Monday, July 28, 2008

Spiced Chicken and Mushroom Soup with Rice

This little soup was an interesting play on flavors. A play I wasn't even sure I was going to like until it was finished and I finally tasted it. My reasoning for being so wary? I'm a picky eater. I know! That's like foodie cardinal sin numero uno! But, it's true. I'm not picky in the sense that I refuse to try new or different things, I'm picky in that I don't like unexpected flavors.

Let me explain...

I order the same thing at every single restaurant, cafe, fast food joint, etc. Not the exact same thing mind you, but I find a dish I like within the first few visits and never stray. If I go to Subway, I get the BMT. If I go to Olive Garden (God forgive me) I get the Garlic Herb Chicken con Broccoli. If we get Indian food we always get Coconut Lamb Curry and Palak Paneer. I'm a creature of habit. I even park in the same aisle of parking spots at the grocery store. I always go in the same set of doors at the bank. If I was a rich person and someone wanted to kill me, they'd have no friggin' problem studying my routines and finding the perfect spot to off me.

That long winded spiel was all to say: I wasn't sure I was going to like the garam masala and cilantro in my soup. I have a love/hate relationship with cilantro. That's kind of an unexpected flavor in my realm of soupiness. Some stuff it's okay in, others I hate it in. I know, I'm a whiny baby. But I was seriously worried I wasn't going to like it and I was going to waste a whole pot of soup. This has happened several times before, a lentil soup, a chicken curry (that's how I found out I'm not the biggest fan of strong coriander seed), blah, blah, blah.

But you know what? It was good. Really good. Really effin good.

Just remember to use exceptionally fresh ingredients, it is a pretty simple soup after all. And I swear, if you make this and used canned corn...I'll hunt you down and stomp on your toes.

Spiced Chicken and Mushroom Soup with Rice

Serves 4

6 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
2 (11 oz) chicken breasts, cut into very fine strips
1 yellow onion, slivered
1 1/2 cups (4 oz) mushrooms, sliced
1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup long grain rice
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1. Melt the butter in a medium pan. Add garlic, garam masala, pepper, salt, and nutmeg.

2. Add the chicken and allow to brown for thirty seconds. Add mushroom, onion, and corn. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir often.

3. Either remove 1 1/2 cups mixture and puree remainder in pan with an immersion blender or remove most of mixture, leaving 1 1/2 cups, and move to food processor to puree and return to pan. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

4. Add rice and reduce heat to keep at a steady simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Lower the heat and stir in the cream. Heat through. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Serve hot with crusty garlic bread.


[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Soup looks good! It's not being picky if we like what we like, is it? Your thing with cilantro: I'm the same way with lamb. Like it sometimes, love it sometimes, can't stand it in some applications. . .

Zoomie said...

Soup sounds good - I'm going to try it. And I get you on cilantro - I call it "soapwort" because in certain dishes it tastes exactly like Ivory soap!