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Hühner Ragout Suppe

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 January 2010
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    Posted: 26 September 2013 at 13:06
Hühner Ragout Suppe
Chicken Ragoût Soup
 
From Time/Life's Foods of the World - The Cooking of Vienna's Empire (1968):
 
 
Hühner Ragout Suppe, chicken ragoût soup, with liver dumplings, often appears at lunch time in the Austrian provinces.
 
To serve 6 to 8:
 
1 to 1.5 pounds chicken parts (necks, wings, backs, giblets)
1 small veal knuckle (about 1/2 pound)
8 peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
2.5 quarts chicken stock, fresh or canned - or water; or part chicken stock and part water
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely-chopped onions
1/2 cup diced carrots (1/4-inch chunks)
1/2 cup diced celery (1/4-inch chunks)
1/2 cup diced parsnips (1/4-inch chunks)
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons finely-chopped parsley
 
In a 4- or 5-quart casserole or soup kettle, combine the chicken parts, veal knuckle, peppercorns, salt and stock and/or water. Add more stock or water, if necessary, to cover by an inch. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, skimming the scum from the surface as it rises. Then partially cover the pan and reduce the heat to its lowest point; bubbles should barely break the surface. Simmer slowly for 1.5 to 2 hours.
 
Meanwhile, in a 10- or 12-inch skillet, melt the butter. When the foam subsides, add the onions and cook over moderate heat for 2 or 3 minutes, then add the diced carrots, celery and parsnips. Stir them to coat them with the butter. Cover the skillet tightly and cook the vegetables over the lowest possible heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are barely tender. Check the pan occasionally and add a tablespoon of the chicken stock from the casserole if necessary to keep the vegetables from browning.
 
Pour the soup through a large sieve into a large bowl. Remove all the edible parts of the chicken and dice them coarsely. Discard the skin, bones, veal knuckle and the peppercorns. Return the stock to the large casserole, skim off as much surface fat as you can, and bring it to a simmer again.
 
Now, off the heat, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the skillet. Stir together until the flour is thoroughly absorbed. Still off the heat, gently stir in 2 cups of the simmering stock, then return the skillet to the heat and, stirring constantly, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the stock is smooth and thick. Pour the entire contents of the skillet into the simmering soup stock, whisking all the while. Add the diced chicken and bring the soup almost to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 5 or 10 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning; it may need more salt. Pour the soup into a tureen and add the parsley.
 
Austrians traditionally serve dumplings with this soup and usually cook them in it. Leberknödel (liver dumplings) are a favourite (recipe below):
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 October 2013 at 16:22
I tried a version of this soup last weekend; it had the same basic ingredients (except as noted below), but the exact procedure for the soup was not followed. I was pretty sick with a nasty cold (or something) that day, and gave the ingredients list to my older sons. I then promptly fell asleep and they, rather than wake me, just started to make a chicken soup. In spite of the minor differences, I think we still came pretty close the the spirit of the recipe.
 
Basically, a nice, fat chicken (rather than some chicken parts) was slowly boiled in chicken stock; then the vegetables (far more than the recipe called for) were cut up and all thrown together.
 
NOTE: Rather than extracting flavour from a veal knuckle (impossible to find here!), I added a couple of good-sized cubes of beef glace de viande, as suggested by Dave (Hoser) - this was an excellent substitution that added colour, richness and a delicious flavour profile that made this chicken soup truly unique.
 
While the meat was being removed from the chicken - the finely-chopped vegetables were sauted in half a stick of butter; once they got a little colour, some flour (not quite enough) was stirred and cooked into the mix and the pan was de-glazed with a little chicken stock. The resulting slurry was then added back into the de-fatted stock, along with the chicken, and slowly simmered until the vegetables were tender with just a little bit of tooth left to them. Not quite the same procedure, but close!
 
Finally, in the name of expediency, I decided to forego the traditional Leberknödel (liver dumplings) and made dumplings in the manner of Rod Franklin's outstanding nokedli, according to his "1 egg/.5 cup of flour/half-eggshell-full of water" ratio. As usual, this method, along with some simple salt, pepper and paprika, resulted in an excellent dough/batter for dumplings, and I was able to finally use the spaetzel maker that Rod had sent to me some time back:
 
 
This gadget is indeed a keeper! Perfect little dumpling balls were consistently thrown from it, and it was a joy to use.
 
So basically, in spite of slight differences, we made this soup, and I can say with absolute confidence that we are talking about some delicious eats here. The soup was flavourful, unique and filling - the perfect thing for a grey day and a family that had several members struggling through a cold. I really enjoyed the way that the beef (substituted for veal) seemed to "fill in" any holes in the flavour profile that might have existed by using chicken flavours only. I am not a huge fan of parsnips, but they definitely worked with this soup, right alongside the carrots and the parsley, to bring out some notes that I would probably not have noticed otherwise.

This is indeed something that will be made again over the course of this fall/winter. When I do, I will make it according to the recipe and will post a pictorial at that time. It is definitely recommended, and hope that someone gives it a try as I myself can't wait to try it again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 October 2013 at 08:01
I told you you'd love that machine, Ron. I've had one for years.

One thing to keep in mind: If you change the speed with which you move the hopper back and forth you can control the size of the finished product. At least to a certain degree.
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