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The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -


Us­ing a whole chicken here gives in­cred­i­ble flavour. Shred the left­overs in sal­ads, sand­wiches, with pasta – what­ever you can think of! 1 x 2kg (4lb 8oz) free-range chicken, fat trimmed off 20 large mixed yel­low, orange and red to­ma­toes (about 2.5kg/5½lb), roughly chopped 4 large onions, roughly chopped 4 cel­ery sticks, trimmed, roughly chopped 6 large gar­lic cloves 1tbsp tomato purée (op­tional) 2 large, good-qual­ity cia­batta loaves, halved length­ways 2 large gar­lic cloves, halved length­ways A few ripe to­ma­toes, halved Ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil Pre­heat your grill to high. Once hot, toast your bread on both sides un­til golden and crisp. Trans­fer the bread to a serv­ing board and rub each piece with the cut side of the gar­lic cloves. Rub and squash the in­sides of the to­ma­toes


Serves 4 A few soft herb tips such as pars­ley, basil and mint, olive oil in­fused with basil (from su­per­mar­kets), and Parme­san, to serve Place the chicken, onions, cel­ery, gar­lic and to­ma­toes in your largest saucepan. Add enough cold wa­ter to cover them all, then pop the lid on and bring to the boil over a high heat – this should take about 30 min­utes. Once boil­ing, re­duce to a sim­mer over a medium heat with the lid askew and cook for 1 hour, or un­til the chicken is cooked through.

Care­fully lift the chicken out with tongs and put to one side. Pour the soup through a fine sieve, dis­card­ing what’s left be­hind, and then strain it through 4 lay­ers of muslin. Taste to check the flavour bal­ance, and sea­son with a lit­tle salt and pep­per, if needed.

Skim off the fat if you’re serv­ing the soup im­me­di­ately. If you’re leav­ing it for an­other time, chill, then scoop off any fat that sets on the sur­face.

Gen­tly re­heat be­fore serv­ing. If you think it needs a colour boost, scoop out a cup of the broth and add 1tbsp tomato purée to it. Mix well; re­turn to the broth and mix again.

Serve with a driz­zle of basil-in­fused oil, a few herb tips and a shav­ing of Parme­san.


into the bread; get a good, even coat­ing. When you’ve squeezed out all the tasty, juicy stuff, dis­card the skins.

Sprin­kle the bread with a lit­tle sea salt. Add the top­pings — some of my favourites are: a nice cov­er­ing of shaved manchego cheese; a hand­ful of chopped olives; a scat­ter­ing of onion cress, baby basil and mint; a few slices of ser­rano ham, or some rocket leaves with a few soft herbs sprin­kled over. Add a good driz­zle of ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil, then hack into chunks and let ev­ery­one have some. Amaz­ing with a cool, crisp beer.

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