Monday, October 24, 2011
Whew late evening out in the cold clear October night, shooting grisly murder, and saucy bubble-gum chewing dames. The Whiteaker neighborhood becomes incredibly beautiful this time of year, with dessicated leaves whorling down from towering trees.
Luckily, we were fortified with Dave's homemade chicken soup, which was bomb, but not quite as good as my own. I've been working on my own recipe. It's pretty simple, thought I'd share.
Secondary pot for draining
Bowl or pan for capturing bones
1 whole chicken
2 red onions
1 large finger of Ginger
1 large Jalapeno
1 bunch of Cilantro
2/3 cup Vinegar
1/2 lb. dry rotini pasta
Pretty simple. Start by chopping your Carrots into quarters, down their length and in half, then add to the stock pot. Peel and halve one of the red onions and add the halves to the pot. Peel and halve the ginger and add it. Inspect the chicken and remove the neck and innards if they are included, then add the chicken to the pot. Add water just to cover, and then the vinegar and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat a little, and let it boil away. Use the mesh strainer to skim off the scum that forms on the surface. When most of the scum is clear, add a little salt and some ground pepper.
It will need an hour or more to boil, every so often test the chicken with the tongs, when the meat starts to fall off the bone on it's own, test the breast, if it feels like it's coming apart give it another 5-7 minutes and then remove from heat.
Use the tongs to pull the chicken from the pot, and place it in a pan or on a cutting board to cool. The chicken is perfectly cooked if the legs come off together as you lift the torso.
Place your colander over the secondary pot, and drain the broth and vegetables into it. Some people like to cool the broth at this point, and then remove the excess fat from the surface. But we are not afraid of fat. The fat is our friend.
Remove the colander and set it's contents, the carrot, ginger, and onion aside. Transfer the broth back to the original stock pot, and add the pasta to soak.
When the chicken has stopped steaming, start picking the carcass. I usually grasp a portion with the tongs, and pick the meat off with my fingers. Be careful, it's way hot. Have a spare pan or bowl handy to toss the bones into. You can use household peroxide to bleach those bones later, if you want to use them for some nefarious purpose (see above picture). As you work, toss the liberated meat into the secondary pot.
Once the carcass is picked clean, chop up the carrots and ginger. Discard the boiled onion, it has a nasty flavor and texture after all that boiling. Instead, slice up the other fresh onion, it will have a nice crisp flavor. Slice your jalapeno in half and remove the seeds. Wash your cilantro and cut off the stems, it usually comes in a little bundle, which makes this easy, then chop up the leaves a little.
Add the chicken meat back to the broth and pasta, and apply high heat. Add the carrots, ginger, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro, and let it all boil for a couple minutes. Taste and add more vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.
All done, I recommend putting it in a bowl and eating it with rad loaves of sourdough with plenty of butter. Fat is our friend.
Also, all that ginger, chicken broth, and vegetables are excellent for your health. This is a cold slayer. Take a dose of absinthe with it and you won't need cold medicine.
I'm in the process of turning this recipe into thom kha gai, and I may share that recipe too, when I'm happy wiv it.
Oh, one week to Hallowe'en, I gotta get busy, happy hauntings!