Matty Matheson’s Chicken SoupRecipe By: Matty Matheson
“Chicken soup is something everyone should know how to make,” says Matty Matheson, the executive chef of Parts & Labour. “It’s one of those dishes that’s healing. All you need is chicken and water. Serve it with grilled-cheese sandwiches or just by itself. It’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add noodles or rice, Parmesan cheese, or chopped kale. It’s one of my favorite foods. My Nanny always made it with her leftover roast chicken dinner, a meal she cooked often. I loved knowing that after a roast chicken dinner came the chicken soup. The real beauty of chicken soup is that it’s such a blank culinary canvas. You can make Mexican pollo verde, pho ga, Italian wedding soup, broth for tortellini. It starts with roasted chicken and water and can end in any part of the world you wish. But this one is my grandmother’s, and I hold it close to my heart.”
- 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs./1.4 to 1.8 kg)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- ½ cup (120 mL), good-quality olive oil plus more for serving
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 leeks, cleaned and white parts diced
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 bunch thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat bird dry; season with salt and pepper and rub with canola oil.
- Place on rack set on a baking sheet and roast in oven until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear when a knife is inserted between leg and breast, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- In Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions, carrots, celery and white parts of the leeks.
- Cook until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir every 3 minutes to make sure everything is cooking evenly.
- Remove chicken from oven and drain rendered fat into pot with onion mixture (also known as a mirepoix). Let chicken rest for 15 minutes so you can handle it.
- Cut chicken in half and place in pot. Add just enough water to cover everything.
- Bundle parsley, thyme, and bay leaves and tie with twine; drop it into pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and skim the scum with ladle; simmer 1½ hours.
- Remove chicken from stock and clean meat and skin off the bones. Leave nothing. Chop meat into a medium dice and place back into soup. Season with salt and pepper. You may notice you’ll need a lot of salt to bring out that chicken flavour. Don’t be afraid to keep adding until you reach that salty-rich broth you’ve been searching for your entire life.
- Ladle soup into bowl and add squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a few drops of good olive oil, and hopefully you’re watching your grandfather’s crow’s-feet curl up as he’s smiling at you.