With flaked almonds & garlicky mash
This was a bit of a disaster to plate up. As I’d gone with a thin broth (with no roux added) and wanted the creamy, garlicky potato mash to thicken the soup I couldn’t get the mash out of its mould. So, starting again I oiled the mould very lightly and managed to slide the garlicky mash unto the plate. Only to carefully pour in the broth which attracted the excess oil like proverbial moths to a flame which left large puddles of oil floating like an oil spill. After cleaning up, reheating the soup I tried again. However, the paprika used in the stock separated and floated awry only to form an unsightly rim around the edge of the plate. Couldn’t use the photos. Third and last time, I frantically cooked a runny roux of sunflower oil and plain (all purpose) flour as the natural light was wearing as thin as my patience. The roux helped to amalgamate the excess oil and the smoked sweet paprika, the latter colouring the soup.
So, third time lucky it is then. And it’s the third time to develop this soup that was brought over by my, apparently, ancestor’s Mother-in-law from France to Edinburgh, around 400 years ago. Unfortunately, I can’t find an original recipe for this soup online, and the version I’d made several years ago was only loosely based on a recipe I’d found in an old cookery book, mostly about ‘ye olde’ British food, that belonged to my neighbour living directly above my then flat in Central London. Chances are this is nothing close to the original as it would’ve been a thick potage with the meat of the poached chicken minced or ground with the almonds and then reheated in the stock. Presumably the potage would’ve been so thick a spoon could’ve stood all by itself. As for the garlicky potatoes, well, yours truly had run out of garlic for the stock. Highly unusual. Yesterday I bought more and added slivers of it to some oil before adding the poached chicken. The garlic was removed, and mashed with the salad potatoes and a drizzle of single/light cream, when soft enough. The chicken meat was then added to the pan with a drizzle of lemon – less is more with the latter. I’ve had delicious sour chicken soup whilst travelling in Romania, specifically Oradea in the North West – an absolutely stunning city – and this isn’t mimicking a sour soup. I’ve used a squeeze of lemon when reheating the chicken and another drizzle on the plate. Just a hint works really well here. And a little bit of freshly snipped parsley helped to counter balance any sweetness. For the original post please click here.
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