Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 22: Chicken Soup For The Soul

It's that time of year when I inevitably get sick with some cold or a minor case of the flu. I hope it's not the latter, but since I don't have chills or body aches, I'm guessing it's just a bad case of a winter cold. Now you may be asking yourself, why can't I get my sister to cook me some good ol' chicken soup? Well, I could and I did the last time I had a stomach flu but, because of this blog, I've been tending to hog the kitchen lately. This won't be happening that much longer though, because I'm afraid as I have night classes most nights when school resumes on Monday, so I'll either have my sister cook for me or I'll be making dishes to last a few days, so the posts will be less frequent. Anyway, back to tonight's dish, where I took the common chicken soup and made some tasty alterations. I hope it will warm your soul; I know I've been schvitzing while cooking away in the hot kitchen, so it's definitely warming mine! 

Chinese Green Tea-Infused Chicken Garlic Soup with Rapini and Garbanzo Beans
Makes 5-6 servings

2 chicken breasts, defrosted
4-5 stalks of rapini (or broccoli rabe as it's also referred to)
1/3 c. garbanzo beans
1 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk
2 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 c. brewed green tea with brown rice flavor (can be found in most supermarkets if not Asian supermarkets for sure)
4 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice

1/2 tsp Sriracha sweet chili sauce

2 tbsp mild or medium salsa verde
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp margarine
1/4 tsp chopped basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
4 shakes of black pepper

1) Pour the chicken broth, almond milk, tea and lemon juice into a medium-large pot and turn the stove-top to a medium heat level.
2) Add in Sriracha sauce, Chinese five-spice, ginger paste, and rice vinegar.
3) Crack the 2 eggs and wisk them together in a small bowl before stirring them in the soup.
4) Defrost the chicken breasts in a bowl in the microwave for about 10 minutes.
5) Rinse the rapini and discard the stalks (or you could eat them for a snack like I did--they're sweeter than the leaves)
6) Add in the rapini, and place a lid over to let it simmer for about 3 minutes before turning down the heat setting to a low heat.
7) In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil and margarine on medium heat until it starts to sizzle and add in the chickpeas and the last four ingredients (the spices), stirring it to coat the chickpeas. Let it simmer with the lid on for a 3-4 minutes.
8) Place the chicken breasts into the skillet with the chicken juices and cover it again with the lid. Let it simmer for several minutes before flipping the breasts to the other side, letting it cook for another 3 minutes.
9) With a fork and large knife, slice the chicken breasts in the pan and let it cook in the juices for 5 minutes, flipping it after about 2 minutes.
10) Once chicken is white (then it's cooked), use the fork again to shred the slices of chicken into smaller pieces with the knife.
11) Turn down the heat and let the chicken-bean mixture as well as the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes. I was doing laundry so this was after the drying cycle was finished, so I spent this time folding my laundry at the laundrymat across the street, but you can do whatever you wish to kill time (maybe clean up after yourself as a possible suggestion so you don't have as much afterwards? Also, cleaning burns more calories anyway.)
12) Carefully remove the chicken pieces and dump them into the soup, turning up the heat to a medium-low heat setting.
13) Turn off the heat under the skillet and with a fork, mash the cooked chickpeas in the skillet.
14) Dump the chickpea mixture into the soup, stirring it in with a wooden spatula.
15) Put the lid on the pot and turn up the heat to a medium setting, letting the soup come to a boil again.
16) Turn off the heat and serve immediately!

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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