Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Egg Drop Soup for a Cold

My mom bought Matt and I a crock pot for Christmas and I had made plans to test it out on one of my Harris Teeter $2.70 chickens by making coq au vin (chicken in red wine).  Unfortunately, Matt came down with a cold which meant coq au vin and my crock pot were going to have to wait.  I was going to have to make soup.

I'm bored of chicken noodle soup.  If you get it at a restaurant, or out of a can, you'll be lucky if the broth isn't made from a bouillon cube.  Even if it is made from scratch, more often than not it's full of  large mushy pieces of overcooked carrot and celery and bloated egg noodles.   I suppose it can be comforting, especially if that's what you grew up with (I loved Campbell's as a kid), but I"m tired of it.  So I changed it up a bit.

This soup is especially good for someone with a cold because it has lots of ginger and garlic. 

The recipe makes about 4 large servings of soup with 1/2 the chicken meat left over to use in something else.  I made brown Spanish rice with shredded chicken and beans (recipe to come).  That's two meals with a chicken that cost less than $3! 

What you need to make the broth

A whole chicken, or bone-in chicken parts (about 4 - 5 lbs)
Tops of green onions (just chop off the tops of the entire bunch)
Garlic - I used about 7 cloves (Your discretion)
Ginger - peeled and sliced thin, about 7 quarter-sized slices (Your discretion)
Black pepper - peppercorns or ground, either is fine

What you need to finish the soup

Cornstarch slurry - about 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and a 1/4 cup cold water - Use your fingers to break up any lumps
Shredded chicken - 1/2 of the meat from the boiled chicken
1 carrot - Small dice
Sesame oil - about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Soy Sauce - about 2 tablespoon or to taste
2 eggs - whisked
white part of green onions - chopped small, 1/4 cup
Minced fresh ginger - 1 Tbsp


Take a whole chicken and put it into a large pot.  Add enough water to cover the chicken.  Add the tops of the green onion to pot as well as the ginger, garlic and black pepper.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, occasionally skimming the fat and impurities (foamy stuff) off the top.  Cook for about two hours or until chicken falls off the bone and the broth has a good flavor.  Strain the broth into another pot through a colander large enough to hold the chicken (or pull out the chicken and strain).  Let the meat cool then shred it with your hands.  Bring the broth to a boil.  Slowly add your cornstarch slurry in an even stream into the boiling broth.  Add shredded chicken and carrots and cook until carrots are tender (if they are chopped really small, it'll take about a minute).  Add sesame oil and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour eggs into the broth in a slow steady stream and immediately turn off heat.  Finish with chopped green onions and ginger.  Serve with sticky rice.

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