If you have The Cooking Channel, you must watch (or DVR) Rachel Ray’s new show, “Week in a Day.” She makes 5 dishes in one day that will last all week. I used to do this when I worked full time and didn’t have the energy to cook each night. She makes a lot of spicy things so I don’t get too many off the show, but this recipe sounded too good to not give a go. We enjoyed it, but we really like soups with thicker broths so just know that it’s more of a chicken broth soup.
-2 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 lb)
-1 cup dry white wine (we don’t drink and don’t have wine in the house so I used chicken stock)
-Peel of 1 lemon
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, peeled and quartered with root end attached
-2 bay leaves
-About 1 quart water
-2 large or 3-4 medium leeks (I left this out)
-6 slices lean bacon, chopped
-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
-2-3 ribs celery, chopped
-1 pint grape tomatoes
-2 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped (I used dried)
-4 cups chicken stock
-1 cup gemelli pasta (I used small shells)
1. Place the chicken, wine, lemon peel, onion, and 1 bay leaf in a small pot. Add about 1 quart of water or enough to cover the top of the chicken meat, bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and gently poach until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Cool the chicken until it is easy to handle, then dice or shred. Strain and reserve about 5 cups of the poaching liquid.
2. Trim the leeks and halve lengthwise, then cut into 1” half-moons, wash in the sink or large bowl filled with cold water. Dry the leeks on a clean kitchen towel and reserve.
3. Heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges, 3 minutes. Add 1 bay leaf, carrots, celery, leeks, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook 12 to 15 minutes covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and tomatoes burst.
4. Add pasta and cook per package directions.