Friday, February 6, 2009

Rogers Park Chicken Soup

Our fabulous new fruit market La Frescasita is having a big sale on chicken this week. Serena suggested we make some chicken soup this weekend, but I rejected that because chicken soup just seems so boring.

Well after a few hours of podcast editing this morning, that "boring" chicken soup started to sound pretty good. There wasn't much in the refrigerator, so I headed up the street to La Frescasita to take advantage of the sale.

I tried to find a recipe in 250 Soup Recipes, and I even checked 100 All American Recipes, but they were universally bad. The main chicken soup recipe had ham it. Really, ham? I'm big girl, I can make chicken soup without a recipe.

Sadly, I didn't have any pre-made stock on hand and I wanted dinner to be ready by the time Serena got home, so the organizing of the preparation was most important. First, I baked the chicken for about an hour. When that was done, I broke the chicken up and let it cool a bit. While that was happening I took my two biggest pots and placed them on the stove--one for soup, one for stock.

one whole chicken
a whole bundle of celery
3 pounds carrots
one pound mushrooms, quartered
one bag frozen corn
half a bag of frozen peas added at the end
one jalepeno
herb bundle
quarter cup Lustau Dry Sherry
fistful of sea salt

I chopped all of the vegetables and placed them in the soup pot, all the butt ends into the stock pot. Likewise with the chicken. I pulled all the good bits and coarsely chopped it for the soup, while the carcass went into the stock pot. I also added to the stock one quartered jalepeno and a quarter cup of sherry. To the soup I added a bag of frozen corn. The soup pot was placed on low, where it stayed for hours. But the stock, well I kept it at a low boil until everything was mush.

After about three hours, I drained the stock and added it to the soup. What makes it Rogers Parkish, besides the jalepeno, is the addition of a carton of leftover brown rice from Grande Noodle. Now, I have no idea what kind of rice they use, but it is the best brown rice I have ever had, practically purple in color. The last thing I added was what I had left of a bag of frozen peas. Nice, bright color and I got to get rid of some old peas.

The special ingredient was a bundle of herbs that I brought back from Barcelona. I had thought that this would be something special and not reproducable. But you know what? At La Frescasita they have herb bundles too, but theirs are fresh, not dried. And theirs are more country style looking, and not all anal like the ones I bought at Gispert.

Serena brought home a whole wheat baguette. I swear, this is the best chicken soup I've ever had.


Past Expiry said...

Chicken soup themed cartoon for your blog !

Past Expiry said...

Chicken soup themed cartoon for your blog !