A broth type soup, packed full of punchy flavours. Have it as hot or as mild as you like.
Serves 3 as a little soupy appetiser.
This is a really simple method that I’m into at the moment, to create the base for a few meals you basically boil up a whole chicken with a selection of vegetables, spices and flavourings, use the meat to make a salad and for your soups and curries you can make with the utterly unctuous resulting stock. With extra left over for you to freeze and knock up a simple dish easily later. I decided I would make this one a really simple stock with what I had in my fridge and also to keep it simple so I’d have some plain chicken stock in the freezer with my Thai and Vietnamese stocks. Sounds poncy, but true.
1 whole chicken
4 sticks celery
4 bay leaves
pinch black whole peppercorns (about 10)
12 little shallots
1.2 litres chicken stock
pinch palm sugar
4 slices fresh galangal, If you can’t get this then use fresh ginger. It will be a different flavour but still good.
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed
3 red shallots
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
3 tablespoons lime juice, about 2-3 limes
3 tablespoons fish sauce
4 birds eye chillies, bruised (I just bruise the chillies to get a very delicate chilli buzz in the soup. Another time I might crush the chillies to a pulp and then add them, but, then be prepared for buzzing pouting lips.)
2 stalks lemon grass, really finely
1-2 shallots finely sliced
5 kaffir lime leaves, really finely shredded, (or a pinch of frozen and chopped)
Few leaves of coriander leaves, chopped, about a tablespoon
Add about 300 g cooked and shredded chicken to make this more substantial with some shredded greens.
1. Place chicken in large pot with the carrot, celery, bay, shallot, and pour over enough water to cover completely, with room to boil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes, then remove from heat. Let cool for at least 15 minutes, as it’s scorching at this point, then carefully hook out the chicken. I use 2 long wooden spoons.
2. Strain the stock, through a fine sieve, then pour 1200 ml back into the wiped out pan. (freeze the rest of the stock. I do this in 350-500 ml old takeaway containers)
3. Boil stock and season salt and sugar. Add the galangal, whole lemon grass, shallots, and torn lime leaves. Strain stock, return to boil, add the lime juice, fish sauce and chillies.
4. Add chicken and pour over the stock. Stir in sliced lemon grass, shallots, lime leaves and coriander. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.