Chicken Noodle Soup with Croutons and Chicken Kiev with Roast Vegetables.
The weather is cooling down in Australia, and the food is warming up. I love Winter, where it's publicly acceptable to eat soup. I eat soup throughout the year, because I just can't help myself.
This feeds all six of us, but the Kiev isn't a favourite with the kids. When we're having them, they get a sausage, or a plain thigh, baked in the oven, smeared with a bit of tomato sauce.
3 cloves of garlic (2 for the kievs, 1 for the soup)
1 Tbls chopped herbs (I use Italian Parsley and Chives)
4 Tbls butter (not margarine) softened
2-3L chicken stock (home made or pre-bought- but don't use stock cubes only)
about 1kg fresh chicken thighs (or breasts- but thighs are flavour filled and inexpensive. Breasts will leave you with "prettier" chicken.) You need 1 for each person for the kiev, and at least 4 for the soup. No pre-frozen pieces (I cheated for the soup, and used a roast chicken from Coles)
2 chicken or bacon stock cubes
4 large potatoes, peeled
4 carrots, peeled
1 onion, diced (for soup)
1 onion quartered (for roast)
2 stalks of celery, diced
Pumpkin (for roast)
1 cup of frozen peas and corn combination
1/2 loaf of day old bread (unsliced preferably- I love sour dough cob loaf- but if you don't have these, just normal sliced bread will do)
1-2 eggs, seasoned and beaten together
300g spaghetti broken into 3cm(ish) pieces
2 Tbls corn flour, mixed with 2Tbls warm water to make a paste
1) Start by making your garlic butter. To do this simply combine butter, herbs and 2 cloves of garlic. I use my stick blender, and wazz it until smooth. Put butter onto a piece of cling wrap and roll it into a thin log, and put it in the fridge. You want it to be able the thickness of your thumb.
2) Put the chicken stock onto boil in a large pot. Add whole chicken thighs, celery, 2 carrots, finely diced, onion, garlic, stock cubes and 1/2 a diced potato. Simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 20mins.
3) Meanwhile, place the rest of the vegetables, cut into roasting sized pieces into water, and put into the fridge.
4) Take half of your bread, and mix it in a food processor, and add some salt and pepper. You can also add herbs, if you want to be fancy. Add a little olive oil to bring it together. Cut the rest of the bread into cubes, place on a tray, and drizzle on a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven on a low heat, until croutoney.
5) When your butter is firm enough to cut, take the cling wrap off, and cut to size. Wrap it inside your chicken thigh. If you're using breast, you need to make a cut and stuff it inside.
4) Dunk the chicken in the egg mixture. Coat the chicken into the bread crumb, back into the egg, and back into the crumb. Double crumbing will ensure the crumbs stick, and go nice and crunchy. Pro tip- use one hand for egg, one hand for crumb, and you wont end up with it on your hands, and none on the chicken. Wrap in cling wrap, and put in the freezer until tomorrow night.
5) Take your chicken out of the soup, and skim the weird stuff off the top of the liquid. Using a fork, shred chicken and put back into the soup. Add your corn flour paste, and stir well. When your soup thickens, add the noodles, and cook for the required amount of time for the noodles to cook.
6) Get the kids serves out well in advance, and let cool. Serve and allow everyone to add their own croutons... it's the best bit!
1) Put chicken, potato and pumpkin into a roasting dish. Dress vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook chicken kiev from frozen. Cook for 40-60 mins in a moderate oven (180degree C). When there is 20mins to go, add carrots, and if you're cooking sausages for the kids, pop them into the roasting dish too. They will need turning at 10mins to go.
Just before serving, microwave peas and corn in water, until hot.