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Mulligatawny a Chicago way

This is one of the most robust of the heftier school of mulligatawny, chicken based and laced with bacon. By now we have departed the Subcontinent courtesy of David Kay, our own copyeditor and muse. This is his recipe taken verbatim.


  • chicken_farm215.jpg8 diced slices bacon
  • three chicken breasts with the skin still on
  • 3 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple cored and chopped with the skin still on
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 teaspoons onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 10 peppercorns crushed
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 1 cup Half-and-half
  • 1½ cups hot cooked rice for service


  1. Fry up the bacon in a wide pan until crisp.
  2. Add the chicken to the bacon browning on all sides
  3. Remove the chicken and bacon and drain well on paper towels.
  4. Put the chicken and bacon in a 5 quart pot and add the next eleven ingredients bringing just to a boil.
  5. Cover and simmer over very low heat for about 40 minutes (stirring occasionally).
  6. Turn the heat off and remove the chicken (wait for it to cool); then cut the meat from the bones. Discard the bones along with the bay leaf.
  7. Cut the chicken into very small pieces and return to the soup.
  8. Turn the heat back on low. Blend the flour into the water and gradually add to the simmering soup. Keep stirring. Add the half-and-half; don’t boil.
  9. Serve in deep bowls over hot rice with good bread.


-To make it easier to find the 2 cloves, put them into one of the carrot pieces.

-The Editor inclines to even more robust flavor and uses considerably more onion, 3 bay leaves, 4 cloves and, although the mulligatawny should not become fiery, a dose of cayenne.

-This is one of the few instances where half-and-half is the best product for the purpose; it adds just the right depth and richness to the soup without cloying.

-Chef Kay is braver than the Editor in daring to use all-purpose flour. Wondra is less likely to lump.