Mom's Chicken Soup
(Number of servings varies by amount of chicken used)
- 1 whole chicken OR any amount of chicken thigh, leg, or wing
- Green Onion
- Shaoxing Wine
- Put everything into a pot and fill it with just enough water to cover it all (see photos below for all of these steps)
- Turn on high heat until the water begins to boil and scum begins to float on top.
- Keep skimming the scum off the surface with a ladle until it's all removed.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover and leave it to cook for at least 2 hours (can be up to 8!)
- Strain the broth into another pot or serving bowl and enjoy!
- Feel free to add in salt, MSG, or other seasonings.
Now here’s a super simple, but actually really deeply rich and complex soup broth. It’s basically... just chicken. Weird, right? Normally you’ll have broths and stocks with all kinds of stuff in them, with all these techniques and all kinds of stuff, but in the end, just boiling some chicken yields a rich, clean flavor that you really can’t beat.
To be perfectly honest, even though skimming the scum from the surface is something everyone recommends, I’ve made this and other soups and broths without skimming, and there’s no real taste difference-- It’s really just a visual thing if you like clear broth. Okay, maybe there’s a bit more of a gamey or mustiness to it, but it’s largely not noticeable unless you’re really looking for it. Otherwise if you’re lazy, just let it go and it’ll incorporate itself back into the soup over time. It’s just protein, so it’s not harmful or bad or anything.
I personally enjoy using green onion, ginger, garlic, and shaoxing wine to give it a little more aromatic flavor, but it’s not necessary. It’s pretty customizable. The best part about this is that you can really get full use out of any vegetable scraps you happen to have-- I mean, just take a look at this ginger and green onion I had laying around.
Anything from carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers, or whatever vegetables or meat that’s starting to age and isn’t the freshest anymore will go good to add to this. Fish ‘em out to eat afterwards, and they’ll be deliciously filled with chicken umami. Yum.
Note that the reason why we use a whole chicken, or thigh/wing/leg is because the fat and bones help a ton with flavor and complexity. Chicken breast will also become super tough and chalky if you boil it a long time, whereas thigh/wing/leg will just get better and fall apart. This will hold true with any meats that you happen to use-- If you want to add other meats to this, cheap cuts that are usually tough and have a lot of connective tissue is actually best for this.
This is a fantastic broth to make and freezes very well so you can always keep some around for anything you’re making!
Put everything into a pot and fill with just enough water to cover.
Turn on high heat until the water begins to boil and scum begins to float on top.
Skim scum off the surface until it’s all removed. Then, reduce to a simmer and cover it, leaving it to cook for 2 to 8 hours.
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and as always, let us know what you think and what you’d like to see next!