West African Chicken Soup




  • One 3-pound chicken, neck reserved
  • 3-1/2 quarts water
  • 2 medium onions, 1 unpeeled and quartered, 1 thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 celery ribs, 2 coarsely chopped, 2 sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 6 parsley sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro



Step 1: In a stockpot, combine the chicken and neck with the water, quartered onion, chopped carrots and celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley springs and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. 
Step 2: Transfer the chicken to a plate. Discard the skin. Pull the meat off the bones, cut it into 1/2-inch pieces and refrigerate.
Step 3: Return the bones to the pot, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour, until the broth is richly flavored. Strain the broth into a clean heat proof bowl and rinse out the pot. 
Step 4: Return the broth to the pot and boil over moderate heat until reduced to 8 cups, about 30 minutes. Season with salt.
Step 5: In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the sliced onion, ginger, minced jalapeno, tomatoes, curry powder and tomato paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. 
Step 5: Stir in the broth, and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Season with salt cook over moderate heat for about 30 minutes. 
Step 6: Add the chopped chicken and cilantro and simmer until just heated through.
Step 7: Ladle into bowls and serve. Serve with white rice.


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