I met Hanan on an airplane coming home from Israel. We chatted about all sorts of things. She now lives in San Jose and still loves to cook the food she grew up with. Not knowing my interest in chicken soup, she shared her mother’s recipe.
Hanan's mum's advice is that the soup should only have a small handful of rice because the broth is most important, especially when someone is sick.
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) chicken fat or olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes
- 2 celery stalks (ribs), cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes
- 120 g (4½ oz) curly parsley, leaves and stems roughly chopped
- 80 g (2¾ oz) coriander (cilantro), leaves and stems roughly chopped
- 1.9 liters (64 fl oz/8 cups) water or chicken stock
- 670 g (1½ lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces
- 100 g (3½ oz/½ cup) basmati rice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Heat the chicken fat or oil in a pot over a medium–high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently for 3–4 minutes until the onion is translucent and slightly golden.
2. Add 80 g (2¾ oz) of the parsley and all the cilantro and stir to combine, then add the water or stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, add the chicken, stir and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Add the rice, stir and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken and rice are tender. Season with salt and garnish with the remaining parsley.
Recipe and image from The Chicken Soup Manifesto by Jenn Louis, Published by Hardie Grant (RRP $45.00)