Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Vietnamese Coriander Meets Chicken
This is not your Grandma's Chicken soup. This is interesting. Much more interesting. When I picked this up at the herb festival earlier this spring, I was not sure what to do with it. Now I know. Vietnamese Coriander is spicy, a bit like cilantro, but with more lemony undertones. Great with chicken and lime.
Here is a great idea for chicken soup for all of you who are working the Diner system. Freezer Favorite chicken soup. Here is how.
1. Make a big batch of chicken soup. However much you like, or whatever will fit into your stock pot. Use just a little salt and pepper to flavor the broth. Let the broth condense a bit more than usual if freezer space is at a premium. If not, flavor is best at regular strength, I think. Make sure you have freezer containers for individual servings of soup.
2. You now have a choice to make. A. You can divide the soup and freeze it as is, adding the flavorings later. B. You can divide the containers into flavor batches to prepare now.
3. If dividing into flavor batches is the way you prefer, transfer the chicken and stock into several pots. Add fresh herbs and spices and allow the soup to simmer. The flavors will become a part of the essence of the soup and give you a wonderful taste sensation.
4. Place soup into individual servings, label and freeze. If you chose not to flavor now, you will add the herbs and spices when you reheat. You will just need to simmer the soup a bit longer before serving.
This weekend, I made use of my herb gardens for our chicken soup. Wonderful stuff.
John, who is not nearly as adventurous as I am, chose a basil based chicken soup. Garlic and basil--who can argue with that? Add a twist of lemon and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese...maybe a tomato or two from the garden, and you have a great light meal.
I love the unusual, so this was for me. I will be making it again. Good thing the Vietnamese Coriander and Lemon Balm are my best producers right now. This is the recipe for a small batch, so you can see if you like it before making the big batch for the freezer.
Vietnamese Chicken Soup
1 chicken breast
1 quart water
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 clove garlic
2 packets True Lime or 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
10-15 Vietnamese Coriander leaves
6 Lemon Balm leaves
Boil chicken breast in water until cooked through. Dice or shred the cooked meat and return it to the pot. Add salt, pepper, onion and garlic. Let simmer while chopping the herbs. Add herbs to the pot and simmer for ten minutes or more.
If you want to make this a little heartier, you could add chopped veggies. I would imagine cauliflower would be good. Just choose something that doesn't overpower the herbs.I am also going to try the Vietnamese Coriander in a fresh green salad for some extra flavor.
I just got the June newsletter out. It is a low carb shopping guide with lots of ideas for low carb items at really good prices. You can order a newsletter subscription at the Diner website.