Matty Matheson has become one of the most well-known food personalities on Viceland.
The Toronto-based chef hosts "Dead Set on Life" and "It's Suppertime," two shows that done well enough in the U.S. that he's embarking on a cookbook tour this month to promote his new book, "Matty Matheson: A Cookbook" (Abrams, $35).
On his cookbook tour, he'll talk about some of the recipes in the book, many of which were inspired by his Canadian upbringing and Italian in-laws, as well as his rise to fame as a chef and TV star. The event is free to attend, and you can buy copies of his cookbook at the store.
With cooler fall temperatures upon us, I wanted to share his chicken soup recipe, which he wisely explains is the base for so many other comforting seasonal soups.
Chicken soup is something everyone should know how to make. It’s one of those dishes that’s healing. All you need is chicken and water. Serve it with grilled-cheese sandwiches or just by itself. It’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add noodles or rice, Parmesan cheese or chopped kale. It’s one of my favorite foods. My Nanny always made it with her leftover roast chicken dinner, a meal she cooked often. I loved knowing that after a roast chicken dinner came the chicken soup. The real beauty of chicken soup is that it’s such a blank culinary canvas. You can make Mexican pollo verde, pho ga, Italian wedding soup, broth for tortellini. It starts with roasted chicken and water and can end in any part of the world you wish. But this one is my grandmother’s, and I hold it close to my heart.
— Matty Matheson
1 (3 to 4-pound) whole chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup good olive oil, plus more for serving
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 leeks, cleaned and white parts diced
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch thyme
4 bay leaves
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat the bird dry; season with salt and pepper and rub with the canola oil. Place on a rack set on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when a knife is inserted between the leg and breast, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, celery and the white parts of the leeks. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir every 3 minutes to make sure everything is cooking evenly.
Remove the chicken from the oven and drain the rendered fat into the pot with the onion mixture (also known as a mirepoix). Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes so you can handle it. Cut the chicken in half and place in the pot. Add just enough water to cover everything.
Bundle the parsley, thyme and bay leaves and tie with twine; drop it into the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and skim the scum with your ladle; simmer 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the chicken from the stock and clean the meat and skin off the bones. Leave nothing. Chop the meat into a medium dice and place back into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. You may notice you’ll need a lot of salt to bring out that chicken flavor. But don’t be afraid to keep adding until you reach that salty-rich broth you’ve been searching for your entire life.
Ladle some into a bowl and add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a few drops of good olive oil, and hopefully you’re watching your grandfather’s crow’s-feet curl up as he’s smiling at you. Serves 5.
— From "Matty Matheson: A Cookbook" by Matty Matheson (Abrams, $35)