I had intended to make this recipe back in the late summer or early fall. Considering I fell off the horse and was lame for a month, I did pretty well in the cooking department. But I didn't get to this.
To be honest, this is not a dish that one should undertake after getting home from work, especially if you do not wish to eat at 10:00 pm. It's time consuming. I left school around 4:15 after another staff member got around to moving her car. Then I did a couple of quick errands, including dropping my winter coat off at the cleaners. I did a quick estimate and figured it probably hadn't been to the cleaners for at least a year and probably two.
After that, I dragged the long suffering dog out into the freezing cold, walked him around the block, and then prepared to make the soup. Even though I got out of work relatively early, I was still starting dinner at 6:00.
First, I boiled the chicken. The recipe called for two ribs of celery and some parsley, which we did not have. I turned the soup down, not off, and took off for Safeway, worrying as I did that I would get into some kind of accident, and the house would burn down and take the dog with it. Well, this dire event did not occur, but later in the evening, my husband pointed out that we actually had celery. So now, we have two heads of celery.
Once the broth is ready, the recipe says to cook sliced baked potatoes and onions in butter for two or three minutes, and then boil them in the broth. Then, buzz the whole thing in the blender, taking care not to overfill it, thus creating a fountain of hot soup that decorates the kitchen wall.
The result is a fabulous soup. It was so yummy.
If you want to make it on a work night, the smart thing would be to boil the chicken ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator. This would enable you to skim off the fat from the broth.
Cream of Chicken Soup
1 three-and-one-half pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
6 cups water
2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter. (Darn, I thought it was one half cup. No wonder the soup was so yummy.)
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced or diced
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1 cup light cream
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1. Place the chicken pieces in a heavy casserole or kettle. Add the water, celery, bay leaf, parsley springs, one teaspoon of the salt and one-quarter teaspoon of the pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently until chicken is tender, about fifty minutes. Remove chicken pieces from the broth. Strain the broth into a kettle and remove surface fat.
2. Take the chicken meat from the bones and skin and cut meat into large slivers. Set aside.
3. Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the onions in it until transparent but not browned. Add the potatoes, toss and cook two to three minutes without browning.
4. Add vegetables to the broth in the kettle. Add the saffron and remaining salt and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer forty-five minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender.
5. Pass the mixture through a sieve or puree in an electric blender. Return to the kettle. stir int he cream and reserved chicken. Reheat but do not boil. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.
What gives this soup its thickness is boiled sliced potatoes, run through a blender. And boiling the potatoes in the chicken broth takes time.