We may need a soundtrack and a tissue for this one.
Today is my Nan's cream of chicken soup, a recipe I have been trying to recreate for about 20 years. Without sounding like a reality TV show contestant my Nan passed away when I was about 10 and to young to have known to pay closer attention to her cooking. Why would you need to they will always be there to make your favourites right?
If there was ever the possibility of time travel I would go back and watch her like a hawk to document every move she made when making this soup. Nothing in this world can compare to a creamy velvet flavour exploding spoonful with its melt in the mouth chicken morsels.
It was a time when the words "Fat Free" meant a freebie at the butchers and food was made rather than opened. So there is nothing light about this soup except the colour, but you can substitute for lighter optional it will just be like getting a hug from the lesser favourite Nanna.
I don't have any proof of how good a cook she was as they didn't have Master Chef or blogs back then, but she did have a catering business and I knew none of the other nannas could compete. There was a great array of treats pouring from the kitchen but how much my memories have been embellished by time and longing I'm not sure. But I do fondly remember a thing called Flummery that I could steal fingers licks of while it set in the fridge, I think it was a whipped up jelly and maybe condensed milk. I just knew it was good.
While I have tried so many variations of this soup to create a recreation of that at Nan's kitchen table taste, I've come to the conclusion that the key ingredient is a cup and a half of nostalgia with just a pinch of regret.
Norma's Cream of Chicken Soup
- 4-5 chicken thigh fillets skin off
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 litres full cream milk
- 1.5 litres good chicken stock
- 50g butter
- 4 tbsp. plain flour
- 300ml thick cream (extra to garnish)
- 5-6 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 small nutmeg
- Salt and white pepper to season
- Poach chicken thigh fillets and garlic in 1 litre of milk on low for about 20-30mintues till just cooked
- Remove fillets and cut into small cubes
- Add remaining milk and stock to pot and heat on low (it is easier to add warm liquid to the roux)
- In a large pot on high melt the butter
- Add the flour and mix together to make a roux
- Let the paste cook for about 2 minutes then slowly add 2-3 cups of liquid and whisk together, beating out any lumps
- It is now a process of slowly whisking on low heat and as the soup thickens add another 1-2 cups of liquid should take about 10-15 minutes
- If liquid is added too quickly it will take forever to thicken up again
- Add spring onions when all liquid has been added
- Add chicken cubes and cream
- Grate whole nutmeg (for me this is the secret ingredient so I go to town)
- Season to taste
- Serve with an extra dollop of cream and more nutmeg