Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chicken Noodle Soup with Risotto on the Side

Every so often I realize that there is a dish that I have somehow escaped making during my 28 years upon this earth. A dish that I SHOULD know how to make but just don't. As I huddled in bed this morning trying to imagine what sort of culinary delights would ease my sore throat and stuffy head I knew that today was the day I would learn to make chicken noodle soup from scratch. World, here is my confession, I Eviedee lover of all things braised, baked, and broiled have never made my own stock. Something about picking apart the carcass of a dead bird always struck me as something better suited for a 10th grade Biology class than my kitchen. Today I took the plunge. Even though my husbands unfortunate first words to me were "Isn't it weird, that thing used to be an ugly little chicken?!", I just kept on pickin! Though I was disappointed with the flavor of today's chicken soup, I did learn some things that will hopefully help me with the soup of the future. Fortunately, I had more success with the Risotto. I am not sure what the humble risotto can do for my sickness or my soul but I love what it does for my taste buds.

(adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine May-02)

1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 Tblsp unsalted butter
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6-8 cups hot chicken broth
large pinch saffron threads
1 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan cook the onion in 2 Tblsp butter until soft. Stir in rice, and cook until very lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine. Add two cups of broth and the saffron to the pan. Turn the heat to high until the broth comes to a simmer and then adjust the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring every minute or two. Add another cup of hot broth and keep cooking, stirring, and adding broth until rice is al dente.* When the rice is ready, stir in the cheese. Add a little more broth to give the risotto the consistency that you desire. Off the heat, stir in the butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*This process should take about 20 minutes unless SOMEONE (me) accidentally turns off the heat at some point in which case this whole process will be mysteriously slow until the heat is turned on again.


Jennifer said...

Re * - Your head was foggy - it could happen to anyone.

Hope you are feeling better soon!! The soup and risotto sound delish!

Beth said...

I just made a pot of chicken soup over the weekend. Here are my secrets -

There are only 2 of us and we never cook a whole chicken. To make a stock pot full I start with just two bone-in breasts (big ones) and cook them in a pot of water with some onion, garlic and carrots/celery. You drain all of that then just pick the meat from the breasts (much easier and more appetizing than a whole bird!)(don't put the veggies back in - they'll be mush)

The second secret is white wine! I use about 2-3 cups per large pot of soup. I put it in when the stock is done and drained and you're putting your veggies and chicken in.

Finally, I never make chicked soup with anything but sweet potatoes and more onion and garlic. Lots of pepper and voila!

It's so, so very good!

Craig said...

Oh, I so love risotto. If I ever have the misfortune of being on death row, it'd be part of my last meal.

carrotz said...

I'm sooo sorry that you don't feel well. I always make medicinal chicken soup with a whole chicken. There's something about the marrow in the bones that helps to speed the cure, I've heard. I also use lots of garlic and as much tabasco as the patient can stand. It either helps in the healing or they get out of bed to get away from the soup! Hope you are better soon.

Amber said...

Speaking of gross chicken things made easier. I learned a great way of de-fatting the stock. Pour it into a gallon sized ziploc bag and let it sit for about 15 min. You will see a layer of fat forming at the top. Snip off the corner of the bag with scissors (but don't let the plastic fall in) and let the stock drain into a bowl. When you get to the fatty layer on top, just throw the bag away.