Monday, January 9, 2012

Chicken Meatball Soup

Ingredients for the chicken stock:
2 T vegetable oil
bones from 1 whole chicken
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 cup fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 T peppercorns
24 cups water
salt and freshly ground pepper

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Ingredients for chicken meatballs:
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
1 pound ground chicken, or 4 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 T olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
freshly ground pepper

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Ingredients for the soup:
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups watercress
4 blackened chicken wings, for garnish (from Blackened Chicken Salad recipe)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, for garnish

Preparing the chicken stock:
In a large stockpot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken bones, stir to coat and cook for 5 minutes to brown. Add the vegetables to the stockpot along with the herbs and peppercorns. Stir to mix, add the water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 4 to 6 hours. The stock will have reduced by half. Strain and skim the fat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Reserve.

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Preparing the chicken meatballs:
Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. In a food processor, combine the ground chicken, or chicken breasts if using, the red onion and garlic. Blend for 2 minutes. Add the dill, olive oil, salt, chile flakes and breadcrumb mixture. Spinkle with freshly ground pepper.

Using 1 teaspoon of the ground chicken mixture, form small meatballs. Reserve on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook in the soup.

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Preparing the soup:
In a medium stockpot, cook the vegetables in oil for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 8 cups stock and the chicken meatballs. Let simmer until the meatballs are cooked, about 15 minutes. When ready to serve, divide the watercress in the bowls and add a ladle of chicken soup. Garnish with the blackened chicken wings and fresh dill.

Serves 6 to 8


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