November 9, 2009

Chinese Chicken Soup

One of the things that I have spent quite a bit of time on over the last few months is making stocks at home. Between making shrimp stock a few times for gumbo and other seafood dishes, i've made chicken stock from a raw whole chicken fryer. However, i've discovered that making chicken stock/soup from a store-bought rotisserie chicken is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to make a really tasty and comforting meal.

You really only need a few ingredients in addition to the chicken - some leafy greens and noodles - and you're set!

Step 1 is to de-skin and debone the entire chicken. It takes much less time that taking apart a raw fryer, for sure. I fill up a large saucepot with about 10 cups of cold filtered water and drop in the skin and bones as I prep the chicken, making sure to cut the chest cavity into at least 5 or 6 pieces. I typically add 2 dried red peppers, some sesame oil and soy sauce, bring to a boil and let simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

After its done, I add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chicken pieces, cut and shredded into small pieces. This last time I diced up some fried tofu, which was a tasty extra touch.

In a separate pot, I boiled salted water and added chinese noodles, spinach, chinese lettuce and mung bean sprouts then combined with the broth and chicken in the serving bowls. This was a tasty meal on a cold night, with enough leftovers for another serving for 2 (in addition to the remainder of the 1/2 of the chicken, which we used for chicken biscuits) and cost less than $15.

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