Falling temperatures and a head cold make this a perfect chicken soup week. Traditional chicken soup is often recommended for colds. I think a soup with an Asian twist, full of the healing properties of ginger and garlic, is even better. That's what I made.
My chicken soup is based on Ming Tsai's master chicken broth recipe. Cut the recipe in half if this quantity is more than you need.
Since I love to add my own touches I tossed in a piece of lemongrass (chopped in two-inch sections and bruised with the back of my chef's knife) a couple of cloves of garlic, the tops of two leeks and a quarter cup of Chinese cooking wine.
I buy my chicken bones at Whole Foods. They're often found in a freezer case near the meat department. If you don't find them, ask the butcher, they may be in a back room freezer.
For this batch, I added a whole chicken to the stock pot, once the bones where thawed, and simmered it for 35-45 minutes. Then I removed it, checked the thigh joint to be certain it was cooked, let it cool enough to handle, and stripped the meat from the bones. I refrigerated the meat for the final soup and returned the bones to the pot.
I also did my prep work for the final soup while I prepared the vegetables for the stock. As long as I was chopping, I cut up three stalks of celery, three carrots, a large onion, the white of two leeks, a few sprigs of parsley, thyme, and a couple of scallions. Once my stock was done and the fat removed, I simmered the carrots, celery and onion in three quarts of the stock until tender, and then added the reserved chicken, thyme, parsley, and scallions and simmered for a few minutes more to warm the chicken.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
Photos: ©2008 Penny Cherubino
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