Tag Archives: comfort food

chicken and veggie soup

It’s been a tough few weeks as I’m getting over the stomach flu. I’ve had the stomach flu twice in less than 2 weeks! My doctor recommended that I stick to soups and get lots of rest, which is what I’ve been doing (aside from the ahi tuna watermelon radish salad I had yesterday at work).  The funny thing is I start making a mental list of what I want to eat (a lot of junk food). Once the nurse said to avoid hamburgers, that’s what I started craving. Haha… I guess that’s how it is, I crave what I can’t have. In the meantime, I’m enjoying homemade soups like this one.

This is not an exact recipe but pretty close. I’ve been making chicken soup since college and it’s one of the easiest ones to make, especially if you have a rotisserie chicken. I would recommend using homemade chicken broth (recipe here) but store bought works too. It’s amazing that Costco still sells their rotisserie chicken for 4.99 after all these years.

chicken soup pic











chicken and veggie soup (serves 4 hearty portions)
6 cups of chicken broth
2 small carrots, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 russet potato, diced
handful of mushrooms, sliced
add other veggies (added broccoli)
2 handfuls of dried pasta or rice (used orzo)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp of sea salt (adjust the amount accordingly)
black pepper to taste

1. In a stock pot, pour in the chicken broth, add carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, herbs, and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, bring it down to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until carrots are fork tender.
2. Add your pasta or rice and other softer veggies (don’t need as much cooking time) and let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so or until the pasta/rice is cooked.
3. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.

The amount of salt you want to add is up to you. I opt for the low-sodium chicken broth to control the amount of sodium in my soup. I like adding it at the end for that reason. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Sure beats a brown bag sandwich any day.

anima pizza & pasta

inside anima

Anima Pizza & Pasta is a new (opened December 2013) authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Koreatown (Vermont and 7th). My friend, Julie of LA eats introduced me to this gem in early March and went back with a group of friends a few weeks later.















bruschette miste (ham, salami, veggies) 8.00

bruschette miste (ham, salami, veggies) 8.00

insalata nicoise 8.50

insalata nicoise 8.50

lobster ravioli 9.00 (daily special, off menu item)

lobster ravioli 9.00 (daily special, off menu item)

capriccoisa pizza (olives, ham, mushrooms, bell peppers) 14.50

capriccoisa pizza (olives, ham, mushrooms, bell peppers) 14.50

gnocchi with ragu

gnocchi with ragu 8.50

spaghetti e polpettine (meatballs) 8.00

spaghetti e polpettine (meatballs) 8.00



























































The food is as delicious as it looks and wonderfully affordable. Where else can you get homemade pasta in LA for under $10 for dinner? Each time, I think I spent about $15 for dinner. The portions are not ginormous so you can share a couple dishes and leave feeling satisfied. They’ve applied for an beer and wine alcohol license so until then, no BYOB but they offer complimentary cucumber water and have non-alcoholic drink options on the menu.

The only challenge about this location is the parking. It’s in the same plaza as Kobawoo and a handful of other eateries. Valet parking (I think it was $2) is available if there’s space, otherwise, street parking is the other option.

If you’re as crazy about Italian food as I am, check out my reviews for Maccheroni Republic and Eatalian Cafe.

chicken with 40 cloves of garlic

Lately, my weeknight meals have come from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s (lucky for me  that I live a short walking distance from one). I want to blame the late summer heat wave or the being the thick of busy season at work, getting home at 9pm some nights. It makes me appreciate those nights when I have the energy and time to cook up something from scratch (and from the heart <3).

A close friend of mine recommended that I try this recipe and I’ve made this dish twice for my family. Wasn’t sure how my Korean food, garlic-loving parents would like it but I think all the garlic and tender chicken (hello dark meat) won them over.

Let me just preface it by saying the garlic flavor isn’t gonna make your nostrils flare or give you garlic breath for days (thank God!). Since it gets slowly cooked down, it’s sweeter and milder despite high number. Trust me on this, it’s French comfort food (and not too heavy).

chicken with forty cloves of garlic (adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s recipe)
serves 4-6
3 heads of garlic (yields about 40 cloves)
3 lbs of chicken (combo of thighs, wings, drumsticks w/skin on)
salt and pepper
1 TB unsalted butter
2 TB olive oil
3 TB cognac, divided
1 1/2 cups of white wine (I used chardonnay, any white wine that’s dry)
3 tsp fresh thyme, divided (will use 2 tsp for garnish)
2 TB all purpose flour
2 TB heavy cream

Note: there are recipes that don’t call for cognac like this one to have one less item on your grocery list. Don’t know if the dish will drastically taste different but just less French sans cognac. I bought mine at CVS but you can find miniature bottles at liquor stores or retailers like BevMo since you only need a few tablespoons. Also, buy already peeled garlic cloves to save you time. 

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a big pot (w/thick bottom) or Dutch oven over medium high.
2. Saute chicken skin side down for 3-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.
3. Lower heat to low-medium and add garlic cloves until evenly browned. Careful not to splatter the oil.
4. Add 2 TB cognac and 1 1/2 cups of wine and return to a boil (alcohol will burn off).
5. Place chicken back into the pot with 1 tsp of thyme. Cover and simmer (very very low heat) for 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Check the chicken after about 25 minutes to see if it’s close to being done. Want to avoid dry chicken.
6. Transfer chicken to a large plate and keep warm by covering with foil.
7. In a small bowl, whisk half the sauce and flour. Add to the pot. Raise heat to medium and add 1 TB cognac and 2 TB heavy cream to make your sauce. Let it boil for about 3 minutes. First give it a taste it and then add salt and pepper accordingly.
8. Serve chicken and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.

cloves ckn recipecloves ckn 2

mise en place (can’t forget the Korean newspaper)

browning the ckn

after browning the chicken

ckn finished!

Ta-da! First time, the gravy was a bit thick and on the salty side. My second attempt, gravy was a thinner consistency but a bit bland. Maybe third time’s a charm? I’ll let you know.

pretty ckn!

My friend who recommended that I try making this recipe sent me a picture of her restaurant quality dish. Bella! Great tip for garnishing the dish with fresh thyme.