WHOLE CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL
I know I know, ANOTHER chicken soup recipe?? Well yes, but this one is different, I promise!
It’s made by poaching the chicken whole and it is truly delicious, soul nourishing and seriously simple. And I can’t apologise for loving soups - they are just perfect in so many ways. Completely comforting and often a great way of using up unloved veg you have in the fridge, so what’s not to love?
This is quite a traditional chicken soup and then I’ve whacked on a whole load of fresh chilli and ginger at the end with a squeeze of lemon juice which you can either do too or just stick to the traditional. You do you.
I also have to say that this recipe should definitely feed 4-6 people but that me and my husband ate it just between the two of us. Maybe with some crusty bread you could feed more people and we are greedier than your average Joe so make of that what you will.
It will keep perfectly for a few days and should freeze beautifully too.
1 chicken (get the best you can afford)
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped (keep the pretty tops and leaves for garnish)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 stock cubes
water to cover
1 handful of chopped parsley
1/2 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and finely sliced
2 spring onions, chopped
Put the chicken in a large pot (I love love love these ones - just the best shape). Leave the skin on as it gives such good flavour.
Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots. Dissolve the stock cubes in boiling water and add enough water to completely cover the chicken.
Season, add the bay and then pop the lid on and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour and 30 mins. For the first half an hour you may need to skim any foam that rises to the top off which is very easy to do and is due in part to the skin but the trade off in flavour is totally worth it I promise.
When cooked, the chicken should be tender as you like. Remove from the pan and shred with two forks. You can slice it but I prefer it shredded. You can also scoop out the veg and chop them up smaller if you want it more refined…I don’t tend to.
You can strain the liquid to get rid of any gubbins and get rid of the bay leaf. Then add everything back to the pan, add the garnishes and dig in.
So utterly delicious and comforting - perfect Winter soul food.