January 18, 2013

chicken sweet-corn soup

Chicken sweet corn soup

I  miss spring/summer and all the fresh produce that comes with the notes of warmer weather. However, till then I realize that I need to buck-up and work with what comes my way on the East Coast. Of late, I have been craving all sorts of delicious foods from all over the globe. Some new to my palate and others familiar friends to my taste buds. Bombay/Mumbai is a melting pot of several different cultures and even countries, consequently this has led to the fusion and evolution of several different cuisines. One of my personal favorites, is Indo-Chinese food, where Indian flavors and spices come together with some Chinese dishes that make them wonderful and unique. There are a couple of places in NYC that do serve this authentic menu, one of them being Chinese Mirch. The food here is great and worth stopping by.Whenever wet and cold weather strike, I always turn to this soup. Chicken sweet corn soup is a very popular dish in Indo-Chinese restaurants in India and is also one of my favorites. I remember waiting to pick up our takeouts from the restaurant that was a few blocks from our house in Bombay. Watching the chefs,  stir-fry the food in their large woks while they quickly tossed sauces and seasonings into the sizzling hot pans was such a fascinating treat for me. Their hands moved with such finesse and speed that it was literally a magic show of sorts. 

Sweet Corn

Here is my take on the chicken sweet-corn soup that I fondly remember and miss. This recipe works great with left-over shredded chicken (if using left-over chicken, then use 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken) and fresh or frozen sweet-corn. I like to use leeks to flavor the soup because they give a robust flavor to the stock and also brighten the color. If you like this soup a little hotter, then add a few more thai peppers to it. While preparing the leeks, I find it useful to slice them in half lengthwise and then slice them finely. I then rinse them under cold water to remove any sand particles that might be trapped within the spaces of the stem.

Chicken and Leeks

chicken sweet-corn soup

servings:

ingredients

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium lean chicken breasts
1/2 cup finely sliced leeks
1 cup frozen sweet-corn (fresh corn can also be used)
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup low-sodium soy  sauce
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 finely chopped thai chili pepper
1 heaped teaspoon cornflour
3 to 4 tablespoons of water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
a few scallions and/or green thai chili peppers, finely sliced for garnish

1. Heat two tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large stockpot on a medium flame. Pat each chicken breast with a clean paper towel to absorb any liquids and then season the breasts with salt and pepper on each side. Add each breast to the hot oil in the stockpot. Cover the pot with a lid. Cook the chicken breasts on each side until the meat is tender. This should take about 20 minutes. Once the chicken is thoroughly cooked, reduce the flame to a low simmer, remove the chicken breasts and keep them on a plate to cool. Drain and collect any liquids from the stockpot and keep side (this can be added back to the soup to give a flavorful stock). When the chicken is cool enough to be handled, shred the meat and keep it covered so it does not dry.
2. In the same stock pot, heat the rest of the oil and add the leeks. Fry the leeks in the oil for about 3 minutes till they soften. 
3. Stir in the corn to the stockpot and cook for another 3 minutes on a medium flame. 
4. Now add the chicken stock and the left-over liquid that was drained from the chicken in step 1. Mix in the shredded chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili pepper. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, make a slurry of the corn flour in the water and add it to the soup stirring briskly.
6. Bring the soup to a boil and then with constant stirring add in the beaten egg. The egg proteins will coagulate immediately to form threads.
7. Reduce the flame to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper.
8. Serve the soup hot. You can garnish the soup with freshly chopped scallions or some chopped chilies. 

14 comments:

  1. A beautiful soup! So comforting, nutritious and flavorful. I love leeks!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. I hear ya. I am SO missing fresh local produce right now. This soup sounds pretty darn tasty and comforting during these long dark days!

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    Replies
    1. Local produce is the best and so delicious.

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  3. Watching the street vendors in Asian countries is a real treat. They have such great skills. This looks like a comforting soup for the cold weather.

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  4. This soup looks SO divine! I, too, miss the fresh produce of the spring and summer, but with that delicious sweet corn, i know this would transport me back to the warm summertime, no problemo. =)

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  5. This is a real comfort meal, love it

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  6. I've always enjoyed your style, Nik...great capture of a great soup! Comfort coming right up =)

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  7. I've been cooking soups like crazy lately. Yours looks so appetizing, so perfect for a cold winter night.

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    Replies
    1. This one is perfect for those cold days.

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  8. My grandmother used to make this all the time when I was a kid. Now that I'm older, my mum has taken over, but every time I have it it transports me back to when I was seven years old and the world was a beautiful place. Thanks for this!

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