Thursday, 15 October 2015

Restorative Chicken Broth

Autumn is well under way and we’ll soon be in the icy grip of winter in London – as such our house has fallen victim to more than the odd case of the sniffle. Any sign of a cold, or worst, the flu and I immediately crave my Mum’s ‘Chicken Stew’ which was a stalwart mid-week dinner whilst growing up – full of vegetable goodness.

This is best, in my humble opinion, cooked using leftover roast chicken, preferably joints such as the legs, as the bones infuse plenty of chicken flavour into the broth and it is vastly improved by using fresh chicken stock. That said, I have in desperate times resorted to buying cooked chicken thighs and using shop-bought stock but I draw the line at stock cubes for this.

This version makes quite a thick broth, but if you prefer more liquid, perhaps to dip in doorsteps of bread, then up the stock by half.

My little girl who is still in the weaning process aged just over one, absolutely loves this too, although it can be messy as she doesn’t like to be spoon fed anymore and only likes to do this herself but what a great, healthy meal for her. 

Restorative Chicken Broth

Here’s how:

Leftover roast chicken – about 200g of meat is sufficient for 4-5 portions

  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • ½ red chilli
  • 70g pearl barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 500ml-1 litre of fresh or shop-bought chicken stock (I like Morrison’s Signature version)

Firstly peel and chop the carrots, onion, ginger and parsnips and add to a large saucepan.

Peel and crush the garlic and finely slice the chilli, celery and leeks and also add these to the pan.

Using your hands, pull apart the chicken and add to the pan including the bones from the chicken, which you can remove once the meat falls off.

Then add the pearl barley, bay leaves, cloves and black pepper and top up with stock.

Place on a medium heat and slowly bring to boiling point then turn right down and cook for 40 minutes. The longer you cook the broth for, the better it will taste and the pearl barley will need at least 30 minutes cooking either way.


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