I’ve been telling all of my friends about Tessa Kiros’s method of making two meals at once by first boiling your chicken, and then frying it — because I love multi-tasking. (Really, I like taking the night off once in a while.) I stumbled upon this recipe while reading the House Beautiful review of Tessa’s new cookbook, Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes. I ran out and bought my own copy. The book is part memoir, part cookbook, (400 pages!), coffee-table style. Exquisite — reading it is like traveling to Europe for the afternoon.
Boiling the chicken first ensures the chicken is done — and simultaneously gives you a perfect broth for soup. Because the chicken is already partially cooked, there is no reason to deep fry — you can do a shallow fry. Here’s the recipe from the book here, but I’ve adapted Tessa’s to meet my family’s own tastes here below.
Ingredients for the soup
- 1 (2 1/4-pound) whole chicken with skin, cut into 8 pieces. I used a package of chicken drumsticks, because that’s what my kids would eat. (When I used the drumsticks, I had four pounds of chicken — so I increased the water to 8 cups, and adjusted the spices accordingly.)
- 3 fresh sage leaves. (Mine are still fresh in the garden — lucked out.)
- 1 carrot, cut into 2 or 3 chunks. I added 3 more carrots, because my kids love them in soup — well, a couple of them do.
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 3 or 4 chunks. Again, ditto the carrots.
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Egg noodles — but don’t add yet. You’ll need one to two handfuls.
Rinse the chicken and put in a large saucepan with the vegetables and herbs. Cover with 4 cups of cold water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered, then decrease the heat slightly to medium. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then remove from the heat. The chicken will be just boiled, not overcooked.
While the chicken is boiling, gather your “frying” ingredients.
- 2 eggs
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Light olive oil or vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
Once the 15 minutes are up, transfer the chicken with a slotted spoon to a plate and pat dry with paper towels. Now add the egg noodles — my kids like the very skinny ones — to the broth. Add another cupful of water and simmer the soup for another 45 minutes. Store in the fridge for tomorrow night’s dinner and take the night off. Or, you can always freeze in individual soup-size servings.
Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl, adding a fresh clove of minced garlic with the paprika and a little salt. Put the chicken pieces in the egg, turning to coat them well, then let marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put the flour in a paper sack, with a bit of paprika and salt. Take the chicken pieces from the marinade and put them into the paper sack and shake.
Place chicken pieces in a frying pan with heated oil and fry until chicken is crispy and brown.