8 November 2017

Chicken Mulligatawny soup - with thanks to Jo Cooks

I was recently introduced to the terrific recipe blog "Jo Cooks" by another cooking friend.  He certainly is absolutely right about the wealth of interesting recipes on there - and lots that fit within my favourite type of "sit and put things in the pot in order" one pot dinners.

As a first foray, I immediately decided upon giving a go to Jo's recipe for Chicken Mulligatawny soup.  Mainly because it looked so good, but also because I've been looking for a great Mulligatawny recipe for the longest time.  So many Mulligatawny recipes are thin, brothy type of soups and to my mind, a good Mulligatawny needs some body.  I'm sure that back in the days of the British Raj - when the soup first found favour - it wasn't light and brothy, but rich and hearty.  Oh and speaking of the British Raj, the origins of the name are interesting (thanks, Wikipedia!), as the name apparently originates from the Tamil words "millagai"/"milagu" and "thanni" and can be translated as "pepper-water".  Ha!  Cute.  

Everything about Jo's recipe said "yum!" to me.  The fact that it was made with chicken appealed very much as I now have to be careful over my red meat consumption owing to a marked tendency towards gout.  So chicken ticked that box.  The use of the apple cubes appealed, too.  I like a fruity, milder, coconut flavoured curry and one turned into a soup could only be good in these colder early autumnal days.  I loved the simplicity of the cooking method, as well.  None of this "cook this, take it out, cook that, take it out and bring it all together at the end" malarky.  Nope.  Just chuck it into the pan in the right order and cook as described.  Lovely.

I made a few changes to Jo's original recipe - the first being that as I was making just half the original quantity, yet had to buy a 400ml can of coconut milk, was that I used the whole can and reduced the quantity of the chicken stock (broth).  I countered that by using an extra amount of chicken stock powder, so that the chickeny flavour was right up there and not compromised at all.

Secondly, I added a half a large potato, diced.  I just love potato in curry and as I was after a good, thick, hearty Mulligatawny I figured if some dissolved and added to the thick texture of the soup that could also only be good.  It certainly was - good, that is!

Aside from that, I made just small changes such as using 50:50 butter and coconut oil to start with, I used a red onion for its antioxidant properties, I used the full amount of turmeric for the health benefits and the full amount of curry powder because if it's supposed to be curried, let's taste it!  I  also backed off from some of the seasoning as my chicken stock is low salt, but it's worthwhile being cautious and adjusting the salt at the end.  You can't take it away once it's been added!

So I have detailed my version of Jo's recipe below - but my advice to you is to take a look at Jo's original recipe - here - and decide for yourself which recipe to follow.  Oh and for people who don't use cup measurements, mine is expressed in metric.  I know some of you have problems with cup measures!

Personally, I can't wait until tomorrow lunchtime because the leftovers of that soup are MINE, all MINE!  *chuckle*


Ingredients :

1 tbsp butter 
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large red onion, chopped finely
1 medium carrot, diced finely
1 stalk of celery, diced finely
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
1 medium potato, peeled and diced finely
sea salt and black pepper to taste
4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
half a tsp dried oregano
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
500ml chicken stock, made with 1.5 tsp chicken stock powder
150g dry basmati rice
400ml unsweetened coconut milk (1 can)
1 medium Braeburn apple peeled, cored and diced small
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped.

Method :

Using a large saucepan, soup pot, or as I did - a wok -  melt the butter and coconut oil over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and potato to the pot, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, stir and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the onion and carrot softens and the garlic becomes aromatic.

Add the chicken thigh pieces to the pot and cook for around 10 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink. Don't worry if it's not cooked through - it will finish cooking once the liquid is added.

Add the oregano, turmeric, curry powder and stir well to combine.  Sprinkle with the flour and stir again.

Add the chicken stock, rice and coconut milk, lower the heat to a medium-low and stir through well.  Let the soup simmer for about 10-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked through and you can be sure the chicken is fully cooked.

You may find that you need to add a little hot water every so often to maintain the soupy texture.  It is worthwhile having a little on hand in a jug so that you aren't tempted to swamp the soup!  Just add a small amount and stir through until the texture returns back to being soupy.

Add the apples and simmer for a couple more minutes, to heat them through and bring everything up to a piping hot temperature.

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve in warm bowls with crusty bread for dipping.

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