Slow Cooker Chicken Cock-A-Leekie Soup

Chicken Cock-a-leekie Soup

 

I recently spied a recipe for Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup on Pinterest.  But when I followed the link, it didn’t take me to a recipe.  Don’t you hate that?

But, the name had me curious, so I started searching for more about the recipe.  I found out that Chicken Cock-a-Leekie Soup is a traditional Scottish recipe.  I’ve got a thing for Scotland recently.  It started with discovering the TV show Monarch of the Glen on Netflix, which takes place in Scotland.  The sense of place in that show is so prominent, it’s like one of the characters.  Every scene is beautiful.

Scotland seems to be popping up every where I look lately.  We’ve even got a Scottish singer coming to our church on Sunday.  I’m ridiculously excited about that.  I am fairly introverted, but I really want to talk to this man.  I’m afraid he might think I’m a bit crazy if I tell him I’m infatuated with his country.  That I’ve watched the TV show and made the soup.

Onto the soup…It seems there are a lot of ways to make this traditional dish.  Some recipes have rice, some have barley.  All of them have chicken, leeks and prunes.

Yes, prunes in soup.  I wasn’t too sure about that myself.  I found recipes that cooked the prunes in the soup and others that used prunes as a topping.   I decided to go the topping route.  That way, if someone didn’t like the thought of it, they could pass.

The soup itself is a basic chicken soup that is comforting and nourishing.  Surprisingly, the prunes paired beautifully with the flavors in the soup.  The rich, sweet taste of the prunes complimented the more savory flavors of chicken and leeks.  Even if you don’t think you’ll like the prunes, please give the topping a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Plus, you’ll feel authentically Scottish while eating it.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:  

chicken cock-a-leekie soup ingr

 

I used the same method for cooking the chicken right in the soup that I used for White Chicken Chili.  I used two large chicken breasts with bones and placed them in the bottom of the slow cooker.  They lend a homemade flavor to the broth and cook along with the rest of the soup.  Before serving, remove the chicken breasts and take the meat off the bones, returning the meat to the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cock-A-Leekie Soup

Serves: 8-10 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 3 leeks, sliced and cleaned
  • 3-5 carrots, chopped
  • ⅓ cup barley
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 2 (32 oz) boxes chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried prunes, diced for topping, optional
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker.
  2. Add leeks, carrots, barley, onion, bay leaf and thyme to slow cooker.
  3. Pour chicken broth over all ingredients.
  4. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  5. Remove chicken breasts and take meat off of bones.
  6. Return meat to the soup.
  7. Serve with diced prunes. Try it! It's good!
Notes
I used medium pearl barley and added it at the beginning of the cooking time. You can also use quick cooking barley, but will need to add it during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. If you want to substitute rice for the barley, use long grain rice and add it during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking.

I’ve been sharing Slow Cooker Soups every Friday from October through February.  We’re coming to the end of this series, but it’s been great!  You can find the recipes for all the slow cooker soups shared by clicking here.

Slow Cooker Soup Series

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Comments

  1. The dried prunes must give it a whole different feel. Yummy.

  2. I loved slow cooker soup recipes! Especially on cold days. : )

  3. What a choice for the cold weather! Do the prunes stay kind of leathery, or does the hot soup broth soften them up a bit? I know you used them as a garnish at the end, so they didn’t spend a lot of time in the broth. It’s a tough line to walk — a person averse to the prunes would probably find them more palatable softened in the broth having cooked with the chicken, but would not be able to remove them entirely.

    All in all, this is a very interesting dish. We considered it for our feature on Scottish food, but ended up making a sort of haggis instead. I’m glad someone covered it.

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