Middle Eastern Chicken Soup

No, this is not an actual Middle Eastern dish.  This is the conglomeration of what can I make for dinner with a chicken carcass, the preserved lemons sitting in the back of the fridge, the kale and roasted garden tomatoes stashed in the freezer, and that a small jar of baharat lurking in the back of my cupboard?  So it’s really just chicken soup with a Middle Eastern flavor profile.  I intended to use chickpeas in the soup instead of couscous, but that is the one thing that I didn’t have on hand.  Side note for the gluten-free contingent – use chickpeas instead of the couscous, and you’ll be in the clear.

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Ingredients:

Broth:

  • 2 small or 1 large Onion (halve the onions, but only remove the outer layer of skin, leaving the remaining skin intact)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic (don’t peel your garlic)
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper Corns
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Baharat
  • 1 Chicken Carcass (or a couple quarts of chicken broth)
  • 1 preserved Lemon
  • 3-4 quarts Water (~ 2 quarts if you are using pre-made chicken broth)

Soup:

  • 1 cup of diced Roasted Tomatoes (you can also use canned diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of chopped Kale
  • 1 cup of shredded, cooked Chicken
  • 3/4 cup Couscous
  • 1/2 cup Olives

Directions:

  1. Make the broth.
    1. Place the chicken carcass at the bottom of a large stew pot, and fill the pot with water until the carcass has been fully submerged. (If you are using pre-made chicken broth, combine it with some water, and then proceed to cook it in the same way as if you are using a chicken carcass)
    2. In a hot cast iron pan toast your spices (except for the baharat and salt) before transferring them into the stew pot.
    3. Toast the onions and garlic before also adding them to the stew pot.
    4. Add the baharat, salt, and preserved lemon to the stew pot.
    5. Cover the pot, and bring it to a boil.
    6. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let your broth meld for a couple of hours.
  2. Drain the broth of the chicken carcass, whole spices, preserved lemon, onion, and garlic, by running it through a large colander into a second soup pot.
  3. Once you have the clear spiced broth in the second pot, reheat it, and add in your vegetables and shredded chicken.

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