About the fact that Kharcho is a Georgian dish heard by many Europeans, but it has a huge number of copies, exact and inaccurate, which are under discussion: what is permissible in its preparation technology, what ingredients should be included in its composition?
What meat is required for chicken kharcho soup? Step by step, in one recipe - variants of the popular Caucasian soup.
Basic principles of cooking kharcho soup (step by step)
Kharcho is associated with a spicy and spicy dish, with tomatoes and rice, and even with potatoes! Literally, in Georgian, kharcho is “beef soup”. Kharcho with other kinds of meat in Georgian cuisine exist, but the potatoes in this soup are an invention of the Soviet catering.
Excessive sharpness of dishes is peculiar only to Mingrelian cuisine. Megrelia is the western part of Georgia, and the rest of the regional cuisine is more spicy than spicy. For cooking spicy kharcho soup in megrelski, adjika is used, which contains hot red pepper (90%). Not everyone has the taste for taste, so adjust the amount of spices at your discretion.
Cilantro, parsley, basil, celery, garlic and onion are spicy ingredients typical of Caucasian cuisine. The national flavor of the kharcho soup is given by the spices: hop-suneli, ground coriander, imeretinsky saffron. Spicy herbs are added to the finished dish to avoid cooking, during which their flavor is lost. Only onions are heat-treated, but only slightly passaged.
Is it possible for chicken soup to use chicken instead of beef? Yes, just add chicken meat, at least, in beef broth, boiled from a set of tubular beef bones. Chicken meat has too neutral taste. Traditional Kharcho soup is not made from chicken, but only from beef. In general, chicken is another Georgian dish, but if, indeed, there was no beef or lamb brisket available - do not be discouraged: the spices will hide this disadvantage. In addition, chicken kharcho soup is almost a dietary meal, given the large amount of beneficial amino acids and the low calorie content of this type of meat. The peculiarity of kharcho soup in any form is sour dressing: tkemali sauce (ქლიავი (cargo) - plums). Tomato dressing is used in Megrelian and Abkhazian cuisine. Sometimes tkemali is used in combination with tomatoes to give a bright color.
Another traditional component of the cuisine of the peoples of the Caucasus is walnuts. They are used in many dishes, for flavor and thickening. Crushed kernels are added to the kharcho, but this is optional.
Rice is also used to thicken the kharcho, but it should not be boiled. Kharcho is removed from the stove when the rice is in the half-cooked state so that the croup “reaches” in the hot liquid without heating. The texture of the kharcho soup is very thick. The ratio of liquid and solid components can be estimated as 4: 6.
Potato? In those days, when soup kharcho appeared in the kitchen of the Caucasian peoples, nobody knew about potatoes even in Russia. Do not offend the mountaineers by not knowing such features of national cuisine. They will forgive the chicken in the soup of the kharcho, and leave the potatoes for cooking other soups. From the usual vegetables that are used to prepare the first dishes in the Russian home cooking, for the chicken kharcho, you will need only onions, hot peppers.
Step-by-step recipe for chicken kharcho soup
This recipe contains mass only for the main components of the soup. Of course, the taste of kharcho depends on spicy herbs, spices and sour dressing not less than on meat, broth and rice, but the sharpness and acidity, as well as the amount of spicy spices, are better adjusted to taste. Spices and sauces, generous bunches of spicy greens are the hallmark of Caucasian cuisine. Without these components, you can not even start cooking Georgian dishes. You can replace the chicken with any kind of meat and even offal, and try to keep the composition of the remaining ingredients of the kharcho soup in the original.
Meat 1.2 -1.5 kg
Water or meat broth 3.5 L
100 g rice
Baked and vegetable oil - only 120-150 g
Mix of pepper, ground
Tomatoes in their own juice and pasta Tkemali (plum sauce)
Hot pepper, green or adjika
Utsho-suneli or hops suneli
Leafy greens: cilantro, green basil, parsley, celery
Walnuts to taste
In the step-by-step recipe, different ways are indicated: for kharcho soup, take a chicken or beef, or mutton; A good option is to combine different types of meat. The perfect taste of chicken kharcho made from beef broth is almost an original recipe. It is advisable to cook the soup in meat broth, rather than in water, to give it a richer taste. If the choice is made in favor of chicken meat and similar broth, more garlic will be needed, for other types of meat, garlic should be present as a loop flavor.
1. Cut the meat into bars - 1.5 x 1.5 x 5 cm. Try to clean it from the films, if it is beef or lamb, first clean the chicken from the skin.
2. Put the prepared meat in boiling broth; cook until soft, in the mode of languor. If you cook the whole chicken or ribs, after cooking, remove the meat from the pan, separate it from the bones, and then return the small pieces of pulp to the pan. Do not forget in the process of cooking broth to remove the foam before boiling. To make the broth clear, put a whole carrot and onion in it. When the broth is ready, remove the vegetables.
The second, more interesting way: pepper the chopped sticks, pour with vegetable oil, mix well so that the meat is covered with an oil film; fry in a heated cast iron skillet in small portions, until a crust forms on the surface. Put the meat in a saucepan, cover with boiling broth and, after turning off the heat, cook for 10 minutes if it is chicken fillet, and for lamb or beef, increase the cooking time to 20 minutes.
3. Rinse well, rinse, soak it for half an hour, Drain, but do not rush into the pan with the meat. It should be slightly undercooked, so add it at the same time as a sour dressing, or five minutes earlier. 4. Cut onions into small cubes. Combine the vegetable oil with the melted butter, pour it into the preheated cast-iron skillet, put a pinch of salt and pass the onion until transparent.
5. Blanch the tomatoes, peel, remove the seeds (for beauty), cut into cubes. Put them in a deep frying pan, adding to the onions. Add tkemali, tomato paste and simmer until most of the juice has evaporated. Winter version of dressing for kharcho - canned tomatoes in their own juice.
There are options for soup kharcho without tkemali. There is no suitable sauce - it will still be delicious, but then increase the number of tomatoes.
6. To the tomato-plum dressing add ground coriander, imeretinsky saffron, a mixture of ground peppers and hops-suneli. If you decide to add adjika, reduce the amount of dry ground pepper. Imereti saffron and hops-suneli are important supplements with a national flavor.
7. Stir the dressing and taste it. It should be very spicy and slightly salty, taking into account the total mass of the soup, with broth and meat.
Not necessarily, but for contrast and piquancy you can add sugar - it always sets off sharpness very well and improves the taste of meat dishes.
8. Transfer the meat dressing along with the rice. Cook until rice is half cooked.
9. Optionally add ground walnut kernels. Pay attention to the consistency of the soup: it should be thick enough. So, if the amount of vegetable and tomato dressing was not guessed in time, then nuts are a good way to fix the consistency. Add at the end an additional portion of raw vegetables is not worth it. Kernels before chopping lightly fry in a dry frying pan to better reveal their flavor.
10. Chop fresh greens, put it in the soup, and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Chicken or beef kharcho should be well brewed so that the flavor of the greens goes into the broth. Put thin rings of hot green pepper in plates, along with parsley or cilantro leaves.
Step-by-step recipe for chicken kharcho soup: useful tips
How to serve kharcho? Some gourmets say that lavash is needed, but lavash is Armenian bread, not Georgian. Then it is already better - mchadi, Georgian tortillas made from corn flour. Chicken Kharcho soup is served with yoghurt even though this dairy drink is of Armenian origin, but it is also popular in Georgia. The Russian version - sour cream and bread is also a good combination. It is important that, next to this Georgian dish, there is always a large assortment of spicy greens, tomatoes, peppers - in Georgia they are often served in whole form and in bunches.
It is worth noting that tomatoes are abundant in Georgian dishes, and they are one of the favorite ingredients in the national cuisine. But when Columbus went to the shores of America, in Georgia for several centuries they prepared kharcho, because rice was grown there from the second century, and plums and cherry plums, from which they still prepare meat sauce, grew in the Caucasus from ancient times. These fruits were the very first ingredients for sour dressing for soup. Therefore, if you want the chicken kharcho recipe, at least, to be original in the composition of the dressing, do not exclude tkemali from the recipe, and make sure that the main note in the soup is plum, not tomato sauce.
The bright color of the soup Kharcho does not necessarily give the tomatoes - it can be saffron and red pepper. A beautiful rich color is obtained if the meat is pre-fried in a pan.
When roasting meat for kharcho, add 100-150 ml of wine to it: dry white chicken fillet, and red beef or lamb. In addition to flavor, this technique saturates the broth with a bright shade.