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Chicken and Rice Soup with Young Collard Greens, Parsnips and RutabagaRecipe adapted from Frank Stitt, Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega and Chez Fonfon, Birmingham, Alabama
Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Two 1-pound skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed and reserved
4 cups homemade or store-bought vegetable broth
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
½ medium yellow onion, halved
½ large leek, top reserved, white and light green parts roughly chopped
½ large parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 small thyme sprig
Pinch dried marjoram
Pinch dried savory
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ large leek, finely chopped
½ large parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
¼ rutabaga, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 small bunch young collard greens or other small braising greens, coarsely chopped
2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1. Make the stock: In a large pot, add the chicken breasts, vegetable broth and enough water to cover the chicken by 2 inches. Stir in the salt and place the pot over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a simmer and use a spoon to skim off any foam that rises to the top. Add the carrot, celery, onion, white and light green parts of the leek and parsnip to the pot. To a large square of doubled cheesecloth, add the bay leaves, thyme sprig, marjoram, savory and the leek top. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie using kitchen twine. Add the sachet to the pot. Return to a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is tender, about 1½ hours. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot and strain the broth into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Discard the boiled vegetables and spice sachet.
2. Make the soup: In a large pot set over medium heat, add the reserved chicken skin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered from the skin and the skin is crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken skin to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the carrot, celery, onion, leek, parsnip and rutabaga and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the collard greens and the strained stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until the collards are tender.
3. Remove the chicken meat from the bones and finely chop; discard the bones. Stir the diced chicken into the soup and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the cooked rice and stir until the rice is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve hot. (Sprinkle the crispy chicken skin with salt and serve alongside the soup or snack, on at your leisure.)
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