Nicole loves this soup because it feels like a really satisfying meal, but in soup form. ‘It’s soul food, you know. When you read the ingredients you can feel the goodness. My mouth begins to water.
Everything just seems to come together for this soup – every ingredient knows its place.’
4 chicken legs or 2 large
chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp fennel seeds
a pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp groundnut oil
olive oil, for frying
approximately 500ml hot
chicken stock (page 14)
4 dried or fresh curry leaves
2 garlic cloves, bashed, with skin on
2 bay leaves
a few strips of unwaxed
50g fresh peas
For the eggs
300ml vegetable oil
50g plain flour
70g panko breadcrumbs
1 In a large mixing bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the turmeric, fennel seeds, chilli flakes and groundnut oil. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
2 Heat the oil in a large pan, add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds to infuse the oil. Remove the leaves with a slotted spoon.
3 Add the chicken pieces to the pan and brown on all sides, then pour in the hot stock, garlic, curry leaves, bay leaves and lemon zest.
4 Simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat easily falls off the bone.
5 Meanwhile, boil 2 of the eggs for 6 minutes (start timing when youadd the eggs to boiling water). Cool them under cold running water,then peel.
6 Put the flour in a wide shallow bowl and season, beat the remaining egg in a second bowl, then tip the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
7 Heat the oil to 160°C/320°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the oil by carefully dropping in a small cube of bread, which should bubble immediately; if it drops to the bottom, the oil isn’t hot enough. Dip each boiled egg in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs.
8 Gently lower them into the oil with a slotted spoon and fry for about 5 minutes, or until crispy. Carefully remove them from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
9 Remove the chicken pieces from the soup and take the meat off the bones. Return the meat to the soup along with the peas and beansprouts. Divide the soup among the bowls and top with an egg.
Recipe and image from Magic Soup by Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams. Published by Hachette Australia, RRP$45.00