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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a great pantry soup for spring and summer meals. It is light and easy to prepare, though I did come across a problem the first time I made it. When raw chicken is poached or boiled it creates an unpleasant scum that rises to the surface of the liquid in which it cooks. The problem can be avoided by blanching or pre-cooking the chicken until it loses its pink color. I did not do that and as a result my first effort had more than a bit of scum in it. Second time around, I cooked the chicken along with the vegetables before the stock was added and had a relatively clear soup to show for my efforts. Third time through, I used a rotisserie chicken and had a lovely, scum free soup in no time at all. I've obviously become a proponent of rotisserie chicken for use in this soup. The combination of flavors made experimenting with this recipe worthwhile and I know you will enjoy the final results. There is nothing here not to like and the soup is truly easy to make. The recipe, which I'm featuring as it was originally written, comes from Bon Appetit magazine. My riff, substitutes 12 ounces of rotisserie chicken for the thigh meat, so I also do away with the 15 minutes required to cook the raw chicken and simply warm it through. The finished soup tastes a bit like avgolemono, but it is easier to prepare. Here is how it is made.
Chicken Soup with Orzo, Lemon and Dill...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Bon Appetit
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Lemon halves (for serving)
1) Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cool, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
2) Meanwhile, return broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes.
3) Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill. Serve each bowl with a lemon half to provide additional flavor.
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