Last year Sydney chef Matt Moran celebrated 20 years running Aria, a restaurant that's become a byword for sophisticated modern-Australian dining. While Moran's restaurants (he's also behind Chiswick) are temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can still enjoy his food in the comfort of your own home.
As the world falls apart, there's perhaps nothing better than a bowl of hearty chicken soup. This recipe does include pasta, which in normal circumstances might not be an issue, but during coronavirus has proved hard to get your hands on. Luckily it calls for everyone's least-favourite pasta option, risoni, which even in times of desperation remains available on grocer shelves.
“Whenever I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, or just want something light and wholesome to eat, I make this chicken soup,” Moran tells Broadsheet. “It’s satisfying, warms you up and makes you feel better. Truly. I really encourage you to use homemade stock – nothing beats its flavour and freshness.”
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 hours (plus cooling)
2.5kg chicken bones or wings
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 leeks, white part only, washed and roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 bulb garlic, cut in half crosswise
1 bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
10 white peppercorns
1.2kg chicken, whole
3L chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
Salt and pepper
1 cob sweetcorn, husk and silk removed
½ bunch curly kale, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
½ leek, white part only, washed and chopped
150g risoni or other small pasta
¼ bunch tarragon, leaves picked
To make the stock
Place the chicken bones or wings in a large, heavy-based saucepan or stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and skim off any scum that has risen to the surface.
Add the onion, leek, celery, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns and gently simmer for 4 hours, skimming occasionally.
Strain through a fine-meshed sieve over a large heat-proof bowl and set aside to cool. (The stock can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for several weeks.)
To make the soup
Place the chicken in a heavy-based saucepan and pour the stock over until the chicken is completely covered (top up with a little water if need be). Add the bay leaf and thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to hold at a very gentle simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken (reserve stock) and shred the meat, discarding skin and bones. Set aside.
While the chicken is cooling, cut the corn kernels from the cob. Tear the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces and roughly chop the stalks. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, and add the leek and kale stalks. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes, then add the kale leaves.
Strain the reserved chicken stock and pour over the vegetables, then add the pasta and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and tarragon, increase the heat to medium-high and return to the boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required. Ladle into bowls and serve.