Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

It's flu season again. That means if you're down with it, you would have no appetite for anything that might be too rough on your throat. Second only to a nice soothing bowl of chok (congee), chicken noodle soup is packed with nutrients and flavour.

This recipe yields 5-6 bowls.

- Vegetable oil
- 1 turnip, cut into chunks
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and cut in half
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and pat dry
- 4-6 whole peppercorns
- 4-6 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme, marjoram, or tarragon
- 1 large bay leaf
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 7-8 cups chicken broth
- 1 carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 celery, cut into chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup corn kernels
- Pasta, homemade (recipe follows) or store-bought

1) Heat vegetable oil in a large pot. Add turnip, carrots and onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, being careful to avoid burnt spots. Transfer them to a bowl or dish and set aside.
2) Add in more vegetable oil and heat on medium-­high heat. Add chicken and saute, turning often, until lightly browned. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and cook about 10 minutes.
3) Return vegetables to the pot. Add peppercorns, cloves, herbs, garlic, salt and enough broth to cover contents about two inches. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. While the soup is simmering, occasionally skim off the foam that accumulates on top of the broth.
Add more broth if the liquid no longer covers the chicken and vegetables. Simmer until chicken is tender and almost falling off the bone, about 2
4) Transfer cooked chicken to a large dish. Strain broth into a large pot. Transfer any pieces of chicken in the strainer to the pot. Discard vegetables, garlic, spices and herbs.
5) Add carrot, celery, onion and corn kernels to the chicken broth. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from the bones, cut into bite-sized pieces and add, along with any juices, to soup. Bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Lastly, add in the cooked pasta.

Serve hot.

Homemade Pasta
- 100g all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- some olive oil

1) Place flour in a bowl. Make a well and crack the egg into the well.

2) Using your fingers, break the egg and slowly incorporate the flour into the egg until everything is combined. If the dough feels tough, trickle in some olive oil.
3) Knead for about 8-10 minutes until dough becomes smooth and silky.

4) Cover the bowl and leave the dough for at least 30 minutes.
5) Using a pasta machine, roll it out to your desired thickness and cut it into the shape your want. I used the fettuccine setting for mine. I then cut it into shorter strips so that I can just scoop up the noodles with a spoon instead of using chopsticks.
6) Boil them in water for about 3-4 minutes.

Set aside.

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