Monday, December 7, 2009

Recipe Roundup: Chicken and Chickpea Soup

I've been so busy the past few days that I haven't had a chance to post. But I have been cooking away. I'll be posting the things we liked. First up:

Chicken and Chickpea Soup. This is a recipe from the December issue of Everyday Food. It's scaled to serve six, so I cut the recipe in half, sort of, and made a few other tweaks.

First, I used boneless chicken breasts instead of the bone-in thighs suggested. This cut the prep time by a lot, since instead of cooking the chicken in a complicated way, I simply added chunks of raw chicken into the pot after I'd sauteed the onions for awhile. I added the spices when I added the chicken, so the chicken ended up being nicely flavorful.

I cut the amount of chicken down to half a pound, cut the amount of broth in half as well, but kept the full amounts of spices, carrots, onions, chickpeas and lemon juice. As a result, the soup was really chock full of vegetables and smelled and tasted delicious. I also really appeciated the garnish of cilantro, garlic and lemon zest - it added a nice finishing touch to the soup and was worth the five minutes it took to mix it up. I'll definitely make this soup again.

Chicken and Chickpea Soup
Source: Everyday Food Magazine, December 2009
Serves: 6. Prep time 15 minutes. Total time 1 hour 15 minutes (I think I made it in about 30 min)

2 tsps. olive oil

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I used 1/2 pound of boneless chicken breasts)

coarse salt and ground pepper

1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 tsps. minced garlic

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

3/4 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

6 cups chicken broth (I used three cups)

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro (corriander)

(I skipped this first step, opting to add boneless cut up chicken to the pot along with the garlic and spices in step two) 1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook, skin side down, until skin is browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until browned, 6 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.

2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from pot. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of garlic and spices; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in carrots and return chicken to pot. Stir in broth.

3. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a medium simmer, partially cover and cook until chicken is falling off the bone, about 50 minutes. (Again, this took a lot less time - I cooked the chicken fully in step two, so then I just let the soup simmer until the carrots were soft, around 10 minutes)

4. Remove chicken from soup. When cool enough to handle, tear chicken into large pieces, discarding skin and bones. Return meat to pot. Add chickpeas and season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon garlic, lemon zest, and cilantro; sprinkle over each soup serving before serving.

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