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Quintessential Cock-a-Leekie Soup

One of the most famous Scottish soups is Cock-a-Leekie (essentially chicken and leeks). While it can be enjoyed anytime, it holds a place of honor on the traditional meal served to celebrate the birth of famous Scottish poet, Robbie Burns on January 25th.

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Quintessential Cock-a-Leekie Soup

One of the most famous Scottish soups is Cock-a-Leekie (essentially chicken and leeks). While it can be enjoyed anytime, it holds a place of honor on the traditional meal served to celebrate the birth of famous Scottish poet, Robbie Burns on January 25th.
Course Soup
Cuisine Edwardian, Scottish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. chicken parts use what you can on hand*
  • 1 pound leeks trimmed, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium carrot chopped (optional)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 item Bouquet garni Bay leaf, parsley, thyme (tied with string or enclosed cheesecloth)
  • 1/2 cup prunes pitted and chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bacon fried, and chopped
  • 1 sprig parsley or dill chopped to garnish

Instructions

  • Put the chicken (and bacon) in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and remove any scum.
  • Add three-quarters of the leeks, (green as well as white sections), herbs (tied together in a bundle), salt and pepper and return to the boil. Simmer gently for 2-3 hours, adding more water/stock if necessary. Remove the chicken and allow to cool enough to remove the meat.
  • Skim visible fat from the stock pot, using a flat spoon or paper towel. I have also used ice cubes (the fat sticks to the cube and you fish it out). If you have more time, you can let the stock cool, and let the fat solidify.
  • Take the meat from the bones and put back into the soup pot (you can also reserve some of the meat for another dish)
  • Add the rice, drained prunes and the remaining leeks and simmer for at least another 30 minutes. Check for flavour and serve with a little chopped parsley or dill.

Notes

*An older chicken-which is where the name "cock" came from--or the equivalent of bone-in breasts, legs, thighs.
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