Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year? No Thanks.

I'm one of those people that totally buys into the concept of a New Year.  There's something sort of magical about that tiptoe crossing out of one year and into something shiny, new, fresh unmarred by disappointments and pain.  I made it exactly eight days into 2012 before I wanted to give it back.  Crawl back to the familiar if somewhat worn 2011.  Unfortunately, unlike unwanted Christmas presents, you are unable to return unwanted years.  You're stuck with them.  You can hope that they get better (hey, we even get a whole extra day to try this year); you can hope that how they start is the opposite of how they'll end, but you can't really do anything else.  So when the only way out is through, I'm the kind of person who'd rather not eat.  I don't want to give a false impression, I'm a real believer in comfort food and the ability of delicious things to lift up your mood, but when things are really, really tough, my appetite goes missing.

This is a soup you can eat when you don't think you can force yourself to swallow one spoonful.  This is a soup you can cook when you don't think you can stand at the stove.

Adapted slightly from my mother's trusty Time-Life series. Serves two with some leftover.
I even messed up and kind of curdled the eggs, but it was still delicious.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast
6-8 C chicken stock
3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (really, seriously, fresh juice, don't use bottled)
1/2 C rice
4 eggs
salt and pepper

In a large, heavy bottomed stockpot (I used my dutch oven), pour two-three cups of the chicken stock.  Rinse and dry your chicken breast and lightly salt and pepper the breast.  Heat the stock to a low simmer.  Add the chicken breast and cook 4-6 minutes a side until cooked through.  Tear the chicken into little bite sized bits.  Add the rest of the stock. I cook my rice separately because I am rice impaired.  I put the 1/2 C rice with the appropriate amount of chicken stock into my rice cooker and dealt with it that way. You can certainly cook it directly in the soup. I would add raw rice to the stock after removing the chicken and then cook it for 15 minutes or until tender.  Using cooked rice, I simply added it to the stock when it was done, along with the torn chicken.

In a small bowl, whisk the 4 eggs until light and frothy.  Then whisk in the lemon juice.  Stir in a quarter cup of the simmering stock, this will help keep the eggs from curdling.  Lower the heat under your soup because I felt like I couldn't get it low enough.  Slowly pour the egg/lemon juice/stock mixture into the soup pot, stirring constantly.  Cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the soup thickens enough to coat the spoon lightly.  Do not let this boil or even bubble really because the eggs will curdle.  Add additional salt to taste.

1 comment:

jmlc said...

The year will get better.
See, I made a version of this soup and hated it. I'll have to try yours- you've never let me down, food- or other-wise.


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