The cream of chicken and wild rice soup that I posted a few months ago is one of my most requested recipes. But, I think this chicken soup recipe will become just as popular. Chicken soup seems easy, but developing the proper depth of flavor can be tricky. This recipe has a few techniques that make it rich in flavor without making you devote the whole day to the stove. My daughters loved it and so did I. This is a keeper!
Hearty Cream of Chicken Soup
2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp water
1 lb. leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise and chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup dry sherry
8 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
12 oz. (about 3 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives
- Peel skin off chicken breasts and reserve. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place water and chicken skin in Dutch oven and cook over medium low heat with lid partly on and cook until fat has rendered from the skin, about 7 minutes.
Uncover pot, increase heat to medium and cook until the skin has browned, about 3 minutes, flipping skin halfway through cooking. Add leeks, and butter and cook about 3 minutes until leeks are soft. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sherry and cook about 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in broth. Add potatoes, carrots, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool. Continue to let the soup simmer. Skim grease and foam from surface of the soup. Discard chicken bones and shred chicken into 1 inch pieces. Discard chicken skin, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Off heat, stir in cream and chicken. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. When serving, garnish with fresh chives. Serves 6.
*From Cooks Illustrated The Best of 2015 magazine. I highly recommend buying this magazine at the grocery store. The recipes are well tested and well thought out.
*Always chop before cooking. This will make your soup cooking very enjoyable and free of stress.
*Wash leeks well. They are often sandy. Leeks are in the same family as onions but are sweeter and more delicate. They are great for soups.
*I like using reduced sodium chicken broth because I prefer adding the amount of salt I choose into the soup. Cooks Illustrated recommends Swanson brand.