In 1986, the Golden Gate Hotel’s owners settled down to create the kind of hotel they’d always dreamed of—comfortable and charming, full of flowers, and serving a great cup of coffee. But they also serve a great cup of soup that will warm you from the inside out. Originally published in the California Bed and Breakfast Cookbook, here is the hotel’s secret recipe for Chicken Soup with Apples and Leeks.
Makes 6 servings
1 whole chicken, cut up, washed and patted dry
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ stick butter, divided
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup dry apple juice
3 tablespoons Calvados or other apple brandy
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.
Pour any butter or fat out of soup pot. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in soup pot over medium heat. Cut greens off leeks, leaving only about 1-inch of green. Slice leeks, add to pot and brown. Add chicken, apples, broth, vinegar, and apple juice to leeks. Bring mixture to a slow simmer. Skim any fat. Cover pot and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and let cool.
Skin and debone chicken. Cut meat into 1/2-inch chunks. Skim any remaining fat from soup. Add Calvados and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve immediately in hot bowls.