browned and crispy. Drain on a paper towel and salt while still hot.
3. Reduce some of the soup broth to thicken it and pour into a soup spoon filled with shredded pieces of the chicken confit. Skewer the chips and place on top of the chicken. Serve warm.
© 2011 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle