2 litres(8 cups) chicken stock (see note)2chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (520gm)2 tbspolive oil110 gmflat mild pancetta2small onions, diced3garlic cloves, finely chopped500 gmSavoy cabbage (about ½), ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped300 gmsourdough bread, sliced140 gmcoarsely grated Gruyère
Bring chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan over high heat, season to taste, add chicken, return to the boil, reduce heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stand in liquid until cooked through and cooled (1 hour). Remove chicken, shred meat (discard bones), reserve stock and meat separately.
Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add pancetta and stir occasionally until golden (3-5 minutes). Add onion, stir occasionally until tender (10-15 minutes), add garlic, stir to combine, then add cabbage and reserved stock and meat. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, cook until cabbage is tender (10-15 minutes) and season to taste.
Transfer half the cabbage soup to a 3-litre ovenproof dish. Arrange half the bread slices over and scatter with half the Gruyère, then repeat with remaining soup (reserve a little liquid to pour over bread), bread and Gruyère. Pour reserved liquid over and gently press bread into soup to absorb stock. Bake until golden and bubbly (40-50 minutes). Serve hot.
Note For this recipe and others for chicken soup, buy good-quality chicken stock or make your own: see step 1 of our tortellini in brodo recipe.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.