Chicken, sweetcorn and tarragon soup

Serves 4
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You could also try adding a few fried girolles to this recipe for added luxury.

1 raw free-range chicken carcass, chopped
2 free-range chicken legs (or thighs or drumsticks)
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped and washed
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme
60g butter, plus a couple of knobs more
50g flour
1ltrs chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 sweetcorn, cooked as before
Leaves from a few sprigs of tarragon
60ml double cream
A little chopped parsley
A few girolles, lightly fried (optional)

Put the chicken carcass and legs into a pan with the onion, leek, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, stalks from the tarragon and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the sweetcorn kernels from the husk with a sharp knife and cook them in boiling salted water with a couple of tablespoons of sugar for about 10 minutes or until tender, then strain and put to one side. Remove the chicken legs from the stock and leave them to cool, then strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve.

In a clean pan, melt the butter and stir in the flour on a medium heat. Gradually add the strained stock, one ladle at a time, stirring well to avoid lumps forming. Bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Blend the soup with a hand blender to give it a nice silky finish. Remove the meat from the chicken and flake into even-sized pieces, then add to the soup with the girolles (if you are using), the cream, sweetcorn and parsley. Re-season to taste, then simmer for a minute or so before serving.