Rosół – Chicken Soup

This is my 200th post!

So it is fitting that this one is a Polish classic.

Rosół – Chicken Soup – must be the most well know of Polish soups and can be the basis for many others.

It is a clear soup which is known as a bouillonbulion in Polish. The word consommé which I thought was interchangeable with it, in fact denotes a clear soup which has been cleared with egg whites cooked in it.

Rosół is usually served with cooked pasta, often fine noodles and is the origin of chicken noodle soup.

In times gone by the chicken used would have been an old broiler – these are not as available here as much.  Nowadays for taste it pays to use the very best free range chicken you can get.

A whole chicken is simmered for around 2 hours with Wloszczyzna – Soup Greens.

I was talking with my Polish friend who likes in Leeds and she told me that the addition of  LubczykLovageLevisticum officinale leaves enhances the flavour.

I have this herb, which belongs to the celery & parsley family , growing in a pot in my garden but as it was still a bit early in the year when I made this, I have not been able to try this out – I must do so later!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion – halved (leave some dark skin on to add colour) or 2 leeks – trimmed
  • 3 whole peeled carrots
  • 2 whole peeled parsnips
  • Half a celeriac – peeled
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 -3 allspice grains
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Leaves & stalks of fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and lovage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • Chopped parsley to serve

Method

  • Place all the ingredients into a large stock pot and cover with boiling water.
  • Bring it all to the boil and put on the lid.
  • Either lower the heat to let it all simmer or put the pot  into an oven at around GM 2 – 150°C.
  • Leave to simmer for around 2 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Remove the chicken.
  • Strain the soup.
  • Leave the liquid to cool and then place in a cold place or fridge preferably overnight.
  • Remove as much fat as possible from the top of the liquid.

Note

The soup should have some oczka – little eyes on the top – these are the fat droplets –  tastes have changed somewhat and less fat is prefered by many now.

To Serve

Heat up the soup gently to boiling and simmer for a few minutes.

Pasta & Noodles

This is the classic way of serving.

Very small pasta shapes or larger pasta cut into small pieces or noodles are all cooked beforehand and a small amount is placed in the soup dish and hot rosół poured over them to serve.

 

 

Chopped flat-leaved parsley is added on serving.

Served in Royal Doulton – Carnation – 1982 – 1998

 

You can add some of the cooked carrots, sliced, to the soup and/or some of the cooked chicken meat, chopped.

Uszka (Polish filled pasta) can be added and the convention is to add three or five uszka to each soup serving.

 

Note

The cooked chicken can be used in many dishes which require cooked chicken such as in the filling for pierogi.

I find that the meat is really tasty and succulent and makes super sandwiches with some mayonnaise.

Note

Rosół  is often used as the base of many other soups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Casserole

When chicken for roasting were considered to be a luxury meal, my mother would buy older chickens and make a casserole.

This is a dish I often make as I find it so easy and delicious.  It comes out slightly different every time, depending on what I vegetables I have bought  and what I have in the fridge or my store cupboard.

You can use a whole chicken and put that into the dish with the other ingredients but nowadays I usually chicken pieces with thighs being my favourite .

I have not given amounts because they are not that important, they will depend mostly on the size of your dish.

Ingredients

The following are the basic ingredients, the must haves.

Whole chicken  or chicken pieces – I think chicken thighs are the best

Onion – chopped – you can use spring onion or leek as well, or even instead of

Garlic – at least 1 clove

Tomatoes – fresh, tinned or passata or

250 ml chicken stock  (can be from a cube) with 1-2 tablespoons of tomato purée

Bay leaf

Herbs – I use Italian seasoning or oregano & 1-2 teaspoons of sweet paprika

Salt and pepper

Optional

This dish is so versatile – you can add any vegetable that you have –  I use some of the following: (mushrooms, carrots and peppers being the most often used)

Mushrooms – button ones put in whole or larger ones cut into 2 or 4 without the stalks as these tend to be too woody

Carrots – chopped

Peppers –sliced, any colour, fresh or from a jar or tin, I like red the best

Celery or celeriac– chopped

Tinned sweet corn

Tinned beans – any variety

Lettuce – shredded fine

Parsnips – chopped

Courgettes or cucumber – thick slices

Cabbage – shredded fine

and so on with vegetables …

Glass of white wine or vermouth or sherry

and 2 tablespoons of soured cream to serve.

Method

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 – 180°C or get ready a slow cooker.

Put the chicken into a large casserole dish or if using chicken pieces remove the skin and roll them in a mixture of flour and herbs and lightly brown them in a frying pan and put these into the dish.

Fry the onions and garlic and add these to the dish.

Add all the other ingredients to the dish.

There will be enough liquid in the vegetables for the casserole, so do not add any extra water – but you can add extra stock, wine or sherry if you want now  or later if the liquid becomes too reduced.

Cover the dish with a lid or foil and place in the hot oven for  at least 3 hour for chicken pieces & 4 hours for a whole chicken.

 

 

 

Tip

This dish is best made the day before, cook it for at least 2 hours and then leave it in the dish to cool.  The following day put it a medium hot oven again for at least 1 hour.  (You might want to add extra stock, wine or sherry if the liquid has become too reduced.) The juices soak into the meat and it tastes wonderful.

Serve with potatoes, rice or buckwheat .

Pulpety – Polish Meatballs

The Polish word pulpety comes from the Italian word polpette & that word come from  polpa meaning pulp.

The word polpette has been used in Italy  since the 15th century – though of course meatballs in many forms are to been found in most cultures & countries  and are a way of using every last piece of carcass.

Pulpety in Poland are made from meat or fish – I am just going to cover meat in this post.

Meat pulpety can be made from fresh meat or from cooked meat.  I prefer the fresh meat ones and if I have any  roast meat leftovers I am more likely  to use them up in other ways such as in  Pierogi – Polish Filled Pasta  fillings.

Fresh meat pulpety are very similar to  kotlety mielone.

The difference being that pulpety are very small and they are boiled/simmered not fried.

They are often used as an  accompaniment for soup – with around 4 to 6 being added to a serving of  soup. (There will be much more on the  topic of soup in the future.)

Pulpety can be simmered in water or stock  – I always uses stock – either chicken or vegetable.

Meat pulpety

Ingredients

400g of minced beef or pork or a mixture of the two

1 onion

1 slice of white bread or bread roll, left for half an hour in a bowl with a little milk – do not use the excess milk just the wet slightly squeezed bread.

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon Italian herbs

Dried breadcrumbs – see Breadcrumbs – Bułka tarta

Salt & pepper

Some flour for your hands for shaping.

Stock / bullion – chicken or vegetable – can be from a stock cube.

Method

Grate the onion on a fine grated or use an electric mini-chopper.

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In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together except for the dried breadcrumbs, it is best to do this using both hands, making sure that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

 

Add enough dried breadcrumbs so that it is a firm mixture.

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Put some flour in a dish for your hands to make it easier to shape the pulpety.

Pinch off small bits of the meat mixture and roll the piece between your hands to make small round balls and place these onto a floured board or tray whilst you make them all.

You can leave these to chill in a cool place or in the fridge if you have time.

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In a large pan heat up some stock and drop the pulpety into the boiling liquid and then let them simmer for around 5 minutes.

 

 

Remove them from the liquid with a slotted spoon.

 

 

Polish style would be to have around 5 pulpety in a bowl of soup –  but  often I do these for a light lunch and have a large bowl of soup with lots of pulpety per serving.

In the photograph below, they were served in a tomato soup.

 

 

Served In A Sauce

The varieties here are endless – make one of your favourite sauces for example mushroom or tomato and drop the cooked pulpety into the sauce and let them simmer.

You can then serve them with potatoes, pasta, rice or to be very Polish – buckwheat.

 

Klops – Mama’s Meatloaf

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This recipe has evolved from two of my mother’s recipes. One was for  klops –  Polish meatloaf and the other was for the meat stuffing that she used in her roast chicken.

The meatloaf would have been made in Poland with minced pork but often in England my mother used minced beef as it was more available. To this was added grated onion, bread moistened with milk, a beaten egg, salt & pepper; this was shaped into an oval shape and covered with dried breadcrumbs and baked in the oven.

In many of the Polish recipes the meatloaf is baked in a loaf tin or a shallow roasting tray.  I however like the open baked version as I love the crunchy breadcrumbs on the outside.

The meat stuffing for chicken was originally made with minced pork, (if this was not available my mother used English style sausage meat) grated onion, bread moistened with milk, a beaten egg and salt & pepper and dried breadcrumbs were added to firm it up and this was used to stuff the chicken.

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Meatloaf – Waiting to go into the oven

As there was usually some left my mother would shape this, put dried breadcrumbs on top and bake this in the oven with the chicken. We always wanted to eat some of this and even liked the extra bit better that the actual stuffing because of its crispy coat.   She started to make more of it so that we could all have some at dinner. My nephew and nieces called this Grandma’s meat.

This extra stuffing has also evolved, the grated raw onion has been replaced by chopped fried onion ( though you can use both )  and now I use a mixture of  minced pork and English style sausage meat.

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Frying a Chopped Onion

Luxury or Premium sausage meat is the best to use but often shops only have this available at Christmas, when it is in stock I buy quite a lot and freeze it for several occasions. Sometimes it is sold in 1kilogramme packs, I usually cut these into two or four and re-wrap.

When I cannot get the luxury sausage meat I buy good quality pork sausages and remove the skins.

Now when I have visitors for a roast chicken they always want to make certain that I will be doing a meatloaf as well, some say this is what they most look forward to eating on Christmas Day!

Ingredients

None of the amounts given are exact; they are only for a guide.

500g of luxury sausage meat

500g of lean minced pork

2 medium onions finely chopped and fried till golden brown

1 large egg beaten with salt & pepper

1 slice of white bread – left for half an hour in a bowl with a little milk – do not use the excess milk.

2 teaspoons of Italian herbs or similar

Dried breadcrumbs

Method

Pre heat the oven to GM  5 – 190oC

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Bread Soaking up some Milk

Lightly grease a thick baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl mix everything together except the dried breadcrumbs. Use your hands to get everything thoroughly mixed in.

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Waiting To Be Mixed
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Well Mixed Ingredients

Add some dried breadcrumbs to firm up the mix as necessary.

Dried Breadcrumbs

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Shape your mixture on to the baking sheet making it into an oval shape rather like a bloomer loaf of bread – make it as high as you can.

Cover the loaf with lots of dried breadcrumbs and place into the oven. It will take about 1hour 30minutes maybe longer – it needs to be done to a golden to very golden colour and the breadcrumbs will be crispy.

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Cooked Meatloaf
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Waiting to be sliced

 

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Cut into thick slices to serve, any left can be eaten cold with a salad.

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Sliced Meatloaf

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Cold Meatloaf with Carrot & Sauerkraut Salad

Note

If you have any left over and cannot eat it the next day or so – then it freezes very well – I wrap slices first in aluminium foil and then in a plastic freezer bag.