The best remedy for someone who's sneezing, coughing, feverish, and downright miserable is a nice, warm bowl of chicken noodle soup. I must confess - I did not make the soup in the above picture. Instead, a kind friend personally made the soup from scratch and walked it over to my place. Thanks Vivian!
I have been stuck at home for 2 days now with a bad case of the flu (explaining why there are fewer posts this week! I'm not really cooking or eating out!) However, I thought I would share with you the makings of a good, basic Chinese chicken broth, which can serve as a base for countless different soups.
Chinese Chicken Broth
Adapted from Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds
3 ½ pounds chicken bones, necks, backs, and/or pieces
9 cups water
1 cup Chinese rice wine or sake
6 slices of fresh ginger (lightly smashed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Periodically skim the surface of the soup to remove scum or various impurities. Strain the finished broth through a fine strainer. Skim to remove the fat or, alternatively, put the broth in the refrigerator and skim off the solid fat afterwards.
I know Vivian used a whole Cornish hen to make this particular soup. If you are using an entire chicken, it's a good idea to use a large cleaver and cut it up into several pieces. You want the goodness from the bones to get into the soup. That's where all the healing compounds are hiding!
Once you have the stock, the possibilities are endless. You can add various vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, and noodles. This particular soup had carrots, onions, enoki mushrooms, and potatoes. I added rice vermicelli noodles and sprinkled some chopped scallions on top, but you can use whatever suits your fancy.
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