Chicken soup is THE thing for some quiet comfort. Driven by my wish to get some of my very own, I turned to the pot and found it sufficiently big to whip up a huge batch of this soul-satisfying concoction. The ingredients? Well, here you have it:
1 chicken, cut in pieces
Celery leaves (some)
3-4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 single onion, skin removed
1 piece of ginger, hit with the back end of a knife.
Bring all of these to boil with 1.3 liters of water. Boil from an hour, strain off the stock.
Remove the chicken and shred roughly.
Meanwhile, re-heat the stock, and remove 1 cup from it. the remaining can be used as stock to build up other soups, or if you are like me, then salt, pepper, seasoning and some scallions go in it, together with a handful of finely shredded boiled chicken and a single egg white dropped at the very end for the most satisfying wintry soup ever. However, I had plans for the remainder one cup.
So then I heated a heaped tablespoon of butter and while it was sizzling nicely, added a level tablespoon of regular flour. I quickly mixed them together and brought them to a nice sizzle, till I could see the beautiful golden shade hit the flour. At that point, I gently added the stock and boiled the concoction for about 4-5 minutes or so, till it was all bubbly and thick. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and a touch of thyme. Then I took a baking dish, poured half the sauce to cover the bottom, and piled on the chicken with a couple of stocks of celery and poured the sauce all over it.
Then I rolled out a sheet of pastry (those of who are making it from the scratch, remember to make a stiff dough with a cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tsp salt, and some really cold water), and fit it to cover the chicken mixture. a few perforations here and there with a fork, and a stiff brush with a single egg yolk (you can use the white in the soup) and then off to the oven for 35 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade.
The result is a satisfying chicken pot pie.