Chicken noodle soup

Yes yes, I know – more bloody chicken (and ‘where’s a pudding recipe?’ I hear you scream), but come on, roast chicken is something we all encounter a couple of times a month, so it’s good to have some top notch leftover recipes up your sleeve. I am still down in Sussex at a friend’s house (hence the lack of recent entries) endeavouring to write some music, where we have been fed incredibly well by his Mum. Her roast chicken is sensational, with slippery and caramelised roast onions. We are left to our own devices the following day however, and seeing as there is a lot of roast chicken left and the weather has turned cold a zingy soup is clamoured for. We reckon we’re the most gourmet band in the world.

If you don’t have any leftover roast chicken (and why should you?) do this with 4 sliced chicken breasts simmered in the broth for 7-8 minutes. I do actually think roast chicken is much better for this, though, with a better texture and flavour. This is also excellent with prawns. Simmer in the broth until pink and firm.

Serves 4-6 easily

For the stock

Leftover chicken carcasses, with plenty of meat on them if possible
2 litres water
a splash of white wine
an onion, peeled and sliced
a stick of celery, sliced
a carrot, chopped into chunks
a few peppercorns

For the rest

2 red onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
4 birds eye chillies, sliced (seeds left in)
a thumb of ginger peeled and thinly sliced
a stick of lemongrass, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
a big handful of beansprouts
a packet of udon noodles
a good handful roughly chopped coriander

To make the stock, strip all the meat from the carcass and keep for the soup. With your hands, break up the bones into smaller bits. Put your roasting tray on a high heat and add the onion, celery and carrot. Stir for a couple of minutes, adding oil if necessary (the fat from the roasting should perform this task, however). Add the bones and continue to colour over a high heat for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a good splash of white wine and scrape up the juices. Transfer the contents to a saucepan, cover with water and add the peppercorns. Bring to a boil and simmer, with the lid off, for 2-3 hours. Pass through a fine sieve and set the stock aside.

Heat a little oil over a low heat in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and stir for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the chillies, ginger and lemon grass, increase the heat and stir for a further two minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer. Add the soy, beansprouts, noodles and your leftover chicken and simmer for 3 minutes or so. Add the chopped coriander and taste for seasoning. Serve in warm bowls.

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