October 3, 2008

Slow Food For Fall

I'm a few days late for Naomi's Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free event, but maybe she'll let me slide under the wire. This month's theme is slow food. The slowest food I can think of is my mother's turkey soup. Every Thanksgiving, except one, Mom roasted a huge turkey for our family of three, or four while Nonna was with us. I'm talking 20 pounds, in the oven ALL day, big kinda turkey.

After everyone ate turkey for several days Mom would cut the remaining meat from the bones and boil the bones in her huge soup pot. Th pot stayed on the stove for several days, simmering away. After two days of simmering the bones she removed them from the stock and placed the pot outside on th
e deck to cool. The next morning Mom skimmed the fat from the surface and began freezing bags or turkey stock.

We always had a big pot of turkey soup made from the last of the Thanksgiving bird, and homemade turkey soup was Mom's answer to all of winters sniffs, sniffles and dark days. Her soups were always peppery sharp and hearty. She added chunks of roast turkey or chicken, onions, carrots, celery, lots of garlic and pepper. Rice got fat soaking up the stock and fresh grated parmesan and pecorino topped these love fill
ed bowls she placed before us.
If that's not slow food, I don't know what is.

I have neither the tools, space, or kitchen time to cook this the way Mom did. Maybe one day I'll have a kitchen of my own, but until then, I can always make Mom's feel better soup like this.

1 bone-in chicken breast, with or without skin
2 white onions
6 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
1 bunch parsley
1 huge carrot
3 bay leaves
olive oil
fresh ground pepper
kosher salt

In a large soup pot, stock pot slow cooker place the rinsed chicken, 1 onion, 3 smashed cloves of garlic, 1 stalk of celery, 1/2 the parsley and bay leaves. Simmer for at least three hours.

Allow stock to cool, then remove chicken, onion, garlic, celery, parsley and bay leaves. Discard the vegetables.

In a large bowl or on a plate, pick all the chicken meat from the bones, shredding it into small pieces.

Chill the stock and skim the congealed fat from the surface if desired.

Chop the remaining vegetables. Heat a skillet with olive oil and begin sauteing the garlic and onions on low heat. When they are translucent and the carrots and let them sweat, covered, until they are slightly crisper than you would like. Add the celery and continue cooking until the celery is cooked.

Return the chicken and vegetables to the stock, add remainder of the parsley, chopped, and season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

If you can eat rice or grains, add any cooked rice or grain of your choice and serve.

* Mom always cooked the rice separately and added it only at the very end, into each bowl separately. If we stored the leftover soup and rice together, by the next night the rice had soaked up all the liquid and it no longer resembled soup.

**I always loved to add lots of fresh cheese to the left overs, I guess that was me making my very first risotto.

No comments: