Nothing feeds the soul like some good old chicken stock/broth. It is great for those recovering from any form of sickness, great to prevent colds in Winter, and great to add to sauces or to have as a quick and healthy dinner.
If you are feeling daring, go to your Chinese Herbalist and ask for some Dang Gui. It is a herb that they use to restore the kidneys and help produce blood. Three knots of this in the soup is very good for you. It is a plant based root, white and nobby.
This chicken soup recipe is the bees knees, although you may have a favourite already, there could be a handy tip in this recipe for you.
1 whole chicken or 1.5kgs of chicken bones.
2 onions / Leeks
2 tbpns of Ginger
a pinch of Oregano
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar or Mirin – your health food store or the Asian stores will have this.
(this is important to the medicinal aspect of the soup, as the vinegar extracts the calcium from the bones of the chicken.)
3 knots of Dang Gui optional.
I like to add any root vegetables that I have about too, some sweet potato and Daikon Radish if you can get your hands on some.
Then place the onions and herbs in the bottom of a large boiling pot / stew pot, give them a light stir fry to begin with. Though later when you feel more confident with this recipe and you have an extra 2 hours to leave it cook, you can literally throw everything in and put the lid on and leave it. But to release the flavour of the herbs for a short cook, fry them first then add the chicken and the rest of the herbs, fill the pot till it is 2 inches from the top and leave the lid on for the duration of the cook. 4 hours for a short cook, 6 hours for a long cook. This comes from a Chinese Medicine friend of mine and it has seen the family through lots of healthy winters. This is a great base for Osso Bucco, stews, spaghetti bolognaise, quick sauces for stir fry’s or meat sauces.
The oils that float on the top of the broth is good for you, this is a good fat so please do not skim and remove.
Final step; drain the soup from the ingredients and throw the chicken and veges out. All the goodness has been taken out of them and then use the stock as it is.