Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BBQ Chicken and Potato Soup

Is anyone else tired of the nonstop discussion and media circus revolving around the sequester? I work for the federal government, and every day for the last 3 workdays we have had a meeting on our agency’s funding and the way forward. It seems like everyone I know on Facebook is writing partisan comments. I feel like I can’t bear to read another thing about the government shutdown, but then I go check its status every hour.

On a more positive note, I think we have hit soup weather. Some might argue it is a little too soon for soup, but the mornings and nights are crisp. I even wore a jacket Monday night. This barbeque chicken and potato soup is a Laura original. It is based on a ham and potato soup I found online.

The ingredients are 4 chicken thighs, 6 cups water, 1 ½ cups diced carrots, 3 large potatoes, 1 small onion, 1 tablespoon salt, 4 cloves, ½ cup butter, ½ cup flour, 2 cups milk, 5 chicken bullion cubes, ¾ cup frozen peas, 1 cup frozen corn, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, and 1 cup barbeque sauce.

I began by putting the salt, cubed potatoes, carrots, onions, cloves, chicken and water in a stockpot. After it started to boil, I let the soup simmer until the vegetables were soft, and the cubed chicken was fully cooked.

In the meantime, I added flour and butter to a saucepan to make a roux. A roux is one way of thickening soups, gravies, or sauces. It is made with equal portions of fat, in this case butter, and flour. You first melt the butter and then add the flour. You cook that until you can no longer taste the raw flour taste.

After the raw flour taste was gone, I gradually whisked in the milk. When you add milk to a roux you create a béchamel sauce. I continued to cook it until the béchamel sauce thickened. Béchamel sauce is supposed to be a white, so I took care to not brown the roux earlier. I learned that if you add cheese to a béchamel sauce, it becomes a Mornay sauce. Did you know that? These two sauces are French.

After the potatoes, carrots, and chicken were cooked, I added the chicken bouillon cubes.

I added the frozen peas and corn.

I added the béchamel sauce.  Doesn't that look creamy?

The last ingredients I added were the barbeque sauce and hot sauce. I stirred well and ensured that the frozen vegetables were nice and toasty.

Fabulous! My praises of my own food might be redundant, but this soup is comforting and filling. It is a unique twist on the traditional potato soup. The barbeque sauce isn’t overwhelming, which is good. I was afraid it might have an overly sweet taste, but my fear was unfounded. It actually has a nice smoky taste with just a hint of heat. If you like spicy, you could add a little more hot sauce.

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