Catalan Chicken Stew with Prunes

The inspiration behind Catalan Chicken stew with prunes: In Corca, Catalan Country, we stayed with a family in their 500 year-old home, Casa Matilda. As we were chatting over breakfast, I asked the family what would be a traditional Catalan soup. Without hesitation, she told me it was Escudella I carn d’Olla, something they would always eat in winter, a soup shared with the whole family over two courses. Helena taught me how to make Escudella, and this is as Catalan as it can get! There is no formal recipe, and it was just how her grandmother and mother used to make it, and now, how she makes it too. As we sat in her kitchen, in limited English and Catalan with the help of Google images, I was able to write down the ingredients and the steps of the family recipe. Typically it would be made with beef shin bone, iberico ham bone, botifarra negra (blood sausage), pig trotters, whatever vegetables they have on hand, beans and always added with galets (large pasta shells) and pilota (meatballs). Our version is made with slow cooked chicken stock, chicken thigh, chicken meatballs and lots of vegetables. The end result -a robust chicken soup filled with homey goodness. Thank you for sharing your family recipe, and I am humbled to be able to bring this wonderful soup to Singapore!


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