CHICKEN SOUP WITH CHORIZO, BELL PEPPERS AND SMOKED PAPRIKA (from Spain, for six)
For the stock:
a whole roasted chicken carcass, meat removed and reserved
2 teaspoons salt
4 celery stalks with leaves, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
6 carrots, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
6 parsley stems
6 cilantro stems
1 ham hock
salt and pepper to taste
For the soup:
4 assorted fresh sweet or mild peppers, such as bell peppers or pimientos (about 1 pound total), peeled, seeds and ribs removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large Spanish onions (about 2 pounds total), coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes (about 1-1/2 pounds total), peeled, seeded and diced
2 small cured chorizos (Spanish pork sausage, about 6 ounces), casing discarded, sausage coarsely chopped
8 small white potatoes, peeled and halved if they are larger than 2 inches
3 cups cooked chicken meat reserved from the stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
1-½ teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 cups canned chick peas
8 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1. Combine the chicken bones and scraps in a stockpot with salt and water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface of the stock.
2. Add the flavoring ingredients to the stock and simmer, partly covered, 1-1/2 hours or more. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Degrease the stock.
3. In a 7-quart heavy kettle, heat 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking and cook the peppers over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes. Transfer peppers to a bowl. Add remaining oil to the pot and cook onions, stirring occasionally, until softened and just pale golden, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf, paprika, parsley and salt to taste and cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Add peppers, chick peas and tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more. (Soup may be prepared up to this point 1 day ahead and cooled, uncovered, before being chilled, covered. Reheat soup before proceeding).
3. Bring the drained stock back to a boil in a stockpot. Add the potatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender. Taste carefully for seasoning.
4. Add the shredded chicken, pepper mixture, wine and chorizo to the stock and bring it to a boil. Simmer until it is heated through, about 3 minutes, season with salt and serve.
- If you want to make the soup with an uncooked chicken: Rinse the uncooked bird under cold tap water, remove any excess fat and and any giblets stashed in the cavity, and place the chicken in a pot with 1 tablespoon salt and water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, partly covered, for 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken from the pot to a plate (reserve the stock) and set it aside until it is cool enough to handle. Discard the skin, remove the meat from the bones and shred the meat. Once the meat has cooled completely, cover and refrigerate it until you’re ready to finish the soup. Return the bones to the pot and continue with the recipe at step 2.
- If your leftover chicken carcass doesn’t have enough meat on it to finish the soup: Buy 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts from your grocery, salt them and add them to the stock along with the potatoes after you’ve brought it back to a boil in step 3. Reduce the heat to medium and poach the chicken until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate to cool, then shred it. Proceed with step 4.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 1997