A mum and a wife and sometimes just me

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Something like a Blumenthal look-alike

So I have tried twice recently to cook chicken soup. The fist time did not turn out so bad considering I did not have half the ingredients but the second time was close to perfection (well perfection for me and hubby anyway) considering I had a few more of the ingredients. I was very pleased with the end result and especially with hubby's responses...'I love when you cook like this'....'I was dreaming of this kind of chicken soup'.

So this fabulous recipe came from the BBC food recipes website and it's by Heston Blumenthal.

Chicken Soup


1kg/2lb 4oz chicken wings 
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large carrots, finely chopped
1 small head of celeriac, finely chopped
250g/9oz button mushrooms, finely sliced
200ml/7fl oz dry white wine
bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf and celery leaves)
4 whole star anise
3 sticks of celery, finely sliced
3 leeks, finely sliced
a small piece of fresh ginger 
salt and freshly ground black pepper 
large bunch of fresh parsley

Put the chicken wings into a casserole, pour over cold water just to cover and bring to the boil on a high heat. As soon as the water boils, skim off any impurities that may have risen to the surface, lift out the wings and cool them under running water. Pat dry. 
On a medium heat, melt the butter, add the chicken wings, onions, garlic, carrots, celeriac and mushrooms, and cook for 15 minutes.
Turn the heat up, pour in the wine, bring to the boil and reduce by half. Pour over cold water to cover by 5cm/2 inches, bring to the boil and skim off any impurities that may have risen to the surface. Add the bouquet garni and star anise, and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
Add the celery, leeks and ginger and continue simmering very gently for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat; season if necessary, add the parsley and leave to stand for 20 minutes.
Strain the soup through a fine-meshed sieve and then, if you have some, muslin. It can be eaten straight away, or left to cool and kept in an airtight container in the fridge.
Now it sounds good right! Definitely great considering the weather is changing and we are seeing less and less of Mr Sunshine. I learnt a new Italian word for it as well...uggioso. Of course I love following recipes exactly but sometimes when certain ingredients are missing you have to make do. Especially when it's the ones that you don't use regularly as well. 
Well first adaptation was the fact that I only had chicken thighs...but at least they still had the bone in them  which I think makes it better to form a sort of stock base or for flavour (I'm guessing by the way). Celeriac is also never in my house so that was missing. I used a bit of stock instead of the wine (which is probably cheating when it comes to flavours...oops). Then I had the right herbs just not the fresh ones so dried versions of the thyme had to do so it wasn't a bouquet garni. Ahmmm and I had no star anise either. Now I guess you understand that it was only a look-alike and not exactly the same thing! I never bothered to strain the soup either....hehehe.

Anyway...it still tastes great and a definite recommendation for you to try it!


  1. I might try this Bri, we're coming into the season of soups and stews! I'm like you, I don't care if some ingredient is missing I'll make do. I just cooked a chicken casserole for Max this week, his first taste of meat. It was pureed for him of course, but I had a taste first and it was delicious, I need to make more of these things for us.

  2. We had leftovers of this soup for lunch and it tasted even better! I watched Nigella Lawson last night (soft porn cooking if you ask me :)) and she did something very similar as well but with a whole chicken braised/poached in some water seasoned with very similar herbs. It's a great way to eat your vegetables as well which I am trying to do more of these days! She also did a peanut butter chocolate cheese cakes which I have to try as well :)


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