Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 40 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

The process is called sweating because just enough heat is applied to soften and subsequently extract the moisture from the thing(s) being cooked. In this case, it's the vegetables. Sweating is a celebrated culinary technique for layering flavor into stews, soups, sauces, and braised dishes. Layering the chicken on top is an exercise in culinary discipline. The thighs are a timer of sorts: When they're cooked through, the vegetables are sweated to perfection.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large stainless steel bowl, combine all of the vegetables, the olive oil, the sugar, and the garlic. Toss to combine.

Step 2

Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over very low heat.

Step 3


Step 4

Lay the vegetables in an even layer in the pot. Evenly layer the chicken thighs over the vegetables, overlapping slightly if necessary.

Step 5

Cover with a parchment lid (see below) and sweat for about an hour. Parchment lids help to retain just enough moisture in foods you're sweating or stove-top quick-braising. Plus, making one in front of guests Serves as a cool party trick.

Step 6

The vegetables should be tender and almost translucent. If you've done this perfectly, some liquid will have rendered into the pan, and you'll have a juicy base on which to build the soup.

Step 7


Step 8

Add the water and stock, and simmer for another hour.

Step 9

Using tongs, remove the chicken thighs to a cutting board and let them cool until you can safely handle. Remove and discard the bones, shred the meat by hand, and return the chicken to the pot.

Step 10

Finish with salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and bitters. This soup base is perfect for freezing and subsequent "doctoring."

Step 11

Step by Step: Making a Parchment Lid 1) Pull out a sheet of parchment paper a little wider than the container you're "lidding." 2) Fold the paper in half... 3) ...and again. 4) Fold across as to mock a paper airplane, being mindful to align the folded edges. 5) Fold the parchment over and over, until it becomes diffcult to create a seam. 6) Snip off the tip. This creates a little steam hole so the lid won't blow off a simmering pot. 7) Place the tip of the lid at the center point of the pot, then trim the far end so the lid will fit the pot exactly. 8) Unfold your lid. You'll know you folded it the wrong way if it ends up as two halves. 9) Place the lid in contact with the food you're cooking.

Step 12

Mexican variation:

Step 13

In a bowl, stir together 1 cup ripe, charred, and coarsely chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 charred and minced jalapeo, the juice and zest of 1 lime, and 1 diced avocado. Dollop this into bowls of the soup.

Step 14

Calories 257; FAT 2g (sat 3g); sodium 569mg

Step 15

Basque-inspired variation:

Step 16

Add a generous pinch of saffron to the soup while it simmers. Finish with 1 cup peeled, diced, ripe tomato and 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

Step 17

Calories 202; FAT 3g (sat 6g); sodium 567mg

Cooking Light Mad Delicious

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