Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken. Show all posts

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jamie's Chicken Korma--Creamy, Flavorful & Comforting

Nothing makes me happier than a creamy, not too spicy curry. Other people may like to "go for the burn" but I like to be able taste my food rather than burn off my taste buds so that I can appreciate the nuances of all of the different spices. There is a lot to appreciate in Jamie Oliver's Chicken Korma--it is slightly sweet, nicely spiced and just a little tangy from the lemon and yogurt spooned on top. A great choice for our "Chicken and the Egg" theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week.

This would be a U.K.-style korma according to Wikipedia which states, "A dish called "korma" is very popular in Pakistani/Indian restaurants in the United Kingdom. In the UK a korma usually refers not to a particular cooking technique but to a curry with a thick, cream-based sauce or gravy; this bears little resemblance to a classical Indian korma, as it is not braised. The korma popularised in UK curry houses is invariably mildly spicy and may often feature nuts, usually almonds or cashews, and coconut."

BTW: Jamie does include a recipe for an easy korma paste (below) which I intended to make but meetings ran late, there was traffic on the way home and I just wanted to eat my curry and didn't want to mess with the extra time and mess of toasting and grinding spices, cleaning the food processor, etc. Lazy? Yes... I don't deny it. But since I also had a jar of the korma paste that Jamie recommends (Patak's) languishing in my pantry cupboard and getting dangerously close to the expiration date, it seemed like I should use it.

Jamie says, "This is a much-loved curry. It's got a slightly milder, creamier taste than the other curries in this chapter, which makes it a great one for kids to try. Because I love fresh chiles I've added one here, but if you want to keep the flavors nice and mild feel free to leave it out. Kormas are also delicious made with shrimp."

Chicken Korma
"Jamie's Food Revolution" by Jamie Oliver
(Serves 4-6)

1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, preferably free-range or organic (I used a package or organic chicken breasts and a package of organic chicken thighs)
2 medium onions
optional: 1 fresh green chile
a thumb-sized piece of ginger root
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans
peanut or vegetable oil
a pat of butter
1/2 c. korma or mild curry paste such as Patak's or Jamie's recipe below (I used Patak's and increased to about 3/4 cup)
1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk (I used lite coconut milk)
a small handful of sliced almonds, plus extra for serving
2 heaped Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup natural yogurt (I used non-fat Greek yogurt)
1 lemon

To Prepare Your Curry:
Cut the chicken into approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel, halve, and finely slice your onions. Halve, seed, and finely slice the chile if you're using it. Peel and finely chop the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves and finely chop the stalks. Drain the garbanzo beans.

To Make Your Curry:
Put a large casserole-type pan on a high heat and add a couple of lugs of oil. Add the onions, chile, ginger, and cilantro stalks with the butter. Keep stirring it enough so it doesn't catch and burn but turns evenly golden. Cook for around 10 minutes. Add the curry paste, coconut milk, half your sliced almonds, the drained garbanzo beans, unsweetened shredded coconut, and sliced chicken breasts. Half fill the empty can with water, pour it into the pan, and stir again. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Check the curry regularly to make sure it's not drying out, and add extra water if necessary. When the chicken is tender and cooked, taste and season with salt and pepper--please season carefully.

To Serve Your Curry:
Serve with rice. Add a few spoonfuls of natural yogurt dolloped on top, and sprinkle over the rest of the sliced almonds. Finish by scattering over the cilantro leaves, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.


Korma Paste
"Jamie's Food Revolution"

2 cloves of garlic
a thumb-sized piece of ginger root
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 fresh green chiles
3 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 Tbsp almond flour
a small bunch of fresh cilantro

Spices for Toasting:
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds

First peel the garlic and ginger. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them in a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you've ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.

Notes/Results: Creamy and delicious comfort food that made my stomach content. For the most part I stuck to Jamie's recipe--but I did swap out half of the (organic skinless/boneless) chicken breasts for (organic skinless/boneless) chicken thighs as they are cheaper and actually I prefer the dark meat in curries as it stays juicier. I also used light coconut milk and non-fat yogurt. The curry's flavor was good--it's mild, even with the chili and I liked how both the yogurt and the squeeze of lemon livened it up--I also added extra curry paste for a bit more flavor. The chick peas, shredded coconut and sliced almonds in the curry give it an interesting (in a good way!) ;-) texture.

To serve the curry, I used a base of regular brown rice (it was what I had leftover in the fridge), and if you look closely at the photos you will see some baby spinach leaves peeping out along the edges. I like to add a handful of spinach on top of the rice to get more of those nutrient-packed leafy greens into my day and also, the warm curry makes it "wilt" so nicely. A great dish and another Jamie recipe that I would make again--maybe trying Jamie's korma paste recipe the next time.

You can see whether the other IHCC participants chose the chicken or the egg by going to the post here and following the links.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lemon Chicken Soup with Fideos: Simple Noodly Goodness for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Giada's Lemon Chicken Soup is simple, relatively quick to make and full of bright lemony flavor, making it an easy choice for many circumstances.
  • Like when you are feeling slightly "cloggy" and a bit under the weather
  • When you just made a big batch of organic chicken bone broth and have plenty of leftover chicken meat
  • After an afternoon spent over-indulging at the Hawai'i Chocolate Festival and enjoying a burger and fries afterword and you feel the need to eat some light, healthier food for the next few days
  • When it's Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and you got busy and waited until Saturday night to cook a Giada recipe and oh yeah--you still need to make soup for Souper Sundays and need an easy recipe for both
  • Or maybe it's all of the above!
In any case lemony chicken soup with plenty of chicken and noodles is always a good thing!

You can find the recipe in "Giada at Home" on page 55 or an adaptation can be found at the Food Network here.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Spaghetti
Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
(Makes 4-6 Servings)

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces, *see Cook's Note
2 cups diced cooked rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth, lemon juice and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers and cook until the vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Add the chicken and heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the cheese and the parsley. Season with salt, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

*Cook's Note: You can use any short pasta from your pantry as a substitute for spaghetti.

Notes/Results: Simple, tasty goodness. The homemade stock added so much flavor when combined with the lemon juice and the 3 cloves of garlic I added (I needs me some garlic in my chicken soup). I used not quite double the noodles--using up a package of of fideos noodles from the Latin mercantile (short, very thin vermicelli-like noodles) instead of broken spaghetti. Extra noodles soak up even more of the broth but I was craving a very noodly bowl and I don't mind adding a little extra stock when reheating the leftovers. Keeping it on the lighter side, I felt no need for the added cheese called for in the recipe but I am sure it would be delicious with it. A good, basic make-again chicken soup that hit the spot.

You can check out what the other IHCC participants chose as their Potluck dishes by going to the post here and following the links.

Now lets check out the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here this week.

Kim from Liv Life is here with a hearty Black Bean Stew with Butternut Squash and says, "Filled with vibrant butternut squash the stew was visually a sight for cold eyes. Chipotle chiles and a slightly spicy chili powder brought a warmth other than the actual physical heat of the dish, and the cilantro and pepper jack cheese brought a Mexican Chili-like flair to the steaming bowl of goodness. Pearl barley added a healthy fiber to the flavorful mix and the tender chunks of grass fed beef made the husband's spirits soar."

Rather than wasting it, Julie from Little Bit of Everything made the most a red pepper close to the end of its shelf life with this Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder and says, "I love the flavor of roasted red peppers, especially in soup. The original recipe called for 2 cups of roasted red peppers and 2 cans of creamed corn. I really don't like creamed corn, so I chose to just use the frozen corn. The texture of this soup was more of a broth and less of a cream soup. The red pepper gives this soup a wonderful rich flavor."

My friends Nat and Annie from House of Annie are back visiting Hawaii from Malaysia and managed to fit me in for lunch and make this healthy Chicken and Kale Soup--talk about multi-tasking. ;-) Nate says, "Annie and I love to cook with all kinds of vegetables, but kale is one that we hadn’t yet tried out yet. We found bunches of kale for sale at the KCC Farmers’ Market, and Mom bought them, along with some Swiss chard and red beets. Mom had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge, so we decided to make a broth with the chicken and add the kale to it – “simply hantam” style. We all clamored for seconds."

Roz from la bella vita made a big batch of her Favorite Spicy Hot Chili to share and says, "This chili recipe is a combination of a variety of recipes that I have married together throughout the years. It is though, fairly spicy in heat and includes three varieties of beans plus some corn. We just love it and I hope that you enjoy it too.Garnish with sour cream, Mexican cheese, and chopped green onion stems. Serve with fresh cornbread and/or tortilla chips."

After a day of outdoor fun, my friend and fellow Cook the Books host Rachel, The Crispy Cook made a satisfying Hearty, Smoky Vegetarian Pea Soup and says, "Most pea soup recipes traditionally include a ham bone or bits of chopped ham, but I added a touch of olive oil and smoked paprika for my vegetarian version, full of chunky bits of other veggies. It was satisfying and restorative; just the thing for apres-tubing on a cold winter's night. And did I mention that Split Pea Soup is Cheap Eats? I figure it cost $3 or $4 to make this pot of soup, and we have enough for 8-10 mug servings."

Spencer (aka The Mouse) of LivetoEatEat2Live Blog visited the factory that makes his favorite childhood Chinese egg noodles and stocked up. He says, "I had to restrain myself before I got carried away. I bought one cake of e-mein, one dozen buns, and one dozen dumplings. Don’t worry, we won’t eat them all at once (we’d be in a carbohydrate coma). ;-) For dinner I used up the rest of the mushrooms (see cream of mushroom soup post), and added Napa cabbage to a shiitake dashi with the e-mein to make a Noodle Soup. The Cat was happily surprised. Slurp."

Joanne of Eats Well With Others went exotic with this African Curry Coconut Soup with Chickpeas. She says, "I found that I was craving curry. Shocking because I'm always craving curry. So I flipped through my copy of the Tropical Vegan Kitchen and somehow became enraptured by this curry coconut soup with chickpeas. And then when I looked it up on epicurious and found that it had gotten five stars and was loved by the better part of a hundred commenters, I was sold. I should warn you that I didn't make the recipe as is. It was a little meager, especially for those of us who had to run 14 miles the morning after eating it, so I bulked it up a bit with some extra beans, millet in place of brown rice, and a whole lot of greens. End result - craving satisfied."

Please join me in welcoming Ana of Sweet Almond Tree joining us for the first time this week from Philadelphia with Chickpea Soup or Greek Revithosoupa. Ana says, "Revithia is the Greek word for chickpeas or garbanzo beans. I made revithosoupa for dinner today, and it was about time! We hadn't had it in a while, so it was good to eat a simple, meatless, warm bowl of soup. Revithosoupa is a filling Greek soup that is a standard in the Greek cooking repertoire. Some versions are kind of plain, others like mine are well flavored. Plain or spiced up this soup is good. It's the chickpeas that give it a lot of favor."

We have one salad this week, this colorful Orzo with Vegetables and Chicken pasta salad from Shri at Tiffin Carrier Antic/que's! Shri says, "Brunch on Sundays is usually an Indian vegetarian -breakfast dish, but today we went with Orzo, two ways. A vegetarian version with plenty of vegetables and another one with a simple Chicken cooked with garlic, onions,black pepper and a touch of red wine and basil. ... Garnish with Parmesan/ Peccorino Romano Cheese and fresh chopped parsley."

And one sandwich, a Proscuitto and Cheese from Janet at The Taste Space. She says, "Armed with a loaf of “rustic” fig bread (slightly sweet from the figs), 18-month-aged prosciutto (nicely flavoured), and taleggio (a mild cow’s milk creamy, soft cheese), we had the fixins for a super sandwich. With a limited number of ingredients, quality is the defining factor of your sandwich. I found the flavours worked really well, with the slightly sweet bread topped with the silky artichoke dip. Next, we topped it with overflowing arugula, laid a slice or two of prosciutto and lastly added a few pieces of silky, melt-in-your-mouth taleggio cheese."

Some wonderful dishes again this week. Thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Nigella's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic: Comfort Food Extraordinaire

Here in all it's browned, slightly crispy-skinned, moist and tender glory is Nigella's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic. The recipe that begat the Garlicky Chicken Soup I posted on Sunday. Easy, flavorful comfort food at its best and a great example of the recipes in Lawson's newest cookbook "Nigella Kitchen."

I vowed I was not going to buy this book due to having way too many cookbooks (yes, I am finding there may likely be such a thing as having too many cookbooks), but I have to blame this purchase on the mouthwatering review of the book that girlichef posted recently. I thought maybe I would just take a peek at it even though I wasn't going to buy it... That was followed by finding the book on sale for 50% off, having an additional 25% off coupon, and finally adding in my 10% membership discount at Barnes and Noble. I love a bargain and how could I resist getting this one for less than $12.00? I took it as a sign. ;-) The book is already covered with colored tabs of the different recipes I want to make but this recipe caught my eye and I knew I had to make it first.

The recipe can be found at Food network here and in "Nigella Kitchen" on pgs 326-329

Nigella says, "When I was young, this old French classic was still - though in a quiet way - very much in vogue. I dare say it was because the novelty of using so many garlic cloves had not worn off; it seemed somehow dangerously excessive. Even so, I don't think anyone would think it quite unremarkable now to put 40 cloves of garlic in a casserole. Certainly, if you peeled and chopped - let alone minced - the garlic, it would be inedible, but garlic cloves cooked encased in their skins grow sweet and caramelly as they cook, like savory bonbons in their sticky wrappers, rather than breathing out acrid heat. This is a cozy supper, not a caustic one.

It is not quite the classic version (not that there is only one: food is as variable as the people who cook it) but it sticks to the basic principles. Maybe because the white meat on chicken tends towards the utterly tasteless these days, I prefer to use not a whole chicken, but thigh portions only. Naturally, this wouldn't make sense if you were raising your own chickens, then slaughtering them for the pot, as was the custom when this recipe came into being (and very good it would have been, too, for adding oomph to an old bird) but if you're following the contemporary shopping model, it works very well. For some reason, I veer towards recipes that can easily be cooked in one of my wide and shallow cast-iron Dutch ovens and this fits the bill perfectly.

By all means, add some steamed or boiled potatoes alongside if you wish, but I'd prefer, by far, a baguette or two to be torn up and dunked into the flavorsome juices; though don't rule out the option of sourdough toast, which is the perfect vehicle for spreading the sweet-cooked garlic onto. Otherwise, some green beans or baby peas or a plain green salad is all you need for a sure-fire salivation-inducing supper.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
From "Nigella Kitchen" by Nigella Lawson
(4 to 6 Servings)

2 tablespoons regular olive oil
8 chicken thighs (with skin on and bone in), preferably organic
1 bunch or 6 scallions
8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme
40 cloves garlic (approximately 3 to 4 heads), unpeeled
2 tablespoons dry white vermouth or white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoons table salt
good grinding pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the oil on the stovetop in a wide, shallow ovenproof and flameproof Dutch oven (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid), and sear the chicken over a high heat, skin-side down. This may take 2 batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go.

Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl. Finely slice the scallions, put them into the Dutch oven and quickly stir-fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme.

Put 20 of the unpeeled cloves of garlic (papery excess removed) into the pan, top with the chicken pieces skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic. Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily, chickeny juices left in the bowl. Swish it around and pour this into the pan too. Sprinkle with the salt, grind over the pepper, and add a few more sprigs of thyme. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Make Ahead Note: Chicken can be browned and casserole assembled 1 day ahead. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. Season with salt and pepper and warm the pan gently on the stovetop for 5 minutes before baking as directed in recipe.

Making Leftovers Right: If I do have any chicken left over - and I don't think I've ever had more than 1 thigh portion - I take out the bone then and there and put the chicken in the refrigerator. Later (within a day or two), I make a garlicky soup, by removing the chicken, adding some chicken broth or water to the cold, jelled juices, placing it over a high heat and, when that's hot, shredding the chicken into it and heating it through thoroughly, till everything is piping hot. You can obviously add rice or pasta. Otherwise, mash any leftover garlic into the concentrated liquid (which will be solid when cold), chop up some leftover chicken, and put it all into a saucepan with some cream. Reheat gently until everything is piping hot, and use as a pasta sauce or serve with rice.

Notes/Results: Really good--so much delicious flavor. The garlic is so sweet, mellow and creamy and the juices from the steaming (I used white wine), flavored with the scallions and thyme are delectable. My only beef is that I would have liked a bit more "sauce" with this one as good as it tastes--so next time I might add a bit more wine or a little chicken stock to get more of the sauce factor. I ate this simply with slices of soft baguette to smear the garlic on and enjoy with the tender chicken. In fact if serving this for company, I would just give everyone their own small baguette to eat with their chicken and creamy garlic. The next night, I smashed/mashed a couple of potatoes and mixed them with some of the garlic puree to accompany the chicken. Then of course there was the soup--homey and excellent. I will definitely make this again.

This is good, warming, soul-filling food so I am sending it along to the Hearth 'n Soul Blog Hop hosted by girlichef and some other wonderful bloggers like A Moderate Life, Hunger and Thirst, and Frugality and Crunchiness wth Christy, and Alternative Health and Nutrition News. Check out the round up for all kinds of fabulous recipes.

BTW: If you have not had a chance to go over to the Ile de France Cheese site and vote for my Ile de France Camembert Sliders, I would love it if you would. My cheesy mini burgers are in the Top 10 Finalists in the Cheese Lover's Choice Fan Voting Category and I could sure use your vote. If you click here, it leads to the site where you can give me (Deb C. on the poll) the number of "stars" you think appropriate for my dish. (Of course I won't turn down any 5 star votes. ;-) lol) Voting is open until January 5th. Mahalo!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Garlicky Chicken Soup: Leftovers Redone Deliciously for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

This post is a just a bit backwards because I am showing you the re-purposed leftovers first, instead of the original dish. This delicious Garlicky Chicken Soup was made with the delicious leftovers of Nigella Lawson's delicious Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, which I won't post until next week, but I assure you, was as mentioned...delicious. ;-) The recipe for the chicken, besides being on the Food Network website, can be found in her newest book "Nigella Kitchen."

Garlicky Chicken Soup
adapted from Nigella's Kitchen

Nigella says, "Making Leftovers Right: If I do have any chicken left over - and I don't think I've ever had more than 1 thigh portion - I take out the bone then and there and put the chicken in the refrigerator. Later (within a day or two), I make a garlicky soup, by removing the chicken, adding some chicken broth or water to the cold, jelled juices, placing it over a high heat and, when that's hot, shredding the chicken into it and heating it through thoroughly, till everything is piping hot. You can obviously add rice or pasta."

My Adaptation:

I stirred the "cold, jelled juices" leftover into 4 cups of my homemade chicken stock, squeezed in about 10 cloves worth of the leftover roasted garlic, added about 1/2 of a medium carrot diced, and brought it to a boil for about 5 minutes. I then added about 3/4 cup of dried stelline (little stars) pasta and cooked for another 5 minutes, before adding the shredded meat of two of the leftover chicken thighs and cooking for another couple of minutes until the pasta was tender and everything heated through. I then seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. It made about 2 large (2 cup) servings.

Notes/Results: The comfort of a childhood favorite Campbell's Chicken n' Stars soup, but about 10 times better. Lots of soft, mellow garlic and chicken flavor and chock full of the little pasta shapes. (BTW--don't be freaked out on the amount of garlic--since it has roasted / braised along with the chicken it is very mellow and it really does not overpower the other ingredients--it just adds delicious flavor.) If you are feeling stuffy and out of sorts with the world, this is the soup to help clear it out of you. The chicken on it's own (more on that later this week) is well worth making, but make sure to reserve a piece or two and some of the garlic to make this homey, satisfying soup. I will make this again for sure.

We have a small collection of wonderful, warming soups this week from the hardy souls who took the time to make a pot of soup during the busy holiday. Let's take a look.

First up my friend Kat from Our Adventures in Japan made a spicy bowl of goodness, Kat's Taco Soup. Kat says, "In January, I threw together a chili soup. Then the other day, one of my Twitter friends tweeted about making taco soup. It is definitely soup weather here so I threw a taco soup together too.This was so easy and delicious. I think if you make this thicker (less water), you could use it as a topping for nachos. I didn't add any salt as the seasoning packet & cheese have lots already."

Debbi from Debbi Does Dinner... Healthy & Low Calorie took another favorite food, pizza and used it for a slow cooker Pizza Soup. Debbie says, "This is a family favorite. We've adapted it quite a lot to suit our family. My little one loves pasta but isn't too much of a soup fan. I add a LOT of noodles to this and it ends up more like a casserole than it does a soup. It resembles a soup the first day but the leftovers are completely like a casserole."

Tigerfish from Teczcape-An Escape to Food made a hearty Kale and Potato Soup this week and says. "This can become my favorite cooking tip or kitchen quote: When in doubt, add tomatoes. I wanted to make kale the main-dish for me this time, not as a side such as Kale with Garlic and Mushrooms and Garlic Kale Stir-Fry. Tomatoes come save me! Make me an appetizing delicious soup! The kale soup would not have made it without the tomatoes. Come on, simply sauteing the onions and garlic, plus some broth then adding those kale is not going to make me my kind of soup. But with tomatoes? Definitely"

Another kale fan, Lori at Fake Food Free used leftover turkey from the grill to make her Smoky Turkey and Kale Soup. Lori says, "If you have smoked turkey, it adds such a complex flavor that makes the soup. I cut some breast meat and then I also placed a turkey leg in the soup to reheat for about 5 minutes, removed it and cut off some of the meat to add back to the soup. You can do this with any leftover pieces, or you can simply add cooked and shredded or chopped turkey meat at the end."

Finally Nicole from Cocoa and Coriander tried to find a split pea soup that both she and her boyfriend could agree on and tried this Lemony Split Pea and Broccoli Soup. She says, "I loved this dish for its creamy texture, light flavor and heartiness, but perhaps most of all because of the tangy quality that the lemon juice and zest gives it. Matt, however, thought the lemon was overwhelming and he felt that it just didn't taste like split pea soup. I am going to have to try making a more classic version of split pea soup for Matt...but this is a great version for someone who doesn't need a recipe to be anything like the original."

There you have it, a terrific small batch of five soups--perfect to keep you warm and cozy on a cold winter's night. Thanks to Kat, Debbi, Tigerfish, Lori and Nicole for joining in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brazilian Chicken Soup (Canja) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays & Regional Recipes

Everything month when the country for the Regional Recipes event, hosted by my friend Joanne at Eats Well With Others is announced I have the same simple goals--I won't wait until the last minute to choose something to make and it won't be a soup. But come the end of the month, it happens--I am scrambling to make something and it is almost always soup. What can you do?!? Procrastination and soup are intertwined in my soul! ;-)

This month the country is Brazil and I am making a classic bowl of comfort: Brazilian Chicken Soup (or Canja as it is known in Portuguese). Basically it is a basic chicken and rice soup and something your Brazilian mom or grandma might make for you. This one comes from
"Soup's On!: Soul-Satisfying Recipes from Your Favorite Cookbook Authors and Chefs" by Leslie Jonath and Frankie Frankeny. A great book by the way if you love creative soups from chefs like Mark Bittman, Alice Waters, Charlie Trotter, and more.

"Soup's On" says, "This chicken soup or canja, as it is called in Portuguese, is the Brazilian grandmother's cure-all. This recipe, by cookbook author and historian Jessica Harris, is adapted from her book Tasting Brazil."

Brazilian Chicken Soup (Canja)
From "Soup's On!" by Leslie Jonath and Frankie Frankeny

(Serves 6)

half a 3- to 4-pound chicken
4 medium, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped (including 1 1/2 tablespoons leaves)
1 sprig fresh parsley, minced
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken, tomatoes, onion, celery, and parsley into a large stockpot. Add 2 quarts water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the broth is flavorful, about 1 hour. Remove the soup from the heat.

Remove the chicken from the stock and let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, strip the meat from the bones. Set the meat aside and discard the bones and skin.

Put the cooking liquid and vegetables through a food mill (or you can use an immersion blender) to obtain a thick, rich chicken stock.

Return the stock to the pot, add the reserved chicken meat, carrots, rice, and 2 cups water to the pot. Place it on medium heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or a bit longer if you like mushy rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Notes/Results: Simple but good, sure to make you feel better if you are sick, sad or tired and it makes your kitchen smell like home when it is cooking. I had a good, thick and hearty homemade chicken stock already in my freezer, so I started with the final steps, adding some chopped rotisserie chicken breast and adding a little celery to the carrot and rice mix. This was the perfect light dinner on a breezy night--perfect for the after-Thanksgiving detox. I would make this again.

Joanne will be rounding up all the Brazilian fare on the Regional Recipes site after the first of the month.

Due to the busy Thanksgiving holiday week, we are a little slower in the Souper Sunday kitchen today (actually kind of a nice little holiday break for me), ;-) but we still have some very delicious soups and a hearty sandwich to share--let's take a look.

Lovely Roz at la bella vita kicks us off with her mother's version of the Italian classic Minestra di Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Bean Soup) and says, "My parents may not have enjoyed abundance when they were growing up as children of immigrants, but their mothers kept the kitchen aromas filling their homes, as pots of soups or pasta simmered slowly on the stove. My father said they had Pasta e Fagioli soup nearly every night for dinner when my grandfather was a coal miner in the Midwest. Nothing represents love and comfort as much as a simple, hearty warm soup and some bread to sop it up with! Although this soup was considered the food of the poor, one certainly is never hungry after one full bowl; it is that satisfying. Plus soup is so restorative to our health and our souls!"

Always creative Reeni at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice came up with a new way to eat spaghetti squash with her Spaghetti Squash and Mini Meatball Soup with Roasted Red Peppers. Reeni says, "The broth is drenched with the flavor of aromatics including onion, garlic, roasted red and green bell peppers. It is the perfect backdrop for the tender little orbs of mini meatball deliciousness and the squash spaghetti which makes up the bulk of the soup by adding great body and texture. My father was quite impressed with the entire concept and summed things up best when he asked "Who else do you know that is making spaghetti squash and meatball soup?" A quick Google search turned up nothing, making it a truly unique original that I hope I've inspired you to try!"

A win by her favorite college team is the inspiration for girlichef to celebrate with her warming Spartan (Green & White) Chili. She says, "My boys are Big Ten Champs!! Go Spartans!! Okay, we're tied for first, but I'll take it. This chili is perfect for a game day. We warmed up with a bowl while tailgating...and refueled with a bowl during half time. There's nothing a little GREEN and WHITE can't fix. Not today, at least. Serve topped with any or all of the garnishes. Keeps well in a warm crockpot all day long. Tastes even better after sitting (in the refrigerator) overnight and then re-heated! Go Green! Go White!"

Kim at Liv Life puts her Thanksgiving leftovers to good use with this gorgeous bowl of goodness and says, "With many of us here in America cooking Turkey, leftovers are another thing to be thankful for! Garlicky Tortellini Soup is a perfect vehicle for some of your spare turkey, and a simple, satisfying meal to toss together when you may not really feel like cooking. Filled with ingredients that you most likely have in your pantry or freezer, this fragrant soup goes together in record time, and if you make enough, will provide its own leftovers for another day." Kim's beautiful soup photo made the FoodBuzz Top 9 yesterday--Congrats Kim!

Speaking of hearty and gorgeous soups, Nicole at Cocoa and Coriander made a warm-your-belly, Bacon Tomato Soup and says, "I have had a recipe for Roasted Tomato and Smoked Bacon Bisque bookmarked since it first showed up on my Google reader. I decided to try and make it tonight because of the fact that I have bacon in my refrigerator for once, but I needed a simpler recipe (mostly because fresh tomatoes are way too expensive when they aren't in season). The version I adapted from is creamy in consistency but lacks the dairy that would make it a bisque. It is really just a simple tomato soup, but the bacon adds a nice smoky, saltiness. Matt made a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches that we cut into 1 inch squares and served on top of the soup. Perfect!"

Along with our soups, we have a made-healthier, but not necessarily better Fish Po'Boy sandwich from Michelle at Ms. Enplace. She says, "Most seafood po'boys are loaded with fried seafood and fatty tartar sauce. Mmmm...fatty tartar sauce. And if I want to keep you thinkin that I'm some hot little number (ha! sucker!) I need to lay off all that and eat like a grown up. So I decided to be sensible and lighten them up. I did this some time ago, but other more seasonal things kept cutting in line. That gave me time to think about what I've done. And learn my lesson ...which is not to mess with a good thing. Is it wrong to want a po'boy just for the tartar sauce?"

A few fabulous soups and even a sammie too--thanks to Roz, Reeni, Heather, Kim, Nicole and Michelle for joining in this holiday week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the guidelines and details.

Have a great week!