- 1.2 kilogram whole broiler hen
- 1 medium brown onion (150g) chopped coarsely
- 2 clove garlic, crushed
- 300 gram swiss brown mushrooms, halved
- 300 gram button mushrooms, halved
- 10 gram dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 stalk celery (150g), trimmed, chopped coarsely
- 2 medium potatoes (400g), chopped coarsely
- 1 litre (4 cups) water
- 2 cup (500ml) chicken stock
- 300 millilitre pouring cream
- 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh chervil leaves
- 1Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry, inside and out, with paper towel. Trim excess fat from chicken; place chicken in a 5-litre (20-cup) slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, potato, the water and stock. Cook, covered, on low, about 10 hours.
- 2Remove chicken from cooker; when cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones. Shred chicken coarsely.
- 3Using a stick blender, blend soup in cooker until smooth; stir in cream and shredded chicken. Cook, covered, on high, for 10 minutes or until hot. Season to taste. Serve soup sprinkled with chervil and drizzle with a little extra cream, if you like.
Not suitable to freeze. Boiler hens, also known as steamer hens or steamer chickens, are usually 'older' birds used for egg-laying – the meat is generally tougher, making them more suitable for slow cooking; they are available from Asian butchers. You can use a small chicken if you cannot find a boiler; however, you will need to reduce the cooking time from 10 hours to 8 hours on low.
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