Recipe: Meal-in-a-pot (Puchero)
Meal-in-a-pot (Puchero) (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times / August 27, 2012)
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Servings: 4, plus additional broth
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1 cup chickpeas, soaked 8 hours and drained
1/2 chicken (about 1½ pounds)
6 ounces meaty beef shin bone
6 ounces pork spare ribs
2 ounces salt pork or pancetta
4 ounces hambone
1 leek, white and light green part only
1 whole carrot
1 whole turnip
1 whole stalk celery
3 quarts water
3 boiling potatoes (1 pound), peeled but left whole
4 thick slices bread or ½ cup medium-short grain rice or vermicelli noodles
Sprigs of fresh mint
1. In a large soup pot, combine the chickpeas, chicken, beef, ribs, salt pork and hambone, along with the leek, carrot, turnip and celery. Add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Skim the froth off of the top, cover the pot and gently simmer for 1 hour.
2. Add the potatoes and season to taste with salt. Cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Strain 5 cups of the broth into another pot. If preparing the soup with bread, cut the bread into strips and divide it among 4 soup plates. Ladle the hot broth over the bread. If desired, a few chickpeas can be included in the broth. Garnish with sprigs of mint.
If using rice or noodles for the soup, bring the broth to a boil and add the rice or noodles. Simmer until the rice is tender, 15 minutes, or for noodles, 6 minutes. Serve immediately.
4. Remove the meats, vegetables and chickpeas from the soup pot. Cut the chicken and meat each into 4 serving pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Cut up the leek, carrot, turnip and potatoes and place on the platter with the chickpeas.
5. After serving the soup, serve the platter of meat and vegetables.
6. Leftover broth and chickpeas can be refrigerated and saved for another soup.
Each serving: 676 calories; 37 grams protein; 55 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 33 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 107 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 726 mg sodium.
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