Monday, May 10, 2010

Chicken Soup and Wheat Germ Biscuits

When I lived in Paris during my junior year abroad I loved buying little pre-made bundles of vegetables and herbs for a pot au feu and making chicken soup. Traditionally, pot au feu is made with beef but back in 2001 I wasn't eating anything that mooed. In fact I haven't had beef since I was fifteen but I have a feeling that will all change this summer...

But back to the soup. In Paris the chickens are so fresh they practically walk home with you. In America the legs are cut off, feathers are plucked clean and the poor little bird is wrapped to death in cellophane. But in France, you get a little more chicken with your chicken. Which I like. Before plopping the bird in a pot of water I would remove the bundle of organs, pluck off any remaining feathers and rub it down, breast to legs, with salt, rinse with water and pat dry. And when you shop for a chicken, it's usually sitting right up, a chilled breeze against it's skin, in the big glass display case of your local butcher shop. How could you not want to buy a bird like that?

My Parisian kitchen was about the size of my current "kitchen" so in a way, yesterday felt very, je ne sais quoi, as I made chicken soup.

I used my Cuisinart electric skillet and rather than cooking a whole bird, which would have just been ridiculous, I bought some thighs with bones and skin. This is my version of skillet chicken soup for two.

Maybe I should have given AJ Burnett some before the Yankees/Red Sox game yesterday. He could have used it.

And, because you can't just have chicken soup, I made wheat germ biscuits with honey and butter, with this cool weather we're having (again) they're a winning (hear that AJ) pair.

Chicken Soup
1 bay leaf
1/2 a yellow onion, cut into three wedges
3 chicken thighs
2 carrots
1 leek
1 turnip
1 waxy potato
1/4 of a celery root
1 cup egg noodles or rice
salt + pepper

Rub the chicken down with salt, rinse and pat dry. Brown the chicken in a skillet or pot. Pour water over the chicken until it's covered and add the bay leaf, onion and salt and pepper. Simmer for about an hour or until the meat falls off the bone. Add more water if it needs it.

Meanwhile, wash, peel and chop the carrots, turnips, potatoes and celery root about an inch square. Roughly chop the parsley.

When the chicken is ready, remove it from the broth and place aside to cool. Add the chopped vegetables and egg noodles, cook until tender but not overcooked. 

Meanwhile, pick the chicken off the bone and shred. Add to the soup.

Right before you're about to serve, toss the parsley in and taste for salt and pepper.

Wheat Germ Biscuits (from the Farm Journal Bread book)

1 1/2 cup sifted flour
1 tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup shortening (non-hydrogenated)
1/2 cup milk

Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter. Add milk and knead 15-20 times. Roll out to 3/4" thick and cut into circles with a cookie cutter or a small juice glass. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 

They are dry by nature so serve with butter and honey.

Red Sox Suck.


  1. oh that sounds so delicious. i mean like, make me want to eat chicken again, delicious!

    go yanks!

  2. Very nice recipes. Everything I see I want to eat today. It must be the cold and the rain.