In my smallest voice but with my biggest smile and a huge hug, I want to thank you. I have surpassed 500,000 views…It’s blowing my mind!
Creating a new recipe is a lot like putting a puzzle together. If you think of the ingredients as pieces of a puzzle, either they fit together or they don’t. You can’t force them. If you do, you end up with a warped, distorted picture or likewise an unbalanced, inedible dish.
I do a lot of lateral thinking when I’m writing new recipes. Pulling ingredients from a dish that I love and reworking them to create something totally different. It’s a little game that I’ve played for years! I can’t believe that I actually admitted that out loud…
Saturday, I decided to play around with some chicken. My journey is a bit stream of consciousness so read closely. I was craving mulligatawny soup. Ralph was not. Curry leaves him running for fresh air! So what to use in place of the curry? This is where the lateral thinking kicks in. One of my favorite ways to eat chicken is roasted. What I love most about roast chicken is the stuffing. What’s in the stuffing? Bread, onion, garlic, potatoes, apples and sage – boom that was it! Instead of using apples and curry to create a mulligatawny soup, I decided to use all the ingredients from my chicken stuffing recipe and create a chunky chicken, apple and sage soup. I chose to use bread instead of potatoes because including both felt a little redundant.
Using bread in the recipe, let me ramp the soup up by turning it into an ‘au gratin‘. I used Rusk topped with a mountain of grated old cheddar. I chose cheddar cheese because of its natural affinity to apples. My craving for curry and chicken evaporated at the thought of hot, luxurious gobs of melted cheddar cheese gently bubbling on bread soaking in an apple, sage and chunky chicken soup.
chunky chicken and apple soup with cheddar au gratin
2 large skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into mouth-sized chunks
3 large apples, cored and diced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced – i used some roasted garlic paste that I had on hand
large handful fresh sage, snipped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups chicken stock – i used campbell’s ‘no salt added’
4 thick slices dry bread or Rusks
lots of grated cheddar cheese – i used old cheddar
In a deep large skillet, heat oil over medium heat
Add shallots, apples, garlic and carrots, saute for 5 minutes
Add chicken and saute until cooked – every stove is different so watch carefully
Add chicken stock and snipped sage and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Ladle soup into individual oven proof bowls
Place Bread/Rusks in each bowl and top generously with grated cheddar cheese
Place under broiler until cheese is bubbling and golden.
Thanks for reading.