Cooking with Emilia: Rosół
You probably know by now that I'm Slavic. That means I take soup seriously.
Soup — especially broth — is one of the ultimate Slavic staple foods, up there with potatoes and pickles. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that for the first eighteen years of my life I ate some sort of broth every single day. Most commonly it was chicken soup, so beloved in Poland that it has its own name, "Rosół" or "Rosołek." My mother makes it so well. It's flavorful, tangy, and borderline addictive. It becomes tomato soup with a little bit of tomato paste, and once my mother adds in her handmade egg noodles we're all in seventh heaven.
I will never forget the day I realised that not all broth is created equal. It was my first year at UChicago, and someone was drinking warmed up chicken stock out of a mug. I asked if I could have some and to my horror it was watery and bland. I had genuinely never thought that there could be bad broth. Call this a first world problem, but it made me appreciate how good I had it. So I've made it my mission to make sure that nobody has to live with bland stock again.
Despite its long cooking time this is such an easy recipe. I love to put it on right after getting home from classes or the Reg — by the time I'm hungry I have a steaming and nutritious bowl of rosół to nourish my soul and body.
Time: 3+ hours. Difficulty: Beginner
- 3 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
- 1 bag of baby carrots
- 1 bunch of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- Fresh parsley and thyme
- Bay leaves
- Whole black peppercorns
- Kosher salt
- Throw all your ingredients (sans salt) into a large stock pot and add enough water to cover everything.
- Bring to a low boil, salting as you go.
- As the soup boils keep your eye on it. White, yellow, and grey scum (fat) will float to the top. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon, or more realistically, just any old utensil.
- Reduce to a simmer, continuing to salt and remove the scum.
- After all the scum is removed (around fifteen minutes) cover and let simmer for at least two hours.
- Check every half hour to adjust salt and flavour.
That's literally it. Don't be scared if your broth tastes like chicken water for the first hour or so. It takes its time but it's worth it.
Feature image via