Homemade At Its Best

The recipe below is truly a great cold weather treat, with the peppers giving just enough spice to liven up this simple and hearty bisque. The quenelles can be a little tricky to make, but with practice it should come quite easily. If you prefer, simply dump small teaspoons of these ‘dumplings’ into the simmering water. The visual presentation will look even more homemade.

Easy Chipotle Tomato Bisque with Chicken Quenelles
Serves 6-8

1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
3(28-ounce) cans peeled, whole tomatoes
1/2 can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half
Chicken Quenelles, recipe below

Make Chicken Quenelles:
1 chicken breast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil
4 tablespoons heavy cream, very cold
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cut chicken into chunks. Transfer them to a blender or food processor and pulse until very smooth. Add the egg white and basil and continue to pulse until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in heavy cream, a little at a time, until incorporated. If the cream isn’t cold, it will not be absorbed very well, but don’t over-mix. Fold in the salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, add the garlic, tomatoes with the juice, chipotle peppers, adobo juice and black pepper: pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan and whisk in the cream, Over medium heat, bring bisque to scalding, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and keep warm while cooking quenelles.
Bring a quart or two of water to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove chicken mixture from refrigerator. With two teaspoons, make quenelles, placing them in the simmering water a few at a time. If unfamiliar with making quenelles, simply scoop out some mixture with one teaspoon and lifting it out with another. Drop the quenelles into the simmering water and let cook until they float to the top. Once they have risen to the surface, let cook an additional 15 seconds. This takes about 2 minutes. Drop each quenelle, as they are done, into the pot of Tomato Bisque. Repeat with remainder of chicken mixture.
Spoon bisque into individual bowls and evenly distribute the Chicken Quenelles. Enjoy with some extra crusty bread.