Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicken Soup with Bacon, Broccoli, & Oricchette


In the story "Stone Soup," three hungry travelers convince wary villagers to give them some food in a time of scarcity. The trio fill an empty pot with water from a nearby stream, drop a large stone into it, and set it over a fire. Seeing this, the townspeople gather round, asking if it is delicious. "Oh yes," the trio replies, adding that it could use a little of "this and that" for a garnish. One villager offers a few carrots, another adds some seasoning, until eventually the entire village has contributed to a delicious soup shared by all. Whenever my teacher retold that story in class, I was hungry for soup by the time the stone hit the bottom of the pan. Soup has always had a hold on me.

This Chicken Soup with Bacon, Broccoli, & Oricchette you'll want to share (or horde for yourself, whatever - it keeps well in the freezer), and the delicious bacon bits and doughy oricchette will settle nicely at the bottom of your tummy like warm, delicious, digestible stones keeping you nice and toasty this winter. Dive in. 

Servings: enough for a small village (12)
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 2.5 hours

1/2 lb thick-cut bacon or pancetta, cut into thick dice
1 1/2 lb chicken legs
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup red wine
10 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb fresh oricchette

Salt & pepper to taste
Sriracha or other hot sauce optional

Brown the bacon in a heavy stockpot until most of the fat has rendered, about ten minutes. Remove from the pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook skin-side down first, before flipping and browning both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to a platter.

Add the garlic, celery, and carrots to the pot. Pour in the wine, and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about seven minutes. Add the bacon back to the pot, and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by about 1/3.

Arrange the chicken pieces in the pot, add the stock, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour, or until the chicken easily separates from the bone. Remove the chicken to a large bowl. Add the broccoli florets and oricchette to the pot, cover and resume simmering. Using two forks, separate the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Return to the pot. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a healthy dose of sriracha for a little heat. Simmer for ten minutes or until the pasta is tender, and serve. 

I am not responsible for the resulting horde of hungry villagers drawn by the lovely smells to your doorstep. Also, it's a lovely story, but if someone shows up on your lawn with a pot full of rocks and hosewater, do not make them soup. Call the police. 

Nutrition Info (1 serving):
Coming Soon!!

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