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Friday 1 July 2016

Recipe: Leek & Sweet Potato Soup with Garlic Chicken Hearts

Recipe: Leek & Sweet Potato Soup with Garlic Chicken Hearts

I remember the first time I came across chicken hearts. I was a little bit wary I have to admit, I was however quite surprised by how tender they were! So I was pretty unimpressed with my own first attempt at cooking with them, they were tough, “oh lordy, that’s chewy!” (I must have come over all Ned Flanders when I wrote 1st draft!) Um . . . do these end? Chew, spring, bounce, is that a tube? Gross dude! (Yep that’s a bit of bart creeping in!)

All that shock and not so much awe aside, the thing to understand is that it’s like cooking calamari, brief and hot. Result tender and tasty, and a great addition to leek and sweet potato soup!

See Duck Hearts w/ Fennel & Basil (Chicken hearts work too!) for an alternative (better) prep method.

ingredients (serves 6)
for the roast veg
2 large sweet potato (1inch dice)
1 red pepper (coarse dice)
2 large onions (sliced)
3 cloves garlic (crushed flat w/ knife)
100ml olive oil

for the leek broth
4 leeks (cleaned, large dice)
4 pints chicken stock
bouquet garnis (10g thyme & 10g rosemary)
a touch of chilli sauce (optional)

for the bacon croutons
200g lardons
4 thick slices tiger bread (toasted) 
3 large clove garlic (crushed)
150g butter (microwaved with garlic)
2 level tsps smoked paprika (la cinata)

chicken hearts
32 chicken hearts (~400g I’m guessing)

for the garnish

for the roast veg
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
Peel and slice the onions, then cook in a pan with a little oil until translucent.
Prep the rest of the ingredients and place in a tray, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat well.
Once seasoned put in the oven at 180C/45min tossing at least twice.

for the leek broth
Chuck all the ingredients into a pot, it will serve as a base for the whole thing.
Bring to the boil and leave on a super gentle simmer with the lid on while prepping the rest of the ingredients.

for the bacon croutons
Put the bread in the toaster.
Microwave the butter and garlic while it toasts.
Add the smoked paprika to the melted butter, mix well (reserving half for the chicken hearts).
Cut the toast into cubes and add to the butter mix coating all cubes as evenly as possible.
Put the bacon on a medium heat and let the fat render turning them frequently.
Once the bacon has started to brown add the croutons and mix well.
Leave on a baking tray, in a warm place.
Man these are explosions of smokey bacon flavoured croutons!! Dribble . . .

chicken hearts
Use left over garlic butter to coat the hearts, sear without oil in a hot pan 4mins max. (2 mins each side)
Deglaze the pan with good slug of white wine or a ladle full of leek broth, then return the hearts and sauce to the broth pot. (Do them in a few batches deglazing after each batch)

Remove the bouquet garnis from the broth, add the roast veg.
to serve 
Ladle the soup into bowls and add a sprinkling of chopped chives!
Place the croutons in a warm bowl with a spoon so folk can help themselves. 

thinking ahead
You can make all the components in the afternoon, then she you need it all you have to do is mix them in the broth pot until warm. Warm the tray of crouton in the oven 180C for 4mins.

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