Little Guy, Big Kitchen

A Little Guy Woking in His Big Kitchen

Herbal Chicken Soup

This recipe is based on a traditional herbal tonic recipe that I was shown how to make years ago. This version is very simple to make, requiring only ten minutes of preparation time. From there you can just put it on the stove and let it slow cook for a couple hours. Astragalus root, called Huang Qi in China, is an immune tonic that is believed to strengthen wei qi, the body's defensive energy against bacteria and viruses. Astragalus is a component of Change of Season soup and is often combined with other herbs for energy, circulation, and physical stamina.

Astragalus root can be find dried in Chinese herbal shops or natural health food stores. If you don't have access to astragalus, you can simply omit it from the recipe. It will still be a tonifying soup. Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, small- to medium-size
  • short-grain/sticky/Japanese sushi rice, enough to fill the chicken cavity
  • 5 to 7 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt, to taste
  • dark roasted sesame oil, to taste (garnish)
  • green onion, sliced into fine threads (garnish)
  • small Thai chili peppers, chopped very finely (garnish)
  • optional: 2 medium sticks of dried astragalus root

1. Rinse the chicken thoroughly and trim any excess skin and fat.

2. Fill the entire chicken cavity with rice. Place the chicken inside a covered stockpot and fill the pot with water so that the waterline is approximately 2 inches above the top of the chicken.

3. Place the bay leaf and sea salt in the stockpot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium – low so that the water is boiling gently.

Add the astragalus, ginger, and garlic and continue cooking for 2 hours or until the chicken and rice are well-cooked.

To serve an individual serving, cut a piece of chicken and place it in a bowl with some of the rice and soup. Garnish with green onion threads, Thai chilis (extremely spicy!), and a few drops of dark sesame oil. Enjoy!

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June 2, 2006 - Posted by | Soups

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