Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oliver's Chicken Stew

Still chilled by the rainy and overcast weather of this past week, I took the first opportunity I had this break to make one of my favorite cold-weather dishes: Oliver’s chicken stew. I particularly like this chicken soup because of the heartiness the tiny pasta (the recipe calls for stellini, but I used acini di pepe) and Parmesan cheese give it. I left out the tarragon and halved the recipe, since my friend and I seem to be the only ones left at Penn! Also, for the sake of time and to make use of what I already had in my refrigerator, I used a chicken breast instead of a whole chicken. In light of this change, I only cooked the chicken for about fifteen minutes before adding the vegetables. This soup really hits the spot; enjoy!

1 3 ½ - to 4-pound chicken, rinsed
8 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 medium carrots, thickly sliced
4 medium leeks, tender white part only, thickly sliced
4 celery stalks, thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
½ cup stellini (tiny star pasta)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
6 slices toasted Italian bread
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Place the chicken in a 6-quart pot breast side down. Add the stock, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, skimming often. Add the carrots, leeks, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and parsley and simmer. After 15 minutes, flip the chicken and cook for 25 minutes more. Remove the chicken and let cool.
2. Strain the vegetables, discarding the bay leaf and parsley. Return the stock to the pot; simmer until reduced by half. Pull the chicken meat off the bones. Add the pasta to the stock and cook for 3 minutes, then whisk in the butter, lemon juice, tarragon and parsley. Add the chicken and vegetables; heat through.
3. To serve, place a piece of toast in the bottom of each of 6 bowls, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Top with stew.

*Recipe by Jody Adams from Epicurious's website

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