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Nigel Slater’s recipes for chicken and artichoke soup, and baked potatoes with roast garlic | Chicken

I return from the outlets with brown paper luggage of brown greens. The Jerusalem artichokes – their lumpy skins flashed with mauve – are so as to add heft to a pot of chicken soup, made with correct inventory and completed with lemon, thyme and fried artichokes. The potatoes are to be baked and stuffed with inexperienced peppercorns, roasted garlic and herb cream cheese.

Generally you need chicken soup. Generally you want it. A transparent broth will do, nourishing and untroubling to eat. However the soup I’m making at the moment is thick with not solely shredded chicken from the inventory, however with artichokes, too. (In case you are cooking for somebody who finds their presence troubling, you could possibly make it with potatoes as an alternative.) However artichokes it’s, principally for the velvety high quality they add to soup when crushed or whizzed in a blender.

The potatoes are for extra than simply a straightforward supper. There are occasions when solely a baked potato will do. Normally about now, when the hope and pleasure of the brand new yr is fading and the evenings are chilly and damp. You possibly can belief a baked potato. The attention-grabbing bit comes with the filling. This time, a creamy butter made with mushy cream cheese and candy, roasted garlic. The unpeeled cloves could be tucked among the many potatoes, their mushy toffee-hued flesh mashed into the cream cheese with thyme and lemon juice. Reassuring, nostalgic, as low cost as chips. Generally, that’s actually all we want.

Chicken, lemon and artichoke soup

The inventory is essential right here. Give it time, letting the broth, aromatics and chicken simmer gently for nearly an hour. It’s the coronary heart and soul of the soup. Serves 4

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Jerusalem artichokes 700g
groundnut oil 3 tbsp

For the inventory:
onion 1
chicken thighs 800g, bone in
chicken wings a handful
lemon 1
carrots 2, medium
thyme 5 small tufts
celery 1 stick
black peppercorns 6
ginger 4 thick cash

To complete:
Jerusalem artichokes 2
groundnut oil 1 tbsp
parsley a handful
lemon 1
thyme a couple of sprigs

First make the inventory. Peel the onion, minimize it in half and put it in a big saucepan or casserole. Add the chicken items and wings, carrots, thyme sprigs, the stick of celery, snapped in half, the peppercorns, ginger and thyme. Pour in 2 litres of water and deliver to the boil.

Decrease the warmth, partially cowl with a lid and simmer for 50 minutes, checking the water stage once in a while.

Peel the Jersusalem artichokes, then minimize them into giant chunks. In a big pan warmth the groundnut oil, then add the artichokes and allow them to prepare dinner for 10-Quarter-hour, till frivolously colored, stirring once in a while. Ladle in 1.5 litres of the chicken inventory, deliver to the boil, then decrease the warmth and simmer for 40 minutes till the artichokes are absolutely tender.

Take away the chicken items from the inventory and put aside. (You might have some inventory left over, so fastidiously pressure it by a sieve or colander right into a bowl or giant jug and discard the aromatics. Cool, then retailer it within the fridge till wanted.) Take away and discard the chicken pores and skin. Pull the meat from the bones, then tear or slice into strips and put aside.

Mix the artichokes and inventory with a stick blender or ladle right into a jug blender and scale back to a thick, creamy textured soup. Stir within the shredded chicken.

To complete, finely chop the parsley and stir in. Verify the seasoning including salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to style. (You could not want your entire lemon.) Peel and slice the artichokes, then fry them within the oil in a shallow pan for 7-10 minutes till tender and golden. Add them to the soup and then pull the thyme leaves from their stems and sprinkle on prime on the final minute.

Baked potatoes (or artichokes) with roast garlic and herb cheese

Baked potatoes (or artichokes) with roast garlic and herb cheese.
Jackets required: baked potatoes (or artichokes) with roast garlic and herb cheese. {Photograph}: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

The cream-cheese filling works for each potatoes and artichokes. In case you are utilizing artichokes, slice them in half and use twice the quantity of olive oil. Serves 4

potatoes 1.5kg, small, white fleshed
olive oil 3 tbsp
garlic 6 plump cloves

For the filling:
cream cheese 200g
parsley 25g
thyme leaves 1 tsp
garlic 1 clove
lemon juice of 1, small
inexperienced peppercorns in brine 1 tsp

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Preheat the oven to 200/gasoline mark 6. Wash the potatoes and lay them, snugly however not touching, in a roasting tin, pour over the olive oil and add a crumbling of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper. Toss them round with your arms, ensuring the tubers are frivolously coated with oil and seasoning. Tuck the garlic cloves, complete and unpeeled, amongst them.

Bake for about 45 minutes or till tender. (It’s value frequently testing them – the precise timing will rely a lot on the scale and number of your potatoes.) When the garlic has baked for half-hour, take away from the tin and enable to chill somewhat.

Put the cream cheese in a meals processor. Decide the leaves from the parsley and add to the cheese, then add the thyme. Peel the garlic and squeeze the mushy flesh inside into the cheese. Squeeze within the juice of the lemon and course of for a couple of seconds to a clean cream, then switch to a small mixing bowl and stir within the peppercorns. (If in case you have no processor, chop the parsley finely then combine with a wood spoon.) Pile the potatoes on to a serving plate, cut up every down the center and spoon in a number of the herb filling.

Observe Nigel on Twitter @NigelSlater

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