Saturday, January 8, 2011
It's cold, it's winter time and I cannot think of a better food image than a nice bowl of warm, tasty, comforting chicken soup. My doctor told me that it really can help to get over a very nasty cold...As in many other aspects of cooking, I know there are two ways of doing this: The quick and easy Progresso or Campbell's way, or the long, tedious but definitively more rewarding way of homemade chicken soup with boiled meats and vegetables. Keep in mind that my Bollito Misto described here a very simplified version of a much more meaningful and complete experience. I had Bollito Misto in the past where lots of different parts, from tongue to head were used. The tricky part of this enhanced version is that each type of meat releases its own juice and therefore gives a different flavor to the broth. Traditionally they would be cooked separately with different cooking times. Moreover, each of these nicely cooked pieces of meat should be paired up to a nice homemade salsa to be enjoyed as a second course. The most famous of the sauces is the "salsa verde" made with parsley, garlic, anchovies and other ingredients. Recipes for this type of salsa are readily available. As I mentioned before, I will keep this recipe simple and practical, but feel free to elaborate with different degrees of difficulty as you please:
1 celery stalk
1 beefsteak tomato
3 medium pieces of beef, 4 ounces each
1 whole hen cut into pieces or alternatively use chicken
1 chicken bouillon cube
Start by laying all vegetables and meats at the bottom of the pot. Continue by filling the pot with water, do not fill to the top, just 1 inch more than its half. Cover the large pot with a lid, but letting a little gap on the side to let the steam out. Let the soup simmer at low/medium heat for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender to the touch and the vegetables begin to break down in the broth. At this point , I like to transfer my broth to a smaller pot. I will use the broth to cook with small meat tortellini, or ravioloni or filled pasta of choice. (I love fagottini with prosciutto and parmesan cheese filling). When your soup with pasta is ready , you can serve it as a "primo" ( first course), while the boiled meat, with some veggies and sauces to garnish can be served as a "secondo" or second course.