Suddenly, it's week eight and time for the Cowboys to visit the Eagles. Not all of the Sunday Night games by law involve at least two NFC East teams—it only seems that way. This is already Dallas's third Sunday Night appearance, which is probably as much as America can handle of Tony Romo's devastating sex appeal. Last week, we saw that there is not much soupifarous about Pittsburgh, and it appears to be a statewide problem. Soup...Philadelphia...cheesesteak...blender? And then sanity returns.
However, the Eagles do have a recent soup connection, thanks to those ubiquitous commercials where Donovan McNabb's mom tries to force feed soup to her son and his teammates. Donovan McNabb seems like a cool guy—in interviews, he conveys the impression of someone who has ?uestlove's number stored on his cell phone, so it's hard to imagine how he consented to participating in this humiliating spectacle for so long. Failing that, even, how long would Brian Dawkins tolerate having someone's moms hanging around the locker room? "Not long" is the correct answer to that question.
Under the circumstances, something chunky seems appropriate, but it turns out that a bowl of Chunky Sirloin Burger Soup (what is it with NFL QBs and hamburger soups?) will give you a solid 72 percent of your recommended daily sodium intake. In the realm of small-c chunky soups, a variation on the Kuner's chicken posole is a favorite of mine. This is an easy recipe that has a few refinements you can add or not as time and inclination dictate.
The Gurgling Cod's Small-C Chunky Posole*
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 to 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Sour cream (optional)
- Lime wedges
- Corn tortillas
- Roasted squash or pumpkin seeds
If you are using the whole thighs, skin and bone them, setting aside skin and bones separately. There are two optional refinements you can do at this stage:
Cover thighbones with water in small casserole. Add bay leaf, and whole head of garlic, cut through equator. Simmer gently, skimming any foam with a slotted spoon—add water to cover as needed.
Cut skin and fat into postage stamp sized pieces. Add to small saucepan with 1 to 2 cups of water. Simmer gently until fat is rendered and skin is crisp. If you have extra chicken fat, it helps to add for the trying out of the skin. Salt to taste, and save chicken fat for another use.
In separate 5 quart saucepan, combine hominy, broth and spices. When meat is done, combine with hominy mixture and spices and simmer all together for an hour or so.
Serve with lime wedges, cilantro and warm tortillas. If you made the crisp chicken skin, use as a garnish. Alternatively, roasted squash or pumpkin seeds add a nice crunch. Sour cream in this soup is a divisive issue, but considering it invented itself, you might as well have it to hand. Serves 4-6, doubles, and stores well, so make a bunch.
* Yes, real posole does involve the head of a pig bobbing in a bunch of broth. Diana Kennedy has a good recipe. I made it once, and folks seem to enjoy the chicken one pretty well, and do not recoil in horror so much.