This is my son’s favorite soup and perfect for all seasons as it is warm and comforting while also being light and fresh. I always think of the diner when we eat this, but this version tastes lighter and fresher than that of the diner’s. In this recipe I made the broth from scratch, but you can use boxed broth and a rotisserie chicken, just skip over that section if that is the way you are going. You can also use diced chicken breasts or thighs and cook them in the broth before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. I have done it every different way depending on what I have on hand and how much time I have. This particular batch that I made was during/after a blackout that we had during isolation that was saved by the fact that we have a gas stove and I was able to keep the broth cooking/warm throughout. The only downside was having to remove the chicken from the bones in the dark!
Makes 6-8 portions
6 cups of chicken broth (you can use boxed or you can make your own, recipe below)
4 cups chicken, shredded from making broth or cubed from raw meat (1-1.5lb)
1 cup of your favorite rice (I used Jasmine here.) Amount of water will depend on your rice, go by bag instructions and make sure you rinse it well before cooking.
5 large egg yolks (save those whites!)
1 lemon, juiced plus an extra lemon in case you want to add more at the end.
1T cornstarch, make slurry by mixing with 2T water.
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1. Cook rice according to package directions, hold. Alternatively you can used pre-prepped rice.
2. Meanwhile in a large sauce pot place 4 cups of broth with all of the chicken and bring to simmer, keep warm. If you are using raw chicken you can use this time to cook the chicken, simmering until cooked through and then hold warm.
3. In a medium sauce pot, whisk egg yolks with lemon juice, turn on the heat under the pot, when mixture is just warm add cornstarch slurry and continue to whisk over medium heat until frothy, then add the remaining 2 cups of warm broth. Whisk continuously for a few minutes until thick. Season with salt and lots of fresh cracked black pepper then add to the large pot and stir well to incorporate.
4. Stir the rice into the pot and do your final seasoning adjustment. Here you might find it needs more salt and pepper or a nice big squeeze of lemon.
I hope you make this recipe for you and your family and enjoy it as much as we do. Happy cooking!
Makes 4-5 Quarts
One 4lb chicken
1 large onion, rough chop
3 carrots, rough chop
5 celery stalks, rough chop
Leek greens (I always wrap mine and put them into the freezer for extra flavor for stocks/broths)
Other vegetable scraps: you can throw in any other vegetable scraps that you have such as mushrooms or parsnip to increase flavor. If you do this, you can reduce the amount of carrot and celery you add.
Bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 10 peppercorns, 2 smashed garlic cloves.
1. In a large stockpot place all ingredients and cover with cold water, place over med-high heat and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and set timer for one hour.
2. Carefully remove chicken and take all the meat off the bones- place bones back into the stock pot and continue to simmer for 3 more hours. Shred the chicken and reserve until you are ready to make the soup.
While the broth cooks, skim off and discard any excessive fat and scum that comes to the top. Don’t sweat over removing the fat, fat is flavor and we’re not making consommé here. The easiest way to remove fat if you have the time is to let it cool and skim the fat solids right off the top.
3. When the broth is done, you can drain it through a fine sieve or colander and cheese cloth. Cool- preferably in a metal container in an ice bath to quickly get through the food temperature danger zone (41*-135*). Refrigerate when cool. (If making soup right away skip the cooling step for the portion that you are using.)
Broth is so versatile and this one came out great! I was able to use 1.5 quarts for this recipe and the other 3 quarts for Ina Garten’s Lentil soup with kielbasa recipe that served 4 of us for 3 meals and was a crowd pleaser.