Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spicy Chicken Soup

This recipe is an update on my previous chicken soup recipe, and I think it's better. It involves most of the same ingredients, but has a lot more flavor. It gets a rich herbal flavor from oregano, some sweet earthiness from shiitake mushrooms, and a little kick of heat from some cayenne pepper.

2 stalks celery
2 cups chopped baby carrots
1/2 large turnip
1 bulb fennel
1 pkg sliced shiitake mushrooms (about 8 oz)
6-7 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 split chicken breast, on bone, with skin

Chop celery, carrots, turnip, and fennel into a 1/4 inch dice. Mince the garlic or push through a press. Put all of this into a large stockpot, and add the salt, pepper, cayenne, and oregano. Place the chicken on top, and add enough water to cover everything.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chick breasts from pot and set aside to cool. Turn heat off the soup and let that cool as well.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard it. Cut chicken off the bone and into small pieces. Return to pot, and add the shiitake mushrooms as well.

Bring back to a boil and reduce immediately. Simmer about 5-10 minutes, and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with a large spoonful of white rice cooked according to package directions.

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