two bay leaves
3 small leeks (white only)
3 celery sticks including leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
salt to taste
Bring to the boil and let it simmer for an hour. I am using leeks because I want a milder flavor for the soup. If you need a more robust stock, throw in brown onions with the skins on instead of the leeks.
RISOTTOMelt some butter. Throw in one medium chopped onion. Cook until soft. Add 250 grams of Orzo (you can use Aborio Rice but I prefer the texture and flavor of Orzo). Slowly add hot stock, around a cup at a time and let it cook down. When the pasta is almost cooked, add salt, pepper, cooked chicken, and any seasoning that you like. You can also add frozen peas and fresh corn. If you want mushrooms, add them a little earlier. Add about a cup of Parmesan cheese and some Crème fraiche to give it a creamy consistency.
CHICKEN NOODLE SOUPAdd some butter to your pan and cook a small chopped onion until soft. Add your chopped vegetables (I use carrots and celery). Cook for around 5 minutes and then add the stock. When it is to a boiling point, add your noodles. We like Healthy Harvest whole wheat, wide noodles.
When "al dente", add your chicken, salt and pepper. I use white pepper so you don't get ugly black floating things in your soup.
OLD FASHIONED CHICKEN POT PIES
One of the kids favorites! It is an old Family Circle recipe with a few changes.
Melt a tablespoon of butter and add one chopped onion and a clove of crushed garlic. Add 1/2 cup of plain flour and stir constantly for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add stock over medium heat until the roux boils and thickens. Add more stock as needed. Remove from heat and stir in the chicken, 2 tablespoons of Parsley, 2-3 teaspoons of tarragon, some peas. Combine 1/3 cream with 2 tablespoons of flour and add to mixture. Cook until it boils and thickens. Adjust your seasoning as necessary.
Pastry Topping. No, frozen will not be the same but if you are in a pinch, it will be ok.
To make the pastry place 2 cups of Self Raising Flour, a pinch of salt and 150g of chilled butter into a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or so, until it resembles fine crumbs. Pour 2/3 cup of milk in and process until it just comes together. Turn onto a floured surface or pastry sheet and knead gently for a minute. Roll out to the shape you desire and cut into strips. Make your pattern, brush the strips with combined beaten egg and a tablespoon of water. Seal the edges and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25-35 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven or until pastry is crisp and golden.