Friday, February 6, 2009
Tortellini en Brodo
It seems that everyone is sick today, including Ian and my roommate, so what better dinner than tortellini en brodo.
Tortellini en brodo is a classic Italian dish, simple and delicious. My mom always made it for me when I was sick, so I have carried on the tradition here in Montreal.
The first time I made this for Ian he kept passing out on the couch from the flu. Regardless of his narcolepsy, he could not get over the fact that I just stuck a whole bird into a pot, added veggies, covered it with water, and an hour later he was eating home made chicken soup. I told him I was a magician.
Making your own broth is really easy and takes little to no effort. That’s not to say that I don’t use store bought stock for every other dish, but there is something so comforting about the smell and taste of home made chicken soup.
The key to good soup is to add a bunch of vegetables and herbs along with the secret ingredient, a turnip, then once it has simmered for a while, strain the soup through a piece of paper towel to get rid of the molten fat.
Let’s just go ahead and say that this soup was invented by the Italians, all those years ago, solely for those pesky sick days. Enjoy.
Tortellini en Brodo
adapted from Tyler Florence
1 whole chicken (about 2 pounds)
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
1 large white onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1 turnip, halved
¼ bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 package of tortellini
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 L); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1½ hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve lined with paper towel, into another pot to remove the vegetable solids and extra fat.
Bring salted water to a boil in a stock pot. Add tortellini and cook as suggested. Strain and add to soup. Add chicken and Parmesan cheese if you desire.