If you’re wondering why there is a more-than-half-eaten picture of Mulligatawny soup here, its because the soup was. that. good. I simply could not save the soup in time for the photo…
The first time I ever had this soup was at Montana Plains Bakery in Lynchburg, VA. I liked it so much that I went back the same day for a second bowl. Since then I have been trying different variations of this traditional Indian Curry Chicken dish to find the perfect take on Mulligatawny.
So here it is… the greatest (according to me) chicken soup there ever was.
Start with a half a chicken
Because I hate using recipes (yeah ironic, I know), I waited until the end of the day to decide I needed some chicken for dinner. That’s where an InstantPot comes in. A whole frozen chicken takes a total of 50 minutes to finish cooking and it’s still juicy I might add.
I prefer this soup with white meat, but dark meat adds a dimension of flavor that you wouldn’t otherwise have, so after cooking a whole chicken I take half the white meat, and half the dark meat… and nibble on the best pieces in between.
Alternatively, you could use 2 chicken breasts, or you could even use chicken thighs if you want to make this a budget recipe. If you don’t like to cook whole fryers, you should read about the cost savings of buying a whole chicken.
Note: If you had chicken breasts that were defrosted and uncooked, you could add them to your soup when you add the broth, and then let it simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Then just take them out, chop, and add back in with the rice. It’s important that the chicken gets some simmer time in the broth so the robust flavor can soak in.
Making Your Own Broth
I almost never use chicken bullion cubes or store-bought broth. Seriously, you have no idea whats in that stuff. The broth is easy, cheap and full of flavor when you make it at home. Generally, I make broth every time I clean the meat off a whole chicken, by placing the carcass in a crockpot filled with filtered water and a TBSP of vinegar for 24-48 hours. Once you keep it in the fridge the schmaltz will solidify at the top for you to scrape off.
Because I used an InstantPot this time, I was able to make all the broth I needed – I added a cup of water to the pot before pressure cooking, and when it was done there was rich, delicious broth at the bottom. I also seasoned it with Italian Seasoning which filled the entire house with an incredible aroma; I had my entire family roaming around the kitchen asking if dinner was ready!
You can also use the drippings from an oven-roasted chicken; in my experience the more water you add to the pan the more broth you will get.