Saturday, 4 March 2006

A Bowl of Comfort

I have had a few days off work, which explains why I have not been blogging (no computer at home, sigh!).

Thursday was marvellous- I had seen lovely Alisons delicious chocolate cake recipe at, and wanted to make it as a welcome home cake for Carl. So I wandered into town, got my haircut, Easy Living Magazine (with free Cath Kidston makeup bag!), the ingredients for the cake, and meandered home again. About five minutes from home, the sky turned opaque, and I was surrounded by whirling, swirling snow. So pretty to be out in it, but also know I was so close to home!

We were not sure exactly what time Carl would be home, but his flight was at 6ish, so we thought he would be home between 8 and 9, depending on blizzards, traffic and so on! So I needed a light but filling yummy dinner that would make the flat smell comforting and nice- I settled on homemade bread, and chicken soup. This chicken soup really is comfort in a bowl. The recipe I used I learnt at school, and have tweaked it a bit over the years.

If you are making the soup from scratch, chop up two chicken breasts, or the equivalent of about this much in meat from leg portions or whatever, and cook in an ounce of butter over a gentle heat in a saucepan. When they are cooked through, but not dried out and tough, sprinkle over an ounce of plain flour, then add 250mls of milk and 250mls of chicken stock (made with a good quality cube). Add a good grinding of pepper, and bring to the boil, simmer gently, stirring from time to time, and after ten minutes, you are done.

My more usual method of doing this is to make it a day or two after I have roasted a chicken. I save the equivalent of two breasts worth of meat (and the good thing is it can be all the little nibbly bits, not necessarily the pretty bits!), and I also boil the carcass in lots of water and reduce it down to make chicken stock. When I use this method, I just heat the chicken through in the butter, then dissolve the stock cube in the stock and proceed from there.

I tend to use the first method when I have not thought in advance, and have a sudden urge or need for chicken soup comfort in a bowl, and the second method I use more often, and when I am planning out my menus for the week.

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