The savoury smell of this hearty Andalusian soup is sure to warm your soul on even the chilliest of evenings.
A typical dish from Andalusia, the autonomous region in southern Spain, this soup’s main ingredient can be rice or fideo cabellín, short pasta (the preparation remains the same, although the cooking time for the pasta is shorter than for rice). The soup is often served without the addition of chicken meat. Variations of this soup include chickpeas, carrots and a final squeeze of lemon. And, in some versions, the broth includes bones and meat of several types of animals (cow, pig) in addition to chicken. This thick and comforting soup is delicious, especially in winter.
serves 4 to 6
- 1 3 lb chicken, quartered
- 10 cups water or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ½ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra
- 3½ oz bread, cut into ½ in cubes
- 7 oz jamón serrano, finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- ¾ cup white long-grain rice
- 8 mint sprigs, plus extra to garnish
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- Place the chicken and water or stock in a large pot with the salt. Weigh down the chicken under a few small plates to keep it submerged and simmer gently over medium heat until the chicken pieces are cooked through, about 7–10 minutes for the breasts and 15–18 minutes for the legs and thighs. The meat should separate from the end of the leg bone when cooked, a thermometer will read 165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast and the juices of the chicken will run clear.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and leave until cool enough to handle. Remove the chicken skin and discard. Using your hands, shred the meat and set aside if using for the soup, or save for another use. Strain the broth and reserve.
- Meanwhile, warm ½ cup olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. When hot, add the bread cubes in batches and stir until golden and toasted. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towel and repeat with the remaining cubes. Set aside.
- Wipe out the pot from cooking the chicken, add the remaining olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add the jamón and garlic and gently cook for 2 minutes, or until tender. Add the sherry and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until the liquid evaporates. Add the rice, mint and reserved broth, about 8 cups liquid, and cook gently for 8–12 minutes until the rice is tender and the soup is thick. Add the reserved chicken if using in the soup.
- Remove and discard the mint sprigs from the soup, Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped eggs, the fried bread cubes and fresh mint sprigs.
The Chicken Soup Manifesto: $40.54; amazon.ca
Excerpted from The Chicken Soup Manifesto: Recipes from Around the World by Jenn Louis. © 2020 Reproduced by permission of Hardie Grant. All rights reserved.