A combination of several eighteenth-century recipes, this flavorful chicken soup can be served as is. Or it can be strained, and the broth topped with stewed celery and toasted bread, to begin the first course - as Hannah Glasse suggested. This recipe is a modern adaptation of Hannah Glasse's 18th-century recipe. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 cup slivered country ham
3/4 cup diced celery
2 large onions, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced crosswise
51/2 to 6 cups shredded cooked chicken
5 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)
11/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried chervil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
Stewed celery for garnish (optional)
Croutons for garnish (optional)
- In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the ham, celery, and onions, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are slightly browned.
- Stir in the shredded chicken and heat through, stirring often to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
- Add the broth, salt, pepper, thyme, chervil, and parsley, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter with the flour to form a paste. Add to the soup, stirring until it dissolves and the soup is slightly thickened.
- Beat the egg yolks with the cream in a separate bowl. Gradually blend about 1 cup of the hot soup into the egg mixture, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Pour the mixture back into the soup. Continue stirring just until the soup has thickened further and is steaming hot. Again, do not allow the soup to boil, or the egg yolks will curdle. Season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve the soup garnished with chopped parsley and with stewed celery and croutons if desired.
About 3 quarts
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