Chicken on the Mind

Yesterday, I had chicken on the mind (in addition to a migraine on the mind). During the day, I kept trying to find the disc jockey version (i.e., the approximately 3 minute mix) of Robert Preston’s Chicken Fat (you can listen to the 6+ minute version here), which is the version I remember from camp.

Then, over a dinner of soup, I began musing on my favorite chicken soups. For the record, and in no particular order, they are:

  • Mexican: Azteca Tortilla Soup (Don Cucos in Newhall): Fresh chicken pieces, spices, sour cream, sliced avocado and tortilla strips. This is a family favorite because it is so tasty.
  • Columbian: Sancocho de Pollo (Cafe Columbia, Burbank): Quarter chicken leg served with chunks of plátano, yuca and potatoes. This has become my standard meal, with a salad, whenever we visit here.
  • Thai: Tom Yom Kai (Lum Ka Naad, Northridge): Spicy soup with chicken, lemongrass, fresh galangal and Kaffir lime leaves, fresh mint leaves, straw mushrooms, and lime juice. Come in with a cold; leave breathing. I’ve liked this soup ever since my days at UCLA.
  • Greek: Avgolomono (Alexis Greek/Portugese Restaurant, Northrdge): chicken broth, fresh lemon juice, egg and orzo pasta.
  • Chinese: Wonton Soup (Chi’s Chinese, Northridge): Shrimp, white meat chicken, mixed vegetables, and chicken dumplings in broth… although their Chicken Corn soup (chopped chicken and sweet corn in a creamy egg-base soup) or Chicken vegetable soup (white meat chicken mixed with mixed vegetables) are close runner-ups.
  • “Jewish”: Chicken in the Pot (Weiler’s Deli or Brent’s Deli, but homemade is best): Chicken soup with a ½ chicken, served with 1 Kreplach, 1 Matzo Ball, Noodles, Broth, and Veggies.
  • Indian: Mulligatawney Soup (Taj Mahal, Encino): Delicately spiced soup made with lentil chicken stock & rice.
  • Japanese: Chicken Udon Soup. Haven’t found an exemplar of this yet, although the Udon at Sacha Sushi in Pasadena or Fuji in Arleta are both pretty good.
  • Persian: Barley Soup (Ali Baba, Granada Hills): Chicken broth soup with barley, carrots and sweet peas. Note that I haven’t tried this one yet, but nothing on their menu is bad.

In fact, the only cuisines that tend not to have strong chicken soups are Italian, for Minestrone is typically a vegetarian base; French, for Onion Soup is a beef-base. I’m not sure about German, Russian, or Polish soups.

So, have I made you hungry for soup yet? Do you have favorites not on this list?