In my current craze of slow roasting, yesterday I decided to slow roast a chicken. I placed it in a roasting pan, poured a cup or so of water around it, added herbs, a cut up lemon, juniper berries, salt, pepper and cumin, covered it with aluminum foil and put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Well, it sort of poached/roasted - but it was the tenderest chicken I've EVER cooked. The Jack Russell and I tore through a leg and thigh and just as we were starting on the second leg we remembered we needed the meat for the soup. It was falling off the bone tender. I'm ALWAYS going to poach/roast my chickens from now on.
Of course use whatever type of pasta your heart desires, or rice, or barley, pretty much anything will work. I would advise keeping the pasta separate from the broth until you're ready to serve, otherwise the pasta swells and rather overpowers the soup.
Chicken Soup with Vegetables and Mini Pasta Shells.
For the chicken.
1 4lb (ish) chicken
salt and pepper
1 bunch of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary and parsley tied together
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of juniper berries
1 cup of water.
For the soup.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 leeks, thoroughly washed and finely chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
pinch of cumin
a hearty shake of Worcestershire sauce
32 oz of chicken broth
1 cup of frozen peas
1 packet of mini pasta shells.
Heat the oven to 325 F
Place the chicken in a roasting pan, rub it thoroughly with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin, stuff it with a cup up lemon.
Pour a cup of water around the chicken, add the other cut up lemon, herbs and juniper berries to the water.
Cover the bird with aluminum foil fairly tightly and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile make the soup.
In a large pan heat the olive oil, add the chopped onion and saute for a good 8 minutes or so, just don't let them burn.
Add the garlic, saute for a further 2 minutes, then add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, salt and pepper, cumin and Worcestershire sauce. Stir well and add the broth.
Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover until all the veggies are well cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven, allow to cool slightly. Tear off the flesh. It will looks something like this.
Cook the pasta shells, toss in a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper so they don't stick together and reserve.
Add the frozen peas to the soup, they will cook through themselves, along with the chicken. Add the a grinding of black pepper, a sprinkling of fresh parsley and the pasta just before serving. Offer Parmesan if you wish.