Nourishing chicken, quinoa and kale broth
It would be hard to create a bowl more healthy and soothing than this quinoa, kale and preserved lemon-infused chicken soup. Loaded with veg and healthy protein, this is your new go-to chicken soup recipe.
1.4kg whole chicken
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 onion, halved
2 carrots, halved
4 bay leaves
12 garlic cloves
10 lemon thyme or regular thyme sprigs
5 celery stalks
1 fennel bulb
1 cup (200g) white quinoa
2 tbs olive oil
4 anchovies in oil, drained
2 preserved lemon quarters, flesh removed, zest thinly sliced
1 long green chilli, thinly sliced on an angle
1/4 cup (60ml) verjuice
50g baby kale or 1/2 bunch torn kale leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas – optional), to serve
Place chicken, peppercorns, onion, carrot, bay leaves, 10 garlic cloves, 5 thyme sprigs, 2 celery stalks and 1 tbs salt in a stockpot and cover with water. Cut woody stalks from fennel and add to pot along with fronds, reserving fennel bulb. Place pot over high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through. If chicken floats, top with a plate to keep it submerged. Cool chicken in pan, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
Strain stock through a sieve lined with muslin or clean Chux, discarding solids. When cool, skim any impurities on surface.
Rinse quinoa under cold running water, then place in a saucepan with 2 cups (500ml) stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until cooked but slightly al dente. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Thickly slice the remaining 3 celery stalks on an angle and add to pan with anchovy and preserved lemon. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Finely chop remaining 2 garlic cloves, then add to the pan with chilli and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the fennel bulb, then add to the pan and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Season well, then add verjuice and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining stock and 5 thyme sprigs. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until warmed through.
Remove breast meat and legs from the chicken and cut into thick slices, then add to the pan. Simmer for a further 5 minutes, then add kale and cooked quinoa. Cook for a final 5 minutes or until kale is wilted. Season and add lemon juice, if using. Sprinkle with pepitas, if using, to serve.