Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bowl-full of Hope

Layered, bundled, and wrapped up against the assault of the polar express it is difficult to find hope and see a future splayed with tender, fragrant and abundant petals. Though the activities of our nation’s capitol over the last few week has given us a welcoming thawing in this otherwise frigid season.

A visual and psychological paradigm shift has occurred, and we will no longer be a land of inevitability – possible is the belief to hold onto. The spill is universal for everyone person. My plate is now the true representative of the tapestry of this country, and is clear that we have been informed by every culture on the earth. Freedom is a wonderful opportunity and it can foster a creative edge if you allow yourself to peek over the precipice.

So, here is to a chicken in every pot and pot being as simple or complex as one’s whim.

Chicken Soup – yields approx. 12 servings
1 capon – cut into 12 pieces and rinsed under cold water
4 quarts chicken stock
3 carrots – peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 celery stalks – washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 large onion – cut into 1 inched pieces
5 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped
1/2 Italian parsley leaves – roughly chopped
1 pound cassava (yucca) – peeled and cut into about 2 inch pieces
2 green plantains - peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1/8 cup cilantro – roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 limes cut into 12 pieces for garnish

In an eight quart bring the capon and stock to the boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes skimming the fat and impurities off that float to the top. After a half hour add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, cassava and plantains. Bring the soup back to the boil, and continue cooking for an 1-1/2 hour. Carefully, remove the capon from the pot, and place in a bowl. Pull the chicken meat from the bone returning the meat back to the soup pot. Simmer the soup another 1 hour with a lid slightly askew. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot in a large bowl with each serving getting a piece of chicken, and garnish with a lime wedge.

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